What it feels like…to find confidence.

By Michelle Deans on her travels.

I have always lacked confidence and never found it easy to communicate, however my love of travel and photography have taken me to places and met people who have the same incredible passions. Through this process I have been brought out of my shell so to speak.

One of the biggest moments in my life was applying for a cruise ship photographer’s job. Picking up one of the photographers magazines I noticed the advert in the back pages. Well I had nothing to lose and I had this inner urge to travel and see the world and what better way than to get paid for it.

A few weeks later I received a call inviting me to attend a group interview in London. I was overwhelmed. Me? Really? Wow! The thoughts were leaping in “am I good enough?” “can I do it?” and so on. Underneath the urge was so powerful and filled with excitement that it over took the negative thoughts.

London here I come!

The day started early with a flight to London from Edinburgh and then a thoughtful friend collected me and drove me to the location. I was so excited and so pleased that my friend had picked me up, as at the time London wasn’t as well known to me and would have added nervousness and stress of getting there on time.

There were many more applicants than I expected. And surprisingly I was the only female. I was already on an adventure and just having fun enjoying the whole experience.

Throughout the day we did group exercises and Q&A sessions. It felt so surreal and I think the whole day I was just grinning from ear to ear as I was just so happy to be there. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait to find out the fantastic news! I was bursting at the seams like a party popper looking to explode. The day in London was over and back to Edinburgh to celebrate!

The days came and went and I tried to keep myself together as I awaited further news of what was to happen next. Checking email constantly to see if any news and running to the door when the mail arrived. Eventually I got the call –  I was soon to be traveling to Miami for a week to get my uniform, equipment and assigned a ship that I would be working on for the next 8 months.

It was all really happening and I was super excited! My poor friends and family listening to me all the time about how excited I was and what fabulous weather I was going to. They were all very excited and happy for me too.

The day came when I was off to Miami I couldn’t read or concentrate on the inflight movie for the thoughts going through my head and the buzz of adrenaline going through my body. I was hyper and couldn’t sit, almost like a small child “are we they yet!?”.

The heat hitting me as I walked of the plane was like a soothing fleecy blanket wrapped around me, in the crisp winter Scottish evenings as you get cosy in front of the television. The week went extremely fast with taxis zipping me across the city from the hotel to head office and shopping too of course!

Then back to Edinburgh for a couple of weeks before joining Splendour of the Seas in Europe. It was my first ship/cruise experience, yes I had been on large ferries but when you get up close to a cruise ship in all its grandeur, over towering you. Wow! It catches your breath.

I had just boarded my home for the next 8 months and gosh did it feel like home. Everyone was so happy and helpful and they welcomed you into the large family of over 700 crew. It was an experience that changed my life for the better and ever.

I made friends for life from all over the world. Don’t get me wrong it can be long hours but we played as much as we worked. No need to find or wait a long time on a taxi to get us home. It was a small stroll back to our abodes and on others a little longer; going out on to deck to catch the sea breeze through your hair, the moon’s reflection shimmering on the waters out at sea. Other than the waves you could hear a pin drop.

Here I was this tiny person on this large ship in the middle of the sea, just a blip in the world, incredible.