Today marks a special day for me. Today is the day I signed off my last ship three years ago. Three years! I have officially been on land for as long as I was on ships. Normally I would spend this day reminiscing and thinking of how much I miss that life, but guess what… I don’t.
Ok, that’s a lie. I do miss it, but not with that undeniable yearning that had me writing emails to my old boss begging him to put me back onboard (I never hit the send button). I miss my friends. I miss the beaches. I certainly miss afternoon rum punches and mid-afternoon naps. Who wouldn’t?
Since starting this blog I have had countless kind words from so many different people. While some of you might find my viewpoint a tad melodramatic and emotional, many of you have reached out to say “thanks.” As silly as it may be to some, for many of us leaving ships is really difficult. It’s a complete lifestyle change. For those that continue their travels by teaching around the world or some other grand adventure, the transition may be easier, but for me it was a challenge. Going from life on a boat to the 9 to 5 life on land is a huge change. In my case, it didn’t help that I hated where I lived and worked. It only made me regret my decision even more. Many of you have touched me with your stories of how it was tough for you, too. It’s nice to know you’re not crazy when you have a hard time with the reverse culture shock. So for those of you out there going through it now, it sucks. I know.
I also know that you can get through it. Three years later I am happy. I can honestly say I finally feel really happy. I don’t dread getting up in the morning anymore.
So today I will think about stepping off the Infinity for the last time. I will think about how much fun I had with the amazing friends I made. I will think about how awesome it was to wake up in a new place everyday, and I will feel the greatest sense of gratitude when I remember all the places I’ve seen in the world. This year, however, I won’t think of those things while choking back tears and pouring my fourth glass of wine. Today I’ll sit back, smile and look at how far I’ve come in the last three years. No more regrets.
For those of you going through ship withdrawal, just know you’ll get through it. Eventually you’ll find yourself happily reminiscing about your old ship life. Believe it or not, you’ll also get to a point where you shake your head and smirk at the way you used to pine for your old ship life.
You’ll get there.