Editor’s Note: We met Fernanda on a Silversea cruise while cruising from Istanbul to Athens. We were immediately drawn to Fernanda’s free spirit and infectious smile. When we found out that she left her comfort in Mexico to travel the world on a cruise ship, we needed to find out her why. If you’re looking for a job that will help you travel the world, working on a cruise ship is a great idea. Read on to learn about how Fernanda cruised the Mediterranean with luxury cruise line, Silversea.
Ever since I was 19 years old, I invested my money in one thing: traveling. Even as a young girl in Mexico City, I knew that traveling was the only thing I would buy that would make me richer.
Years later I decided to make another type of investment. My boyfriend (at the time) and I opened a jewelry shop. I was so excited about this project that I didn’t mind the fact that it took all my attention and all of my money. After all, if you love something, all bets are off!
One of my biggest supporters during this time was my Mother. Many nights were spent talking to my mother about next steps. She motivated me to pursue my wildest desire to travel the world and the adventure began.
Then, the toughest part came: I had 10 days to get 2 visas, medical exams, vaccines, and flights. Basically, I had 10 days get my new life together, while I had to deal with goodbyes and packing my life in a suitcase to start the new journey. One of the biggest things that I had to learn how to deal with was the one question that I heard repeatedly since I agreed to the job “what is an engineer (my academic training) going to do as a salesperson?” At the beginning this always felt like disapproval, as if deciding to pause my profession was a mistake, as if all the years of studying and working were thrown overboard. It was hard. Actually, it was very hard, but I’m glad I stayed true to myself and pursued my passion.
And so, I left. I left my home, I left my family, and most importantly, I left my comfort zone. As scary and stressful as it might have been, I don’t regret any of it for one second.
Life on ships is like no other. Sea time doesn’t count as it does in “land life”, soon you don’t know dates or days of the weeks but you go by sea days, port days and embarkation days.
Internet is usually expensive on a cruise so I prefer to be off line meaning that I have little contact with people back home or friends online and, instead, I have a huge amount of time to contemplate nature, like chasing sunsets from the ship while cruising, which was probably my favorite hobby.
Goodbyes became something normal. People come and go and even if you meet incredible people along the way, you’ll have to say goodbye sooner than expected and so it becomes a weekly routine to say farewell.
Time alone was new and highly appreciated. Back home I felt stupid going for lunch or coffee alone and my time on ships has changed my mind. I’m constantly surrounded by people, both guests and crew, so a moment to myself was time well-spent and I have to admit that more often than not, I preferred to spend days exploring, having lunch, coffee or anything by myself rather than with company. One thing that is very curious about this is that going out by myself helped me meet a lot of locals, which I normally wouldn’t have the chance to if I stayed isolated on a ship.
Traveling on a cruise ship is a different way of traveling because you have limited time to see as much as you can. Because of this, I always asked myself these questions:
What would you do with 24 hours in your dream city?
What would you do with only 10 hours in your dream island?
In my case, having limited time pushed me to move, to explore as much as I could within the time that I had. I remember my first days on board and people asking me why I decided to join ships, my answer always was “because the idea of waking up every day to a different city is fascinating!”
Now comes my favourite part about this whole adventure: the people. I am a true people’s person; I love getting to know someone, their story, their culture and their experiences. I met amazing and inspiring people, a good example would be Collette and Scott, and just like them I met some more, everyone with a different, unique story. These people are the reason behind my love for travel. Travel unites us. It is the shared passion to see and explore the world.
My experience of leaving home to work on a cruise ship wasn’t always easy, but I always learned something. I may have taken a road with no clear signs, but I managed to find the best way to happiness. At the end of the day, I made my dream come true and I am proud to have done it all by myself.
Today I no longer work on ships, but I came back rich in experience with a fully healed heart. “I may be lost in more ways than one, but I’ve a feeling that is more fun than knowing exactly where you are” (Keep on walking-Passenger).