Stormy Seas

Well.  In case you don’t have news of any kind for some strange reason, the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean are currently being ravaged by hurricanes.  Right now my home and family are pretty much in the direct path of one of the most devastating storms in history – and I’m thousands of miles away, unable to do anything.

This is not the first time I’ve had to watch and wait and pray they are okay from afar. Thirteen years ago (lucky number!) I watched helplessly from my dorm room in Georgia as Ivan skirted across Florida, as Frances crept up on it, and as Jeanne gave it a double whammy.  In fact, riding out Hurricane Frances with my family was one of the reasons I moved back to Florida.
I even made this whole story about it for my final class project before leaving the school.

 

This is, however, the first time I’ve had to watch it from afar while owning a house there. The idea of losing everything while you can’t do anything about it, is simultaneously terrifying and rallying.

I’ve always found that extreme situations kick me more into gear than anything else.  I secretly enjoy less devastating hurricanes (I stood by through Katrina in Florida, Rita, and Wilma), and I get a little excited every time I have a medivac at work.  It’s not that I enjoy seeing people get hurt.  I think it’s just that at that point I finally feel useful, like I have a purpose, something worthwhile that I can do.  Not many of my skills are directly useful in typical humanitarian ways, but organizing and logistics has always been a strong suit of mine.

In the past year, I lost my job, my dog, and my love.  Now, I sit here on the verge of possibly losing my house, and pretty much everything I own, and in the very same week get a new job offer.  But somehow, part of me is still not satisfied.

How can I even claim to be suffering when so many places have just been completely destroyed?  Many of the islands I’ve spent so many days on are practically gone.  My work has somehow always felt selfish in a way.  Cruise ships will change itineraries, go to less damaged islands, but how does that help those people who depended on their business for so long and now need it most?  I had the idea today that it would be wonderful if someone would charter a cruise ship to bring volunteers and supplies to some of the islands they are so used to visiting but that are now destroyed.  It would certainly be good PR!

At the end of the day, we have to remember that what is important is people.  Not money, not homes, not fast cars and smart phones and Apple Watches, but people (okay, and puppies).  I can’t claim that I’ve done much with my life thus far, but if I could do something good that even just one person will remember forever, I will feel better.  At this cross roads in my life, I might have that chance.  But for now, we must wait and see.

 

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Bucket List Update

You may recall a post where I added things to my bucket list once I started working on ships (this one). I can now say, that after my last contract I have accomplished the following things on my bucket list…

Hike up a mountain – I’ve hiked a few all over the world, but I have yet to hike to the summit, so I can only halfway cross this off…
Swim with dolphins – Would like to try it in a natural setting, not a giant swimming pool
Horseback ride in water
Horseback ride bareback – have to to ride them in the water!
Stand under a waterfall – I visited/climbed 4 of them in 4 different countries!
Ride a camel – I did this in two countries: Jamaica and Tunisia!
See Mayan ruins
Pub Crawl (in a foreign city) – I went on an awesome one in London!
Visit the Ice Bar – Went to the original one in Stockholm, but apparently there are better ones elsewhere, perhaps this will stay on my list for now 😉

These two were done in my last contract….
-Lumberjack show
-Help in a beach cleanup

I have also now danced in other countries, stayed in a hostel, and had an understandable conversation with someone in another language (they understand my French in Tunisia!)

I also thought of a few new things to add to my list as my new itineraries open up more possibilities….

  • Attend a concert in a cave
  • Tour “Wine Country” in California
  • See wild kangaroos and koalas
  • Experience a “White Night”
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Visit all 7 continents
  • Go to a “swim-up” bar
  • Visit an Egyptian pyramid
  • Attend a Carnaval celebration
  • Visit all the Disneylands
  • Participate in a Flash Mob
  • Ride an elephant

I know I will get to cross a few of these off soon as my next journey takes me to the top of the world and then over to Asia!

New Bucket List for Cruising

Working on ships has opened up opportunities for me to do so much new things!  Here’s a few I hope to do on this contract and my next…

  • Dog Mushing
  • Spelunking
  • Hike up a mountain
  • Bike through a town
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Visit a Beer/Rum/Liquor factory
  • Horseback ride in water
  • Horseback ride bareback
  • Stand under a waterfall
  • Ride a camel
  • See Mayan ruins
  • Pub Crawl (in a foreign city- Key West counts!)
  • Kayak
  • Visit the Ice Bar
  • Lumberjack show
  • Help in a beach cleanup

     

    Sidenote:

    It’s hilarious to read Shore Excursions for Tampa- they go to UT and Ybor city- in other words- they do about $100 what it costs thousands of college kids thousands of dollars to do.

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