How I Can Afford To Travel!

My most REVEALING post to date! If you've been wondering how the hell I've been able to last traveling this long, well here it is! All secrets are out in the open! This post tells you how I do it, and how YOU can do it too!

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Working On A Cruise Ship

I somehow managed to get myself a job working at a Cruise Ship. This post is an inside look on what it's really like to live and work below deck. You never know... You might be enticed to work for one too, and travel the whole world like me! Read on to find out more...

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Scotland: My Favorite Country In The World

I've been to many places in several different continents, and have seen spectacular beauty... But every time I visit Scotland, every other country pales in comparison. Read this post to find out why at this point, Scotland was and still is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place on Earth...

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On Finding My Bliss In Italy

When you go on big trips like this, however cheesy it sounds, you always do end up 'finding yourself'. And there are moments... difinitive moments when you achieve clarity, contentment, and pure happiness. This all happened to me in Italy. Read my most soulful post to date, inspired by the full moon in Italia...

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On Being Featured In A Documentary

I somehow managed to get myself featured in an upcoming documentary about "Voluntourism". This may be the big break I've been waiting for! The trailer is out - and I'm in it! It looks so good, I'm so excited! See for yourself... watch it here!

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An Epiphany At Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is one of my favorite places in Italy. We hiked 5 villages in one day, and it was breathtaking! But something completely unexpected happened on the hike... An encounter with a complete stranger made me realize possibly one of the most important things I need to do with my life...

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My Ayahuasca Experience

Ayahuasca, is by far, the most INTENSE thing I have ever experienced in my life. I died and was reborn. It is both horrific and beautiful at the same time... I can't explain it in a few words. You HAVE to read my story to believe... I promise it will be worth your while...

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hawaiian Volcanoes And Coastlines

One of the great things about working on my cruise ship is that even if I am frequently unable to get off the ship as often as I would like, there are certain things I could still consider a "Hawaiian Experience" without having to step foot outside the vessel.

Well - 2 things in particular.

1. The Currently Erupting Kilauea Volcano in the Big Island

I believe the term they used to describe the activity was -  "gurgling lava"... which is a pretty cool visual of what is currently going on over there!

So - this active volcano, Kilauea, has been literally ON FIRE for the past couple months. Our ship docks at the Big Island on the Hilo side on Tuesdays, then over to the Kona side on Wednesdays. On Tuesday evenings as we make the sail from Hilo to Kona, we swing by the area where the Volcano is. See image below...

As we get closer to this hot mess, the ship turns out all our external lights to give us a better visual of the volcano.

One Tuesday night, I made the effort to stay up until 9:45pm (I know... wild, right?) to see this visual spectacle. I was told that the best view of it is from the bow of the ship (read: the area of the ship where Rose and Jack did the "I'm the King of the World" bit), and so I sashayed my way all the way forward and braced myself.

This photo was taken by Carley, our photo manager... and she used her telescope-like lens to be able to capture these images. My phone, unfortunately does not have the shooting power to match these. I honestly didn't even bring my phone. I went up there purely for the experience.

This photo was taken by another one of our photographers, Sierra Schmidt :)

OK - seeing the erupting volcano from the ship was pretty cool. Yeah, it's an experience for the books, not many of us can say we've approached an erupting volcano from the ocean in a powerful vessel... But that evening, what made an impression on me wasn't the volcano - but the stars.

There was hardly any light pollution because the ships lights were out, and so I basically saw a night scattered with a billion stars, as close as I thought I could ever get to them.

It was beautiful...

I'm not gonna lie... I had an infinite moment... Maybe shed a tear or two.

I wish I had a photo to share... But it basically looked like this:

2. The View of the Na Pali Coastline

On Friday afternoons at 5:30pm, as our ship returns to Honolulu from the island of Kauai, we swing by an area where we could get a full view of the Na Pali Coastline. 

The Na Pali Coast is a 15 mile stretch of rugged coastline, most of which is inaccessible due to the cliffs that drop straight down to the ocean... The best way to view it is - you guessed it! From my ship! Yeah, you can hike parts of it... But you won't be able to get spectacular photos like these... which I actually took from my phone!

Isn't it beauuuutiful?

Jurassic Park and World and Pirates of the Caribbean used this beauty in some of their scenes... Oooh and King Kong, too...
It may just look like a random landscape, but it's really *really* beautiful. You only get this view from a ship, and we are really lucky to be experiencing this every Friday!

