Hey All! Greetings and salutations!
Many of you might have wondered where I had disappeared to these past 3yrs… perhaps I had moved to a beautiful tropical island (been there done that), or explored the temples of stunning Mystical Nepal (nope been there too), or perhaps… just possibly…. I had found the love of my life and discovered once you get married “You are never alone again!”. If you voted for the last one then you would be right. Who knew, especially after the last time I opened my heart, I would find someone so perfectly wonderful who could handle my weird craziness.
Just When You Think You Have It All Figured Out….
The last time I left you, I had become a Padi Dive Instructor, explored Laos and had decided to head back to sea and the cruise ships. This entire adventure had brought to light many insecurities I never truly admitted I had, insecurities from being bullied back in school, from never feeling like I was good enough, from always being in the friend zone with guys… When I passed I remember saying to my fellow students, as I balled my eyes out, “Am I finally cool??”. In utter shock they replied saying, “You? cool? You, the one who has lived in 4 different countries? Who speaks 3 different languages and a smattering of about another 5? Who has travelled solo to over 50 countries? Who has spent 3 yrs working on cruise ships and traveling to a further 20 countries? You were cool way before passing you instructor exam…!!!!!”.
I left Koh Phangan island, with my head held high, a new sense of confidence, a new sense of self-understanding. Then to add to that, I met a bunch of “youngsters”, most of them traveling for the first time, in the hostel in Bangkok, and suddenly found myself Mamma bird to a large group of newbies and realizing something else… I had become that savvy, confident, traveling, friend/daughter/sister/aunt, the one you meet and wish someday, perhaps, your adventures would equal theirs. In other words I discovered who I was in those months spent diving and traveling in South East Asia and I left it feeling a new sense of purpose and drive.
“TRAVEL IS WHO I AM, WHERE I FEEL MOST CONFIDENT, SO NO MORE GUILT, NO MORE SELF DOUBT, TRAVEL, CRUISE SHIPS AND ADVENTURES AWAIT ME!”
And Then I Walked Into His Bar….
I had the entire year planned out, home after Thailand for a few months to help out the folks, then return to the ship for 6-8mths and save, then return to my homeland of South Africa and do a 2 month cross country trip with Baz Bus which included most of my dream trip through Southern Africa.
I boarded MSC Opera in late May, and in my first week I went to grab a glass of water in one of the bars onboard. There I met a waiter named Dane (DA-NEH), from Macedonia… What I didn’t know, as I left the bar, was that he had decided to date me. In fact there was a good chance we were already dating and I just hadn’t got the memo….
Over the next month he utterly confused me by giving me little winks from across the room, the kind of wink that makes you go weak at the knees, but didn’t understand why. He hardly spoke to me as the waiters had insane hours and barely a chance to sleep let alone chat up a lady. My job as Social Hostess was to walk around and talk to guests and make sure there were no issues or questions. I soon realized I was inadvertently circling the bars Dane was working in, which he will forever claim to be me stalking him.
After close to a month of winks and smiles, I finally just asked him “Do you want to grab a coffee?”, his reply “well of course that’s the plan”…. again memo, didn’t get it. He even knew my cabin number, now who was stalking who??
The Way to a Man’s Heart
People always say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. However, if you work on a ship with no time to even wash your socks then the girl you like offers to wash them you turn to your friend and say “I am going to marry that girl!”. And that is exactly what happened.
Our friend Nenad, a waiter from Serbia, was lamenting one day at how he never had time to even wash his socks. Since my schedule often allowed large breaks, giving me time to not only explore and nap but also to do laundry, I offered to start washing socks. I had barely got the words out when Nenad had a bag packed and was handing it to me. Dane on the other hand, said he washed them in the sink and not to worry. It took 3 washes of Nenad’s socks before he finally agreed and once he received them back, washed and folded he was smitten….He actually told his roommate “I am going to marry that girl”. Shortly after that first sock wash we had our first date at a crew party and it was like we had always been together.
To be cont….