Those that know me will understand that I’m not the most talkative of people, which I think is one of the reasons that I am starting this site. My experiences through my 27 years have been vast and varied yet of those experiences I’m not always the best at sharing what I’ve done/ am doing.
‘Floating through life’ is a metaphor used because of my current job, working for Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited and the way that I feel I have lived my life so far. I’ve never really had a clear direction that I have wanted to go in and perhaps still don’t now but I have never been idle.
I completed my GCSEs with fairly good grades, I didn’t really want to stay at school so did my A-levels at college. Whilst considering university my thought process was very simple: I love sport, I’m pretty good at English, Sport Journalism sounds good. So I got the required grades (no more no less to the annoyance of my Psychology teacher) to study that at Brighton University. I took a year out, just because, and worked in an emotional and behavioural support unit in a secondary school before going to study at the Eastbourne campus of Brighton University. I knew within a year or so that sport journalism wasn’t a career that I was likely to go into but a varied and, for the most part, interesting course made me stick it out and graduate.
During the holidays whilst at university I would go home and work as an Activity Leader for EF Language Travel where I would basically be that guy at the head of the 30+ annoying foreign students who take up the whole path and walk out in front of your car! In my third and final year, I got a job at the brand new AMEX Stadium, home of Brighton and Hove Albion football team. I was in hospitality and managed to score a position serving food and drink in the press lounge which meant I was working in amazing surroundings with the games on the TVs rather than serving beers and burgers to thousands of fans in the 15 minute half-time break! I was also lucky enough to have to drop snacks and beverages into the changing rooms which was especially cool when Brighton were playing Prem clubs like West Ham, Liverpool and my personal favourite Spurs. I can still remember when West Ham chairman David Gold held the door open for me! What a gentleman! How many people can say that a millionaire held the door open for them?
After uni I still had no direction so ended up working as a teaching assistant whilst I worked out what I wanted to do. Not by any design, I ended up in a similar role as in my gap year: supporting emotionally and behavioural challenged students but in a different secondary school. After a little under a year I ended up working in the exact same job that I had before going to uni (3 years well spent) and the kicker was the job paid less than when I did it the first time around! Luckily money was never the motivator. Where I went back to was a great set up working with amazing people… oh and my older brother Morgan as well.
Morgan left to work for an intervention programme specifically targeting students who find the school environment challenging and my feet were getting increasingly itchy. I wanted to travel! But to travel requires money and getting money means saving and saving means being boring and never going out or going on holiday etc. I had the perfect plan! Work and travel.
Option 1 was to teach English as a foreign language. I’d completed my TEFL and did some teaching for EF (where I used to be an Activity Leader if you can remember back three minutes of reading) during the school summer holidays but that would have meant just moving somewhere else and working. Not really travelling. Option 2 was to get a working VISA for Australia, pick some fruit for a month or two until I had the money to get out. Not very original and I pride myself on my ability to think outside the box and do things that not everyone else has done before! Which brings me nicely onto option 3! Work on a cruise ship!
I floated on down to London for a job fair, met some guys from Kings Recruitment, a few Skype interviews later and I’m off to Asia for my new job as Youth Staff for Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited. Nearly two years, three contracts, more than 20 countries across 4 different continents later and that is where I am now.
Over the next few months I hope to get down some of my experiences of different countries, some information about my specific job role and what it is like to live on a ship for 5 months at a time and memories of things I’ve already done. Talking on past experiences I may be very vague about names of places/ restaurants etc. but you will have to forgive me because whilst living those experiences I hadn’t planned on blogging.