I knew that going to work on the ships would be an adventure, I just assumed it would be in the more literal sense. I didn’t realise the emotional adventure I was embarking on.
Being at the Steiner Academy you make very good friends, very fast. You train together, eat together, sleep together and study together. You’re literally with each other all the time, so you’re bound to become close. As everyone is away from their loved ones, people are a lot more open to making friends than they usually would be. All of us were going through such a huge life change at the same time, it was lovely to be able to share that with someone.
Now huge life changes don’t happen without a few tears. There were down times where I did shed a tear or two, and I remember thinking “I have known you for five minutes and I’m comfortable crying to you, and here you are, caring for me as if you were my Mother.” Everyone understood so the support was immense. I did feel somewhat ridiculous when I felt homesick because my family were just 2 hours up the road. Some of the girls were halfway around the world from home, but they never made me feel silly. The distance was irrelevant.
The combination of being together all the time, going through a roller costa of emotions, created a bond that was like no other. I am still friends with people from the Academy. Despite only being with some of them for 1 month, I felt closer to those people than people who I had known for years.
This meant when it came to saying Goodbye because you were going to your ship, it was very bittersweet. It was so exciting but also heartbreaking, that these people you had become so close to were now going, and you may never see them again.
Of course, I didn’t think this at the time, I thought we would all see each other again after our contracts and continue being best friends, but that’s just not the case. After 9 months away from home are you really going to fly to China to see someone you knew for a few weeks but haven’t seen in a year… Maybe, but it’s unlikely. That’s not because I didn’t want to see them, but time and money all come into it and of course, whether they are available. Consequently, I have a lot of Skype relationships.
This isn’t a bad thing it just takes time to come to terms with the fact that you can be friends with someone who you may only see 2 or 3 times in your lifetime.