I am currently working as a stewardess in the superyacht industry. This wasn’t what I studied for and actually got an honours degree in logistics, got into a company and worked a desk job. But after working late most evenings, and most weekends, I felt stuck and unfulfilled. At some point, to keep from going crazy, I spontaneously bought myself a camera and it completely changed my mindset. I found a passion for adventure and photography.
I heard about the yachting industry and the opportunity it had for travel. It’s a work-hard-pay-well industry. However, it was an extremely large risk as it is costly to do the courses and to fly over to the Mediterranean with no guarantee of getting work. The industry is also extremely oversaturated which adds to the risk. But with all that in mind, this was an opportunity for me and something I wanted so I went for it.
I had no personal friends in the industry at the time when I decided to make the change. I sold my car and used my savings to pay for my courses and to buy my ticket over to Europe. A lot of people told me it was crazy and difficult to, but I ignored them because they were telling me what was difficult for them. My family and friends encouraged and believed my choice was best for me because they could see the conviction I had to make it.
When I got over it definitely was not easy to start with. I would have to walk the docks daily, walking an average of 17km a day for a few weeks, asking boats if they needed any crew or if they had day work. I would respond to every Facebook post, never getting a reply. Going to every crew agent and being told in the nicest way I’m too new there is no work they can help me with. After two months of living off my savings, I was almost out of funds. Living in Europe, as a South African, everything was expensive, especially considering you have no income. I had already watched many friends I had made in my time there have to return home because of visas expiring or running out of funds, I was starting to panic
It was at that point, very close to having nothing, that I got my breakthrough. I got some work for a few days, which lead to another few days of work. That lead to me getting on a boat for the season. This has opened up many opportunities for me, not only to travel and explore my photography further but also for work in other industries. I now work on yachts in the Mediterranean summer and in the film industry in the South African summer and I travel in between. It was the biggest, scariest risk I have taken. But so glad I did it because I now choose where I work and I have gotten to grow and learn so much about myself.