...a girl of many moods.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Once upon a different life

I was preparing this post for a year.
It's finally here.

27.07.2017 - Packed my bags and left, all alone, with no clue what's going on and what's about to happen, never been on a plane before - never been anywhere alone before. I didn't know anything about working on a ship, I've never even seen a cruise ship in my life. See, this is one of the things about me, my decisions are mostly extreme. I'm either 0 or 100. Nothing in between.

28.07.2017 After 15+ hours of travelling, and more than 48 hours of sleep deprivation - I arrive in Miami, and for someone who doesn't stand heat and hot weather - let me tell you.... it was hell. I've never felt heat and humidity like that, never.
The next part is very funny to me now, but it wasn't really funny back then. So, I arrived in the hotel I went up to my room, I took a deep breath and then it hit me. WHAT HAVE I DONE. There's no going back now. It's not like you're going on vacation and you know that even if you don't like it, after a few weeks you're going back home. Oh no no, it's a 6 months thing. I started crying, wait no, I had a full-on panic attack, with hyperventilating and all that. Mostly because I was so extremly tired, and it was a natural reaction to everything. I somehow managed to call home, and get my sh*t together, but I was a freaking mess. And then the phone rings, it's someone from downstairs calling me. I pick up the phone and I hear a friendly voice in a language that is close to home - and I swear to God that moment there saved my life. My heart was about to burst from all that crying and when I heard that voice I was wait - maybe you're not alone. Just calm the f*ck down.
Then I went downstairs, met some people - future co-coworkers and a bit later I went back to my room to get ready for the next day, which is the day that I go on board and see my home away from home for the next 6 months. Right.
I go back in my room, sort my things out, took a shower and then... the handle of the bathroom broke, so I got stuck in the freaking bathroom, with only few hours left to sleep, with no phone with me to call anyone, nothing. I swear my whole life flashed before my eyes, the last 24 hours, the crying few hours earlier, everything. I was like Is this it, is this how things end? Lol. 20 minutes later - which felt like 2 hours, I somehow managed to open the door and get the fuck out. Okay. 

29.07.2017 - We arrive at the Miami port, I see the ship, my home, it says ESCAPE on it, it's right there in front of me, and it's huge and gorgeous and breathtaking.  
But inside, it's a whole different story. It's so huge and confusing, that I was getting lost my first two months there. Even after 6 months, at the end of my contract, there were still places that I didn't know how to get to.
But, when I first got in there, I was shocked. Not many windows in crew area, feels very claustrophobic and I remember thinking 'How the fuck am I gonna survive 6 months here.'

They gave me the uniform, and you start with training the same day. And you start with work the next day.
The training was hard, but it was my favorite part - it was basically lectures and classes what beginners need to go through, and there is also practical part like emergencies, first aid, fire fighting, learning about all the rules and emergency codes. It was pretty fun.

Living on a ship is so random. You become friends & family with people from all over the world. Like for example, my best friend there was a guy from Boston, he was like my older brother and even tho the age gap was big we had the same sense of humor ( Andre if you're reading this, hey DOG! 🦋 ) and then there's me a girl from a country he's never even heard of. If anyone told me that is gonna happen, I wouldn't believe it.
Who would've thought.
This is just one example of the many unique friendships and moments that you experience.

And you get so used to sleeping while the ship is swaying, that you miss that feeling back home in your regular old bed. * cries a little bit. *

Like if you ask me now would I be scared to be on a cruise ship in the middle of a hurricane, of course I'm gonna say yes, but while I was there the word fear wasn't in my book.

Long story short - It was the best experience in my life so far, but at the same time it damaged me so much - I still to this day have dreams that I'm on the ship.
And it damages you emotionally, cause you get close with everyone there - they become your family - but your time there is so limited and short and you live with the fact that you might never see those people ever again.
And I miss everyone constantly, it's the weirdest thing. You bury those feeling very deep so that you can move on with your life, but it's always there, in the back of my mind.
All the places I've visited, all the people I've met, all the friends I had, loved and left - it all leaves a trace and it's something only people who worked on a cruise ship will understand.
But it's 100% worth it.

Until Soon.

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 Donna October ©


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