When the taxi pulled up at Sydney harbour, I looked up at the ship from the ground. It was enormous, and this was to be our home for the next 10 days.
We hadn’t been on a proper holiday since moving to Australia in 2016, so I was very much looking forward to having a proper break, but I’d never been on a cruise before so was slightly worried. What if I didn’t like it and wanted to get off? What if I get sea sick? Where will I run? As I walked through the terminal building, these questions were running through my mind as I moved into a new context.
The ship had 10 Decks and we entered on Deck 3, walking through a very gaudy door that would have felt very at home in the Palace of Versailles. We took the stairs to floor 9, the famous buffet floor, which was crammed full of all kinds of food. Working in the food industry, I naturally now look to see what food is most popular. Pizza, burgers, chips and cake seemed to have the queues. There was a salad bar too, and not much of a queue, so I headed in that direction hoping to find some organic spinach and kale. When I got there, there was a single organic leaf to be seen, just iceberg lettuce, potato salad, pasta salad, rice salad and a pumpkin salad which was ok.
I started to get a bit grumpy as I was out of my familiar surroundings and didn’t have access to the food and drink that i usually consume. I didn’t quite know what to do. One option was to get off the ship and stock up with organic leaves. But then I remembered that any change is good and you need to be able to adapt to any event in order to survive. In that setting, I had a choice. I could either remain grumpy and bring everyone down, or I could look on the positive side and throw myself into this new situation which is exactly what i did. I decided to treat the whole thing as a retreat. Quite different from other retreats which usually involve yoga, meditation, organic juices and salads, but in truth, that is my everyday. This cruise life was completely new and alien to me and i needed to embrace it in order to grow. Here’s what happened…