I know all of you want to hear about how Alaska was and I will tell you soon. When you work on a cruise ship for any number of weeks or months you meet some amazing people. On my working vacation to Alaska I had the pleasure, opportunity, and requirement to meet new people on the ship. I love meeting new people and I felt It was important to share some of their stories first. I talked to people of all ages and I seem to find teachers or retired teachers the most. Those people have given me such a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to take home with me. Not to mention several books I need to read now too!
Most of the stories or moments I want to share with you were shared with me after I have inspired them with my positive journey in life. Where I was, when I started, where I am now and where I am going. I was so fascinated that these people were so inspired by what I am reaching for in my life. It really keeps the fires of hope burning on my end to keep going.
So here is a couple of short stories of people I met on board!
This lady had heard my background of working with Students with Autism and she then told me her story. She used to be a Peacock Dancer. She had to explain this to me. She was a folk dancer back in the olden days and she would literally dress as a peacock and perform on many stages. She was with a performing group that allowed the audience to come up and meet and mingle with the dancers after the show. One of her favorite parts. A girl in a wheel chair came on stage and this lady was first to greet here. The girl said “that was an amazing performance” the lady can see that she was also blind graciously accepted the compliment and proceeded to ask if the girl wanted to touch her dress. The girl was thrilled. She touched the silky dress, the big feathers and even the sequenced shirt. The girl was in heaven the whole time and lastly said “you must look absolutely beautiful.” I was about in tears at this; there was no way I can repeat this story like the lady told me, but man it was so touching. After all these years she has been able to hold on to that beautiful memory and I bet the girl will remember it for years to come too.
A lot of starter conversation are, is this your first time to Alaska? For this older couple it was, for a lot of people it was. They were a very modest and quite couple but they held a key to their long marriage that was one of the cutest things I have ever heard! This was their 50th wedding anniversary, so congratulations were in order that night. I asked them what made them choose an Alaskan Cruise for their 50th? “Every year we visit a new state for our wedding anniversary. We started at our 2nd year but we have been visiting each state in order ever sense. Next year we will visit Hawaii as the 50th state of the United States.” I was in such awe, that was so cute. I left a bit of mystery though; I wonder what they plan to do next?
As a worker on the ship I got to go on tours for free, if I was chosen of course. I went on this tour to hear about Alaskan Native Indian culture and see the largest collection of totem poles in the world. There was a lady in a wheel chair and she was there with her sister. I took it upon myself to take over pushing the wheel chair around because I know the sister would not be able to do the hills. I also realized had I let one of the tour people assist her she would not have gotten to see very much, or as much as she wanted. I took her where ever she wanted and made sure she could get the best picture from each spot. I never thought twice to help these ladies and I still enjoyed the tour also. The lady in the wheel chair and I small talked here and there. I have no complete idea why she is in the chair but she has such a positive outlook on life and a positive attitude to prove it, it did not matter. She just made this day even better for me.
When you meet people that have cruised a lot chances are they love the ship that they are on too. I meet this amazing couple that I talked to everyday of their cruise. They have been on the Volendam (ship I was working on) for over 180 days worth of 7 to 14 day cruises. Now that is a lot of time on one ship for sure. They loved the ship and loved the idea of knowing where everything is as well. They also loved to collect unique jewelry as well. Not just for them but to pass down thru the generations to come. They find most of their unique items well cruising for sure. I asked them how much longer there will be cruising. They had no end date. I do wish them all the best in their continued adventures.
There are so many stories that I could share with you but I figured I would stick with a hand full of the best! Meeting new people was only a morsel of time in Alaska. I did so many new things, and my time alone with Alaska was always adventurous and breathtaking. There will certainly be more posts about Alaska!