Ten years ago, I had to think where in the world I would have been. I searched through my passport for the many stamps of countries I had visited, as back then I had an incredible job working for an international cruise line and travelled around the world. A typical Monday morning commute could be a short flight from Miami to the Bahamas on one of those smaller planes with propellers! Living out of a suitcase I had the luxury of visiting my ships predominantly in the Caribbean and Europe.
Working in Hotel Operations (Housekeeping) involved quality assurance audits and training, as I hopped around from ship to ship and collected quite a lot of air miles en route! Typically spending 7 days onboard, with a normal 70 hour workweek – there were no days off. Having said that, I could tailor my itinerary to allow some ‘time out’ that would allow me some beach time; you can’t beat a swim in turquoise waters of the Caribbean or seeing a beautiful sunset and it was these pockets of time out that gave me the resilience for checking into hotels, jumping in taxis, boarding a flight and working long hours. The days before Uber, Airbnb and Deliveroo were the norm, of which would have made my traveling life a whole lot easier!
I loved my travelling job; working with a diverse workforce and pioneering a new role, I was able to establish operating procedures and I played a key role with employee engagement for over 2000 employees. My role linked the Corporate office to the Shipboard operations and I really was an enabler for engaging the onboard teams and I feel part of my work legacy was to promote real positive change through focus groups along with training and coaching crewmembers (employees). What a privilege!
I have learned to reflect often and when I look back over the past 10 years, what stands out is I have always worked for innovative organisations, I have been fortunate to pioneer new roles working with many incredible and inspiring people. On land, working with a tech/hospitality disruptive startup to a social enterprise developing Trainee Police Detectives has kept me on a path of my own personal development and challenge.
I am now pioneering my own venture focused on ‘time for you’ during the workday through peer to peer coaching and reflection. My travelling role allowed little time for me and wellbeing was not even a consideration, how times have changed.
This present moment in time seems far removed from my travelling days of 10 years ago however looking ahead I am hoping for lots of travel and continued focus on wellbeing in our personal and professional lives and engaging at work in smarter, more collaborative ways with and without digital applications. Now let me see if I can find my passport…..