PART IV: SOUTH AMERICA
YEAR: WINTER – SPRING 2012
Location: PERU, BOLIVIA, ARGENTINA, CHILE
So…if we rewind back to October in Lagos- I could see the season ending before my very eyes, and I started to wonder what I should do next. After all of the amazing times that I had indulged in during what was the best summer of my life, I knew that I did NOT want the party to end just yet. That is when a lightbulb went off in my head- I realized that I should head south for the winter- and when I say south, I mean south of the equator, where summer was just about to begin!
That night, while on night-shift in Lagos, and a couple of beers deep- I found myself back on google, once again clicking on the search bar and typing in the words “best party hostel in the world”. PERFECT! According to google, the Loki hostel chain in Peru and Bolivia seemed to be a promising option for me. I found an unbelievably beautiful party hostel directly on the beach in a surf town in Northern Peru. I decided in that moment to book a ticket from NYC to Lima in January.
And so, after a couple of months of returning home to waitress and save absolutely every penny that I earned, I found myself on another one-way ticket journey- this time to Lima, Peru. I was back on track with my mission to discover the world, and would be meeting friends, old and new, along the way through South America!
Because of my extremely small budget and pre-arranged hostel job, I had originally planned on only adventuring through Peru and Bolivia. Of course I did not follow through with that at all.
I started my journey by visiting Cusco and Machu Picchu, and from there, went to Lake Titicaca and through Bolivia, with major stops including La Paz and Salar de Uyuni. Rather than looping back north toward my hostel job..I decided to impulsively book a 50 hour bus across the countries of Bolivia and Argentina in order to meet back up with some friends in Buenos Aires. After staying there for a month, I traveled all around Argentina, headed west across the continent, and through the Atacama Desert in Chile. I then took 40+ hours worth of buses all the way back up to Northern Peru…where I officially ran out of money, but thankfully, had a job secured.
I found myself finally working in that crazy party hostel that google had led me to so many months before. Mancora was even better than the photos, and I was happy to call this small sufer beach town, renowned for its nightlife, my temporary home.
After a month in Mancora, and four months total in South America, I returned back home. By this point, I had spent 2 extremely hectic years bouncing around the globe, and I decided that it would be best to stick around for New York for the summer. My mission was to take a little time to chill and detox, save some money and figure out what I should do next!
… That is when I began my career as a stewardess on megayachts!
PART V: YACHT TIME
YEAR: FALL 2012 – SPRING 2013
Taking time off after South America gave me a chance to figure out how to land a job as a stewardess in the yachting industry. From the moment a friend had mentioned this type of job to me, I knew that I had to find a way to land a position! Get paid to travel through exotic locations?-YES PLEASE! I had discovered my dream job, and by taking a break for that summer, I had the time and focus to go for it!
Although I knew nothing about the yachting industry, had no experience, and had not taken the required courses- I believe that the key to success is persistence and putting yourself out there- and so that was my approach! I researched, I watched youtube tutorials on everything from “how to fold sheets” to “how to cook eggs” to “how to set a table”. I really had no clue about anything at first, but after countless hours of researching what the position would entail, and teaching myself as much as possible through the internet, I created my very bare yachting resumé, and sent it off to every crew agency and potential employer that I could find!
Eventually my hard work paid off, and I started my first stewardess job on a 93’ boat called Alexia. I spent 6 months bouncing around Miami and the Bahamas aboard Alexia. After the season ended, I began to freelance on all different boats for short term trips. I found that freelancing was the best situation I could’ve ever imagined for myself! Now that I had some experience under my belt, I was able to land temporary jobs on boats that only needed a stewardess for short-term gigs and impromptu trips. As a traveler in need of a flexible schedule, this concept was perfect! I decided to stick around Miami to save a little cash before yet another summer in Europe, and in addition to freelancing, I began to work as a club promoter as well. It was a fun time, but alas, all good things must come to an end.
By May, I was on another plane, back to my beloved Lagos, and without any plans for the remainder of the summer.
PART VI: IBIZA DAZE
YEAR: SUMMER 2013
Location: LAGOS & IBIZA
I spent some time enjoying Portugal, catching up with good friends and having a blast back in Lagos! Although I was having an amazing time, I knew that the summer was just beginning and there were countless beautiful beaches to explore! With this in mind, I decided to head to the infamous party island of Ibiza with some friends. Through my history of constantly changing up my original itineraries, I decided that no plan was the best plan, and that I would leave whenever I felt that it was right time to do so.
…TWO MONTHS LATER…
Well, I somehow ended up staying around Ibiza and the neighboring island of Mallorca for nearly 2 months, meeting batch after batch of friends who happened to be passing through, and landing some freelance gigs on yachts around the Balearics.
I had quite the summer, bouncing between mega-yachts, to hippie communes, to hotel rooms of friends! Ibiza is one of the world’s premier party destinations of the world…and most people usually only go for a week or less, just to get a taste of the nightlife.
For me, I of course at that time loved the wild side of the island…but there is so much more to Ibiza than the beach parties and dance clubs! Ibiza has a chilled out hippie side as well, and the island has an amazing energy, white sand beaches and glowing blue waters! It was not hard for me to get stuck there for a while!
… That is when I began my career as a stewardess on megayachts!
PART VII: YACHT SEASON NUMERO DOS
YEAR: FALL 2013 – SPRING 2014
Location: BAHAMAS & THE CARIBBEAN
I headed back to the US after another epic summer away, and continued to work as a freelance stewardess. I ended up spending the winter season working on and off on a variety of boats. I cruised around Aruba, Bonaire, Curucao, Florida and the Bahamas.
Adventures included island hopping, jet skiing, sun bathing, rum drinking, golf carting, snorkeling shipwrecks, feeding sharks and hanging with flamingos.
After spending another summer abroad, it was important that I spent the Caribbean season building back my travel funds. I worked hard through the winter, got some good experience under my belt for my resumé and eventually got to a number in my back account that would allow me to spend some time exploring new places once again!
The beauty of freelancing is that I can choose my schedule- so after I had saved up sufficient money, I decided that it was time for a little break. I headed back to Miami to meet with friends and hit up Winter Music Conference, and from there we took an impromptu trip over to Puerto Rico for a month. We camped out on beaches, trekked through the rainforests, explored the smaller islands of Vieques and Culebra and partied in up in San Juan.
By the end of this trip, it was nearly May, and so I visited home in New York, and decided to take another summer off to adventure through some new territory: Greece and Turkey