This morning I read another great yacht blog post by The Swedish African entitled ‘The four stages of being a yachtie in the Med’. If you have ventured into the world of yachting (in the Med or across the pond), read Bianca’s blog post for a knowing nod and giggle.
I reached stage three of being a yachtie and finally jumped ship before I let myself be trapped into wearing those golden hand cuffs. As I realized that money (US Dollars or Euros) does not buy you happiness, it took me a few months to execute my exit strategy. In response to Bianca’s blog post, I thought I’d share the stage that I have recently entered… the post-yachting stage one:
As you are used to making the near-impossible happen for your yacht owners or charter guests in record time, you have the same expectations for organizing your own life. You want your dream car, a permanent job and an apartment…like yesterday. So once you’ve hugged your friends and family hello and have unpacked your bags, you start your mission to achieve your short-term goals.
You test-drive your dream car and get really excited at the prospect of having some sexy new wheels until you realize that you should be wise, save your cash and apply for vehicle finance. You then realize that in order to get said vehicle finance that you actually need a full-time job and at least three month’s pay slips.
You then sit down with your Mac and apply for a variety of positions as you redefine yourself within South Africa’s Marketing and Media industry. At the moment you’re not too worried about immediate employment as you are doing some freelance work (Graphic Design in my case) for some ex-yachtie friends in Australia who have made it. You feel a bit better as you have some income trickling in.
You have recently received a year long Schengen visa so are tempted to escape for a last little Euro trip to Amsterdam and the UK before you sign a contract to your dream land-based job. To Carpe Diem or not? You could always do a sneaky yacht charter to pay for said vacation?
You then need to consider that you need to be grown up, responsible and conserve your savings. You meet with your investment broker and move your savings from a safe to high-risk investment policy so that your hard-earned yachting money can grow and land up being a million or more in a few years. You nod in agreement when your Dad says that it’s a great opportunity to put your money away and have it ready to buy a house one day.
You realize that you can no longer leisurely peruse aisles at the supermarket and ignore prices like you did as a Stewardess with the boat credit card in hand. You fill a trolley with delicious Woolworths treats and shrug off the amount when swiping your bank card at the teller. From now on your retail therapy includes buying office work clothes and dresses for the four friends’ weddings later this year… that you are not going to miss ;).
You buy a succulent plant and put it on your bedside table until you can place it on your new apartment’s balcony. Baby steps.
You realize that you need to stop being hard on yourself, allow yourself some time and when life throws you these many curve balls, just think PLOT TWIST!
Just like a dockwalker, you keep your smile painted on your face and you dive into life with an optimistic and excited attitude.
As you lie in your double bed in a palatial room after spending Easter Sunday with your own family and not hiding your yacht owner’s family easter eggs, you ask yourself if you would rather be here right now or rocking in your tiny top bunk bed in your dark cabin breathing in mouldy air-conditioned air. No thanks. You realize that you made the right decision for you at this stage in your life by jumping ship at stage three before you were sucked into Jack Sparrow’s underworld of moral decay for the next decade.