It was a still day. Hardly any wind.
I look like I've been photoshopped

So that's 2 purely Hawaiian things we get to experience on our ship without having to get off at all! Works out great for Lazy Luna's like me :) 

Whale season is coming up soon. Whale watching from the ship doesn't sound too bad either...

Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Skydiving in Kauai

This is basically a #BucketList post, wherein I share one of the items that I have ticked off of my own list.

Sky Diving is on 90% of the world's population's Bucket List. Not everyone gets to tick it off, though. I'm very glad I did.

Fair Warning: Some photos may be disturbing. Sky diving, which makes you travel a million or so miles an hour, make your skin floppy and flabby, mostly on the face, and they make for very RAW and RIVETING photos.


My ship goes to the island of Kauai every Thursday and Friday. They call this the Honeymoon Island... Others say it's the Adventure Island.

Well, I call it, Grocery Day! Because we've got Kmart and Walmart shuttles waiting for us outside our ship, that run every 15 to 20 minutes! Yippee!

Anyway... Michelle (my boss) and I, booked ourselves to go skydiving at Sky Dive Kauai to celebrate our birthdays. My birthday was in March, hers was in May, we figured that was as good a time as any to do a joint birthday celebration jump! It doesn't make sense, but hey... We went out there and did something!


You seriously do. When you get there, you have to sign a waiver that literally says - "You could be killed"... AND sign a statement that says, "I am voluntarily choosing to risk my life."

Here is proof.

But... We all die in the end, anyway. And I figured... if I died jumping out of a plane, *flying*, like I've always dreamed of doing since I was a child, it wouldn't be too bad.

And so we got ourselves strapped and ready to go!


This was our plane.

It looked like it was severely injured and bandaged.

Not really sure how I felt upon laying my eyes on that.

Luckily, the instructors were kidding... And directed us to an equally small - but better looking plane.

This one looked healthier.

So basically, all four of us (Michelle and both our instructors) were going to squeeze into that little thing --- WHICH DID NOT HAVE A DOOR, I'd like to add... and the pilot was gonna take us up, give us a little areal view of Kauai, and then just dump us out! Simple!


There were no chairs, so we were all just seated nice and snug on the floor.

Michelle was having a blast and was looking very cozy with her man.

While I... Was not.

I was already screaming, and we hadn't even took off yet.

We went up and the pilot sort of took his time hovering around Kauai to give us a really nice view of the island from above. It's really pretty... But to be honest, I was NOT digging the whole foreplay thing.

I did mention that the plane did not have a door, right? So I was growing anxious of what was about to come, and delaying the inevitable was killing me. I was getting more and more nervous, I could NOT enjoy the view, no matter how gorgeous the day was... I kept thinking about the jump, and having to jump out, and the possibility of plummeting down to my inevitable death.

Deep breaths.

"Can we just jump??" I yelled to my instructor.

"Whaaat?" he yelled back.

"Let's just GO! Let's get it over with!" I screamed.

He laughed, and said, "OK! Almost there!"

The pilot took us above the clouds, and got ready, as WE got ready.

I volunteered early on to jump first. Not because of bravery... but because I knew I was going to get even MORE anxious or nervous if I were to witness Michelle jump out of the plane first, and then wait for her to get to a certain height before I could jump out.

No way. I'd rather get it over with first. I don't do very well with anticipation, and I am not a very patient woman.


We started to position ourselves by the (nonexistent) door.

You will notice that I am leaning my head up against my instructor's shoulder.

No - I wasn't trying to be cute.

I could NOT look Down

NOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME. I couldn't look down. If I could have jumped out lying face up like a pancake, I would have. I am not afraid of heights but it's the ANTICIPATION. I was VERY nervous, and if I looked down, I would have had thoughts of backing out - and it was out of the question. So I just kept my head up, and let my instructor count off!

As soon as he said, "READY??"
I started screaming...

3...(Aaah) 2... (AAAAAH) 



Jumping off the plane!

And we were falling.


So - one of the fears that I had about sky diving (apart from the possibility of my own demise) is the feeling that you get in your navel... You know what I'm talking about? The involuntary jolt that you feel when you fall very quickly... You feel it on those vertical drop rides in carnivals... or when there is bad turbulence on the plane...

I hate that.

It's one of the most icky feelings in the world and it makes me want to either throw up or poop. But I was prepared for it because I figured it was part of the whole experience...

