Updated: Dec 6, 2021
You probably heard the phrase what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and I'm here to tell you that's true.
When I was trying to find myself in my life journey, I decided to work on a cruise ship when I was 21.
It took preparing all the documents, traveling for the interview, and a long eight-month wait.
So after such a long wait, I asked myself, am I even going to work on this cruise ship?
But here came my contract, and I was ready to board the ship. So I was excited and scared, of course. But I packed my back, got everything ready, And flew to Miami.
So this was my second time in an unknown country called the United States. And yes, I was scared.
On top of that, while flying to Miami, I got sick with the flu. While taking this 15 hours flight trip, I was suffering from a fever. So I was exhausted and tired by the time I made it to the hotel. On top of that, I found out that my luggage was lost. Oh, how fun is that, right?
When it was time to board, I showed up for my contract. And they asked me several questions, including "do you feel ill in any way?" I did tell them the truth, that I was feeling ill. They marked something in the paper and said come tomorrow when the medical center is open for the crew.
Then I had to show up for work and work my schedule for the next 24 hours, and it meant about 14-16 hours of work with few hours of sleep.
How did I feel on top of being sick and losing my luggage, not having my uniform?- I was crushed.
At that time, I wasn't that smart to take some of my carry-on things with me, and I only had two T-shirts and one pair of underwear. Before we sailed for our ten-day cruise, I was going back and forth with our crew support to find out that my luggage bag would come after ten days when we came back to the same port.
Here I was with no luggage, two T-shirts, one pair of underwear, sick with the flu, and a fever over 104. To make you understand how miserable I felt at the time, my period showed up just on time. And I know I might be telling you personal things, but I just want you to realize how bad it was.
The first two months were horrible. You have to work every day, no days off, and then your shifts are about 11.5 hours, on top of that, it's not really 11.5 hours, but until you get your job done, which might take you 14 hours in the beginning when you're learning.
When you work that much and are sick, it is a challenge.
I remember about one month in, I called my mom blasting crying, saying that this is the hell and I don't know how I'm going to survive this. Of course, my mom told me: "OK, quit this, you don't need it and just come back home." My answer was "I spent $2000 on that, and it would take at least one or two more months to make it back, and after that, if it's still as bad as it is right now, I'm going to quit and return home". But deep in my heart, I knew I was not a quitter, and I could do this. So I did. I finished my six months contract. And I went for a second one in two months.
If it is difficult now, you are getting more courage and confidence.
YOU ARE GETTING YOUR STRENGTH!
I learned how to fly.