And I’m off. Cruise work ends, Backpacking Europe begins

The picture above is from the final balloon drop ending the World Cruise. It’s over: my four month contract aboard Crystal Serenity is complete, and I’m now going to be off backpacking Europe on my own (and visiting family in Europe).

So, this is the last post on board Serenity. I have to pack and get up early tomorrow (and party tonight!!)

Next, I will be visiting several parts of Europe on my own (without the comforts of the ship). I’m ready to enter the next phase of my adventure: that of traveling on my own, living out of a backpack, setting my own agenda, and also visiting family members across Europe.

Just to let you know what I’ll have in store: three full days in London (May 7-9). Then on May 10 taking the train across England to Stonehenge and Carlisle. May 11 in Edinburgh, then that night I fly to Dublin and start the phase of visiting and traveling with family members. Dublin to Paris for a few days, then to Poland until June 10. Berlin for a day, and then visiting my friend Raymond (who worked with me on the ship) in Holland. I return to Canada on June 14th.

I don’t need to tell you this, but my gosh…what a journey it’s been on board the ship. First off all taking off and really starting that leap in my life of living it with passion: pursuing adventure and finding ways to make a living doing it.

I’ve gained professional experience in editing, which will serve me in the future. I’ve gained experience in relating to all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds (culture, wealth, experience, age). I’ve grown a lot personally, and also learned a lot from the places and situations and people I’ve met along the way. I also would like to think I’ve matured a bit as a writer/blogger. Not to be full of myself, haha.

Most of all, I’ve gained tremendous inspiration by some of the most fascinating people on board (like memoir-writing instructor Joe Kita who has made an amazing life of pursuing interesting jobs, and connecting the dots between these ambitions to form a career and a good life). People like him and others have shown me the possibilities, and have provided a bit of reassurance when I start pondering “what next.”

Many of the people working here on board Crystal Serenity have been a little puzzled upon hearing that I’m actually LEAVING (i.e. not coming back after a short vacation period). I’m very unique in that I was only on board for a short contract with an end date. Not on ongoing career-job. 

You, faithful blog reader, understand the fact that I went into this as a four-month chance to do something just plain neat… and also as a giant leap towards the next stages of living life with passion. So for me, the plan wasn’t to make a lifelong career out of ship life (though I’m not going to answer or even ponder the question of whether I’d ever do this again…so don’t ask). It’s just that those who make a living on the ship have a bit of a tough time grasping where I’m at in life, and the fact that I’m ready to move on.

Because, I really think, for it to be a good adventure – it has to keep going, otherwise it gets stuck. That doesn’t mean I want to always keep uprooting myself (I dream of a family and all that good stuff). It’s just… um, I think i need a quote to help me out here:

“A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu

If I kept doing this on the ship indefinitely, I’d have “arrived.” It’d move from an adventure to something routine, and that’s not what I’m looking for. So life’s journey moves on, and me with it.  

So that’s why I’m actually a little excited to move on, and not filled with sadness. That, and I’m also not feeling sad because this experience on the ship has been unbelievably complete – much much more than I could have expected.

Next chapter: reflections on traveling Europe after departing the ship!

With warmest regards,


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