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  • Amanda B. Cunningham

Bittersweet Change | Sept. 27th, 2011

It's over.


16 days, 304 working hours (a land job would consist of 128 hours over the same period of days), 48 served meals, 432 napkin origami creatures, 400 loads of laundry, 12 islands, 16 turn-downs, 10 bruises, 100 “what am I doing with my life’s”, 20 linen changes, 1 confrontation with the chief stew, 4 provisioning trips, 0 alcoholic beverages, 1 flanking of the chain, 32 toilet scrubs, 2 yoga classes, 80 hours of sleep (this calculation was found by multiplying 5 hours x 16 days), 9 guests, 1 baby, 1 lazy nanny, 32 sunrises, 32 sunsets (Yes, I saw them both each day), and the completion of one very trying owner trip.


It’s over in more ways than one.

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I came to Odyssey 4 months ago with great intentions to make my way from Florida, across the Pacific and to contentedly base myself in French Polynesia. Time frame was to be for at least a year or until the gypsy in me said otherwise. The gypsy won. The minute details of what occurred in the professional atmosphere aboard the boat are of less or no value to my reasons for leaving and therefore will not make it into this blog. Bottom line, plain and simple; I want for something more. I always have – but my sense of lost kept bringing me back to the comforts of being stuck on a boat with others who can’t seem to find their map either.


Yachting took me away 5 years ago. It showed me foreign cultures and countries that I had only dreamt of one day visiting. It brought amazing people into my life and changed who I was for the better. It taught me to dream big and to live outside the box. It aggressively kept me attached by the attraction to the life it allowed me to follow. But it’s a fine line between being with it forever and leaving it completely. Similar to one of those unhealthy relationships that you know you should walk away from but the sex is so good you stay. A love-hate relationship to the core.



We ran into some crew the other night at a local Tahitian bar, their stewardesses were friendly and getting more so as the tab kept rising. I began talking to the older of the bunch; she must have been over 40, single and seemed to take interest in my reasons for wanting to leave the industry. As I explained my future ambitions she divulged into a story and I quote her, “One more year and I will leave, I need one more year.” I must have looked at her blankly because she seemed a bit awkward; this random moment sealed the deal for me. If ever there was doubt, it effortlessly faded by her statement. My fear of being another version of her in 10 years is far greater than my addiction to the life this job allows for.


As I board the plane, I sit with no regrets. I have learned time and time again that good things fall apart so better things can fall together. My life is ever-changing and with that comes adventure. A career without passion is simply a job and I intend on finding the former. I buckle my seat belt as the stewardess on the plane begins her safety briefing; I wink at her with an odd sense of knowing her well. The door to the outside is closed and locked down, no turning back now.


Suddenly a bittersweet taste fills my mouth and a stream of memories flood my head. The good ones of course, which is how is happens, right? An end comes and with that end you forget the negative and seem to be able to only remember the good. I take it as a blessing. I can sit here and think of nothing but the amazingness of what my life has been for the last 5 years.


It's never really over – it just changes; old adventures simply become new ones. Whether I decide to be an astronaut, a stay at home mom or a dog walker I know I will do it whole heartily and will bring with me the knowledge that I chose it because I want it. It’s quite a powerful feeling to take a hold of your life, to make changes and I excitedly embrace the unknown future. It tends to evolve the way it should.




{Comments imported from travelblog.org}


Stephen Smyth 27th September 2011

Nice blog once again.................Might sound corny, but why don't you watch "Eat,Pray,Love" again, get all inspired and then go do what she did. Maybe you need some alone time to reflect.....certainly cannot harm. Alternatively come back here and we can fill you with wisdom :) xx


ski2crealtor FEBRUARY 24, 2012

Always enjoy reading what’s up with my gypsy girl…Amanda, I always say forget about yesterday-it’s gone, don’t worry about tomorrow-it may never come,,,so that leaves the present. which of course is the only thing you can control, the here and now..oh yeah, taking my captain’s course next week,,hahahaha. I’ll never let go of my marine craze. keep the blogs going.

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