This week I have received five messages from yachting friends (mostly stewardesses) who are considering quitting yachting and have asked me how I have found the transition from sea to land.
It’s that desperate time of the summer season when you’re absolutely exhausted and it takes all your strength to get dressed into your uniform, put a smile on your face and walk up and down those many stairs. The thought of vacuuming every deck, doing ‘turn downs’ and drying another bloody shower makes you want to collapse in a heap and cry. When you do get a chance to have a power nap, your mind is racing so you just lie on your tiny bunk bed and think about the next eight hours of your work day. Sound familiar?
Your first year or so of yachting is exciting, invigorating and a complete novelty. The travel, epic parties, big bucks and meeting fun like-minded people puts you on a high. It’s great, for a while. You’re eager to please and work your way up the ranks so you use 100 cotton buds to ensure that every speck of dusk is gone and that the porcelain toilet bowl glistens bright white, like the Hollywood star’s teeth who has just torn off your toilet origami fold.
I don’t mean to sound jaded and negative but it’s a reality in the yachting industry when you’ve done it for a few years and your body starts to feel the effects of working 18 hour days with no days off in a very long time. Note: *This isn’t always the case. You may love every minute of it. Good on ya!
I jumped ship after three years of yachting but I did use my last year wisely to prepare for my next move. It’s very important to plan your transition otherwise you will land up chilling out and spending all your hard-earned money thus returning to do another yachting season.
How to take the leap:
- You need to think ahead and be pro-active.
- Decide what you want to do. Update your CV.
- Do some online courses to jog your under stimulated brain. See www.GetSmarter.co.za.
- Network and contact any people in your industry, even if it’s a friend of a friend. It’s all about who you know, and yachting is great practice in that regard.
Funny story – Two years ago I direct messaged my current boss on Twitter (while working aboard a super yacht) inquiring about a copywriter position; which I never pursued further. It’s almost fate that I now work for his team as a Content Producer/Copywriter at Hellocomputer; which is my response to him whenever he jokes about it in the office.
- Invest your yachting savings. Budget for a new car, apartment, furnishing said apartment, a pay cut (if you’re returning to South Africa) and buying your own food, toiletries etc.. The ZAR (South African Rand) is about as strong as my arms felt during this morning’s Kayla Itsine’s resistance work out. Lame.
- Set a goal of an amount of money that you want to save and work towards that.
Have an end goal in sight.
Perks of land-based, normal life:
I’m really enjoying living a normal life back on land. Yes, there are some adjustments but, you know, it’s the little things.
- You reclaim your identity.
Goodbye skorts, polos, epaulettes and Sperry’s and say hello to the wardrobe that you’ve been sourcing along your travels that you can now finally wear.
- Weekends and evenings off. Freedom!
- A home that you don’t share with 10+ other people, who you also work with.
Yes, you can walk around in a towel or naked if you like. 😉
- Your own couch where you can relax… in peace and quiet.
- But, it’s all about your mind-set and where you are in your life currently.
If you’re bitterly unhappy, make a change.
If you’re enjoying yachting, then soldier on. Have a blast!
All the money in the world CANNOT buy you happiness. Life is too effing short so act like today may be your last. I felt like I was selling my soul to yachting for the sake of money. As I said before, ‘If I just do one more season, I’ll have this much more money.’ Decide to set a realistic saving goal. Get there and then tap out.
And spend those hours staring out into the distance, pretending not to eavesdrop on your guests’ conversation, to dream big. If you have a business idea, dream it and make it a reality. Jot your ideas down on a napkin.
Yachting enables you to be financially secure so that you can afford to take calculated risks and make that entrepreneurial dream come true.
As I’ve said in many previous posts, look within and decide what is right for you.
Ignore what everyone else is telling you.
It’s your life and your happiness so follow your truth and follow your light.
I did and it was the best decision for me.