Travel Like an Architect: Don’t be afraid to expand plans

By Lynn and Rob Belles

When you Travel Like an Architect you will respect those who have less and work more for it by treating them well.

In March Rob and I attended a business seminar “Smart Success” in Orange County, California. The seminar was held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. When you travel like an architect you always make the most of your time at a destination so as long as we had flown to the west coast, we might as well book a cruise.

The cruise we picked was the only cruise leaving southern California on the Monday following our seminar. A four night Carnival (during Spring Break), on the Inspiration. We had the best time in years partying and dancing with college students. The nightclubs on the ship were packed every night – a drastic comparison to the Holland America Cruise we had been on in February.

Having been on a Holland America line ship so recently – we noticed the name tag on our room steward right away. His name was Noordam, the name of a Holland America vessel. We quickly joked, “Hey – you’re on the wrong ship!” Noordam was quick to explain with a proud smile that his father had been working on the MS Noordam the day he was born, so he was named in honor of his father’s job. How cool is that? The next time you complain about your service on the ship or think about belittling these people for any reason – please remember their sacrifice. They spend months of their lives away from their homes and families serving others for the basic paycheck that they receive, because the opportunity is so much greater than any in their home place. They proudly serve you – sending their money home to wives and children for basic every day needs in places all over the globe where life just isn’t that easy. Please think about this and imagine how lonely or home sick some may be – or in some cases worried about a loved one who is not as fortunate as you. Treat them with respect – be gracious & tip them well. Their families depend on you.

Noordam told us that he is planning to marry next spring. His wife to be is waiting for him in the Philippines. He will return to his home land between contracts, after which he will continue to work on a ship, like his father. With a smile he said, “I just hope that I am not working on the Carnival Ecstasy on the day that a daughter is born!” Noordam does a fine job with a smile on his face every day. The ship he works on is turned over every 4/3 days each week. That is a boatload of work for all of the staff – particularly the room stewards. I asked Noordam if he would pose for a photo with me – he asked excitedly, “Will I be on Facebook?” Check out our blog to see the picture book-a-cruise.info/have-you-met-noordam.

We always ask the people who serve us about their families and homelands. They are always happy to share their story. Might I encourage you to do the same? Try it once – it will make you feel very fortunate. And you might even get better service for doing so.

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