Love lessons I learned on cruise ships!

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​This week’s blog is a special excerpt from my newly released book – Finding my Soul at Sea.
If you have been watching my posts on Facebook and Instagram, you will know that this week we said goodbye to a beautiful lady called Sharon Pittorino, who passed suddenly from a brain aneurysm.
A lot of people love her.
She’s someone that I love.
(Note – I intentionally say that in the present tense, because I know that we don’t really die – we are eternal, immortal Souls. We just let go of our human body. Our true Self continues on and on and on). 
It has been a very emotional week on Phillip Island. 
Once upon a time I would not have said so openly that I loved her.
I was not someone who said ‘I love you’ willy-nilly to anyone.
But working on cruise ships changed my perspective on love in a significant way.
Now I don’t hold back. I don’t wait to say those very precious words.
We don’t know for sure when we will transition back home.
So, I encourage you this week (and for the rest of your life) … feel it and say it. 
I hope you enjoy this little excerpt from the book.
I love you.
Blessings Pip x
CLICK HERE to order your copy of the book – available world-wide.

Excerpt from the story: FALLING IN AND OUT OF LOVE QUICKLY

Love was such a fluid concept in the ship environment. I loved people I don’t think I would have ever considered on land. And people loved me in many ways that I never expected to be loved.
I wrote this in an email to a friend, after leaving one of the ships:
I still miss my closest darling friends – I am making new friends (of course!) but you ALL mean a lot to me. YOU are my SOULMATES! Truly. Hugs and kisses to everyone. Love Miss Pippina, Pipularrrr, Ophelia xxx

And his response to me was: 
Pip, you kick so much ass! … I love you to death and I have learned a lot from you and I really admire the way you feel about life and how you cope with this crazy world because I think we are very similar in that respect. Thank you for being one of my beautiful soul mates! … You are special! I wish I could give you a hug!!!! – N 

On land, I was the girl who tried to stay friends with her exes. I was never very good at letting go. They tended to linger in my mind and my life. I said “I love you” only if I was REALLY sure.
On ships, I started to understand how you can love someone within a day. It finally made sense to me that you CAN feel love for someone that fast and you CAN say, “I love you” to them. You don’t have to date them forever and plan to marry them.
You can just feel the feelings and say it. 

When I was a teenager, I remember having an argument with my cousin. She’s six months younger than me. We were best friends from birth. We were like sisters. She would say “I love you” to people that she just met ten minutes ago and then she’d say it to me. I remember being upset because it seemed to me to be devaluing the love she felt for me. She really felt that she loved everyone, so why not say it? 
Now I know what it feels like to feel love for someone within a very short space of time. Perhaps her “love frequency” was just set to a higher sensitivity level than mine, or maybe her heart was more open.

I can vividly remember the way that I sobbed saying goodbye to friends at the end of their ship contracts. It might have only been a few months, but my heart felt like it would break in to a million pieces. I loved them so much. How could I go on without my daily dose of laughter, naughtiness, hugs and their special brand of silly? It was not much easier to be the one leaving either. Going back into the “real world” was a bit daunting after living in the safe bubble of ship-land.

On board I learned how to tie up loose ends quickly and move on. Some intimate relationships were two days, some three weeks, some four months, but every time they ended there were minimal awkward moments. Everyone was on the same page. Our friendships stayed intact, even if our sexual relationship ended. It was not unusual for someone to have moved on to a new person within a few days. 

Time was compacted. A week felt like a month. When you spend twenty-four hours a day with someone, you get to know them quickly, and well. Good and bad things. On land, you might not find out that someone was a bad kisser, for example, until the second or third date, which could be weeks. On ships, that information was discovered in the first few days of attraction. It’s hard to not run into someone when you spend so much time in close quarters with them. 

I remember having this conversation about sex via email with a close friend on my fourth contract. 
Pip, you need to get movin’ … I just shagged someone else last night … that’s 2 for me in 3 weeks and none for you in a month … ha ha! I’m winning! … I think it would be cool if we had a competition. … ha ha! … bye sweety! – N

To which I responded with:
HEY BUDDY!!! NO COMPETITIONS! I am sure to beat your arse (ARSE!) anyway … so don’t even start. *grin* I have been (overly) focusing my attention on a guy who has a girlfriend … and that was insanity as far as getting sex. The more time I spent with him the more I liked him … and the more I knew that I would not be able to go any further than friends. SO … I am trying to stay away from him.
There is a cute guy in the Calypso Band, who has been making some interesting moves – hmm? Mebbe?? I am just not sure that is what I want to do anymore?  Eeek!! I cannot believe I just wrote that. 
Perhaps I have some sort of illness? … I am obviously not thinking straight if I don’t really want to shag every cute guy I see. Some might say I am in LOVE … but they would be INSANE!! It is more likely just the stars not aligning in the right way eh??
 Love Count Pipularrrr

And he replied:
Pip! … don’t question how you feel about someone or analyse why you aren’t shagging everything in sight. You’re fine! Every so often someone comes into our life that makes us evaluate what we really want. 
It is happening to me right now – I really like this girl but we are on different paths, so that’s cool. I wish the stars were aligned perfectly with everyone I shag but it just ain’t gonna happen! 
I think that it’s a beautiful thing about travelling and meeting new people and discovering new soul mates, friends and lovers. Just keep having fun! Love you too!! – N

I felt like I went through a transformation from naïve small-town girl to woman of the world in six years. My relationship experiences prior to the ships were not astounding. They were normal, everyday, regular and loving relationships. But I realised that I was being a version of myself that everyone around me wanted me to be. I was being a good daughter. I was a great student. I was a reliable employee. I was a caring and predictable girlfriend. 

On the ships I was allowed to explore new possibilities for myself. Every six-month contract I could re-invent myself. Be a whole new version of me. I could be crazy, conservative, mysterious, spiritual, adventurous … whatever I felt like trying. It was completely freeing. But I do remember wondering after all the relationships with men who were similar to me and men who were nothing like me – none of them worked out long term. It made me consider the question of who was the right guy for me? 

CLICK HERE to order your copy of the book. Available world-wide. 

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