Or so I thought.

I am very happy to announce that you, in fact, do NOT get that gross navel jolt feeling. Not at all.

On the 15 seconds or so of free fall - all you feel is....


Flying in Kauai!

Floppy Skin Euporia.

It is, what I imagine, SUPERMAN feels when he flies. Pure and utter bliss.
I was still screaming - but not out of fear anymore... It was exhilaration and joy. 

So, you know that scene in Superman... when he takes Lois Lane up to fly with him for the first time, and the song, "Can You Read My Mind" plays? Well.... THIS.

I mean, you only free fall for about 10 - 15 seconds (possibly even less)... but those moments are what you remember, because it's what renders the most intense feelings of happiness.

It is fleeting... but totally, TOTALLY worth it. 


Before I knew it - he pulled the parachute, and BEUFFFFF!
It was like we were suspended in time and space, and we lost gravity. 

I felt weightless for about half a minute, my senses still confounded from the free fall... 
And then it was just - nice.

Really quiet and peaceful.


I think I started screaming again after a minute, just because my emotions were so high...

But it was great to be just floating up there...

My instructor let me drive for a minute to let me feel what it's like to take control of the chute... It was great - but it takes a little getting used to.

We were up there for a while, just enjoying the nice wind and the view, goofing around with the GoPro...
Skydiving Parachute Goofing Off

And then we made our descent.

My instructor and I had a PERFECT landing, planting all four feet firmly on the ground... That is, before my knees buckled from the relief of BEING ALIVE!!!!

You will literally scream - "I'm Alive! I'm Alive" after going through all that. 

Honestly, the wave of relief that swept over me made me realize that I really DID think that there was a huge possibility of me dying! 


I had a little pensive moment... To think about life and all that...


And then I got over it, and posed in front of my parachute.

Michelle and I ran in for a big hug when we were both on the ground, congratulating each other for not dying!

It was AH-MAY-ZING!!! And honestly - I cannot wait to do it again!

The worst part is letting go --- as it always is, in life.

Really - it's the jump. Or the idea of jumping out of the plane.

Once you get over that little hurdle - everything is illuminated... Everything that you experience from then on is just beauty... and madness... and euphoria... and love.

There is no pain. Only fun. I promise!

One final selfie with my instructor, and back to the ship we went.

It was a great day. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

On Traveling Through Air, Land and Sea

Almost 2 years since the last time I wrote. I don't know what to say, as I am a little ashamed of this prolonged absence.

All I could offer as an excuse is that - life happened.
Too cliche'? It doesn't make it any less true though!!!
Friends, I urge you not to dwell on the past and move past this. The past is in the past, and so let us focus on what lies ahead! (See what I did there?)
I am sorry for disappearing... Really... But I am here now. I missed you guys! Besides, I refuse for my post about getting into the cruising industry be the last thing that anyone ever remembers about me... because there truly is a lot more to say... A mountain of stories yet to be told... And I am not done. At least not yet. :)


I am writing this in the middle of the forest in Maryland, at a training center for my ship. Yes, I still currently work for a cruise ship, same position as a trainer, but a different ship with a different itinerary. After a brief stint in the Caribbean, I was assigned to our American ship that is primarily based in Hawaii!


Yes – I have been a Hawaiian for more than a year now. It works pretty well though because I totally rock the Hawaiian look. People think I’m local… And my ukulele? I mean come on. It’s like the mother ship called me home.

I would like to say that all I do is surf on the beach and jam on my uke with the locals all day, grazing around in my grass skirt with flowers in my hair…
Alas… the only thing that is true about that statement are the flowers in my hair. 

BOOM. Tangled, anyone?
Work is still work, and although I enjoy seeing Hawaii whenever I get the chance, I do still work long hours inside the ship.

Every now and then, I do allow myself the pleasure of hanging out with my turtle friends... I mean, come on. How can I not?

I am in Maryland now, assigned temporarily to our training facility that feeds the ship new crew members.  I’m back on the ship in September.


Truly, the best part about my job is the vacation. When I was moved to the Hawaii ship, my contract changed. I now work on a 4:2 rotation… which means 4 months of work, 2 months of vacation – year round. It’s really hard to beat that, don’t you think?

And during my 2 month vacation  (since the last time I wrote, there have been three vacays)  I did travel quite a bit. Of course I did.

I went back to Europe

Hola, Sevilla!

