I take my real estate business seriously. I really love helping people find their dream homes, whether those homes are rentals or purchases. I enjoy finding out what people want and need, and helping them meet those needs. The paperwork doesn’t deter me, nor does the length of time it takes to go from start to finish. I am of course, still relatively new in the real estate arena, so I’m learning every day, but I’m expecting this to be the career that winds up taking me into my sunset days.
That being said, while I do enjoy my business, I also enjoy the rest of my life. I have always been a firm believer in keeping a healthy work/personal balance, and I believe in living life to its fullest. In other words, I keep my eyes open for opportunities that might enrich my life in some way and I’m not afraid to grasp those opportunities even if doing so requires some financial and calendar calisthenics.
Why am I saying this?
I was offered a unique opportunity this year to spend three months working on a college Maritime ship that was sailing the Atlantic, visiting places I’ve never been. And I, as a person who just loves to explore the world and have often had to put those desires on the back burner due to family or monetary concerns, felt this trip calling me. If I went, it would mean six or seven days a week working at slightly more than minimum wage while we were at sea, but balancing that with three or four days exploring new areas of the world when we got to port. Taking this trip would mean I’d have to put my business in the hands of another agent while I was gone. I would have to leave part of my family for a lengthy time. This trip would mean no Internet, no cable TV, no conveniences, no wine with dinner (it was a dry ship). It would mean I’d have to get special Transportation Worker and Merchant Marine licenses. It would mean drug tests and physicals. It would mean…..
I’d get to travel and explore! I’d get to sail the seas. Yarrrrrrrrrr (says the female pirate). I decided after much thought to go ahead and grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and just do it. So I applied for and received by merchant marine and transportation worker credentials. I went for physicals and drug tests. I applied for and was offered the position. I worked with my clients to transition them to another agent. I communicated my intent to everyone that needed to know. I made arrangements for my mail, lawn care, and more. And then back in early May 2012, I left for the open seas.
What an awesome, life-enhancing decision! I was able to explore Sao Miguel in the Azores, Reykjavik and other parts of Iceland, Gibraltar, Liverpool, as well as a new part of the U.S. I met wonderful people in every port. I experienced snow on our ship’s deck the day before a sunny 70 degree day, porpoise and whale sightings off the bow, geysers, glaciers, volcanoes, rocking and rolling of a ship where anything that wasn’t nailed down went flying across the room, sleepless nights while the ship rolled, and other nights where I slept like a baby with the ship’s gentle swaying. I learned about a new business, explored all areas of the ship, and realized that I loved being on the ocean and really enjoyed being part of a 600 person community. I had a wonderful time assisting the cadet students, dealing with the sometimes boredom (there’s no jumping in a car and taking a drive, taking a long walk in the woods, etc!). I don’t regret a single moment of this trip, and I’m thrilled I listened to the wanderlust in my heart and went for it.
And now I’m back and am ready to throw that same energy back into my real estate business. I’m also going to be sharing tidbits from my trip, and will include links on the bottom of this blog as new trip-related blogs are published.
As always, feel free to contact me if you need to sell, lease, rent or buy a home in Orange or Westchester County NY (and I can make referrals for any other area as well). I’m here to assist with those needs. In addition, if you have any questions or would like to comment on my 2012 Ship Experience, I’d be happy to hear from you.
Other trip related posts:
- Sao Miguel, Azores
- How to Speak like a sailor
- Visit to Iceland, Part 1 – weather and food
- Visit to Iceland, Part 2- people and land
- Visit to Iceland, wildlife and horse ride
- My typical day onboard a working ship
- Visit to Gibraltar, Part 1 – shipping, things to do, eating
- Visit to Gibraltar, Part 2 – animals and people
- Visit to Liverpool England
- Three Month Ocean Voyage, the Wrap-Up