Explored bits of Eastern Europe

That is the glorious landscape of Sarajevo
At one point, I went back to the Philippines
Lalalaaaa....Palawan you're so beautifuuuul...

And Europe Again...


So I’m happy to say that travel is still a very significant part of my life. I think it always will be... just not the same way it has been while I was backpacking.


Truthfully, one of the reasons why I started writing again is because in the past few months, I've started reading my old posts. It's weird because it almost felt like I was reading about the adventures of another person. Isn't that wild? I almost didn't recognize myself. It was only then that I truly got what other people had been telling me all this time... That I was brave. Maaaaan, I had balls of steel!

I mean... my road trip through the North Island of New Zealand where I went through MORDOR was terrifying. Hitchhiking in Israel was pretty ballsy. Getting robbed in Buenos Aires was AGGGGHHH - annoying! And lets not forget, my otherworldly AYAHUASCA ceremony experience that killed me and brought me back to life. That's not even half of the stuff I did.

Reading about all of that was so much fun. I laughed out loud for the majority of them, maybe shed a tear or two for some... But mostly it made me reflect on how much what I did changed me. Going through all of that really and truly changed who I am. I am no longer the same person I was before I started all this.

Yeah, putting myself out there and living through those experiences does sound brave. But when I think about it and remember how I felt during those moments that required me to summon all the courage I had in me -- I realize that as humans, you really just do what you have to do to make the most out of the situations you find yourself in.
It's not necessarily bravery... I think it's just survival. 

No matter how big the fear - most of the time you have no choice but to plow through and keep going. Because otherwise... what's the point? That'st just life, isn't it? If you need to sleep in a basement full of cardboard boxes and dog food for the night to save some cash, or hitchhike instead of paying an exorbitant amount of money on a cab, or scrub toilets and make beds if it meant having a roof over your head and free food for a few weeks ---- You do it. You survive. Not because you want to... but because you have to.

This was my first Couchsurfing Experience. It looks bad but I met the BEST people!

It was my choice to put myself in those situations, and I knew those kinds of experiences were going to be inevitable because I had a small budget. I couldn't afford to be luxurious or picky. However what I didn't expect was how much I was going to gain, as a person, by going through all that. And I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Now - the question is... Would I do all of that again? Would I willfully put myself in those situations once more?

Ah... the answer is not so simple. Hahaha


Reading about the things that I did made me nostalgic. I do miss the glorious RTW Backpacking days of yore. But as I get older - and as I find myself in a completely different personal situation than the past --- I realize that my preferences have changed.

Let me try to explain further.

Working for the cruise ship has afforded me the opportunity to work, earn money, and still keep traveling. I work for 4 months, and travel for 2 months. Remember when I gave up my worldly possessions? My car, my apartment, my stuff... Well, I still don't have any of that back... Still no bills to pay. And so I guess you can say - I work to travel! (Now isn't that just the dream??? Although my father would argue otherwise. Hehe)

Which means that when I do travel - I have a little bit more money at my disposal to NOT stay in a cardboard box, so to speak. And nowadays - I don't really travel by myself anymore (hint hint)... And so instead of staying at hostels, I find myself paying just a tiny bit more, to book accommodations at Airbnb... which is private, but still cheaper than staying at a hotel. 

This is one of my accommodations at AirBnB. Not too shabby, eh? :)

Because of skimping on basically everything when I did the RTW trip, having a little bit more cash now has allowed me to splurge JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE, on things like food, excursions here and there, or touristy things. And truthfully, when you're traveling with someone, those kinds of things are fun when experienced together. 

So now,  I am making brand new travel experiences! And I appreciate them as much as I did my old experiences... they are just different.

I am STILL cheap as hell though, just so you know. It's just now - I'm cheap by choice, not by default. If that makes sense.


Now? I keep going. I'm going to do this until my body and mind and soul allows me to. I am still traveling. I am still in a pretty convenient situation where I can keep the lifestyle that I have chosen. I work, and I travel. I'm still in a position that is quite different from the norm - and for that, I am grateful. 

When the day comes that I go back "on land", I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing. Life is continually evolving... Things change so constantly, that as human beings, we just do what we can to adapt and keep up with whatever is thrown at us.

But for now, Earth2eartha's story isn't over.  The Round The World Solo Traveling chapter may have come to an end  - but another chapter has been written. All I need to do now is tell it.

Thanks for sticking around... :)