Friday, May 30, 2008

on the road again

some of my readers (it feels so good to say that phrase, i must admit) have been asking why i'm traveling all of the time. it's not just wanderlust.

part of my travels are because i live in denmark but work in norway. that means an almost weekly trip to oslo. this month, i didn't spend as much time in oslo because i attended a conference in singapore. i used the opportunity to go to manila at the same time and touch base with all of my business contacts from my previous job.

i work in the shipping industry. until the end of last year, i worked for the world's largest container shipping company, with responsiblity for ensuring that the officers and crew sailing all those giant ships had the right training according to international and company requirements. you should have seen my travel calendar then! last year i was in the philippines 5 times, singapore twice, cape town once, romania, london (frequently), newcastle, odessa, turku, i could go on...this in addition to holiday travels with my family, where we visited ten european countries by taking the train down through europe to the balkans, finally ending up in istanbul.

i'm still in the shipping industry, but instead of being responsible for training of seafarers in only one company, i am working on it from an industry perspective--being able to have a much wider effect. that, i love. but, it does mean that i'm traveling. because shipping is a global industry.

these days, i'm listening to the stories of those who chose a career at sea and i'm writing articles with the goal of raising the profile of the profession. there is a critical shortage of seafarers in the world and a whole lot of ships being built at yards around the world. people aren't choosing sailing as a career anymore, but yet 90% of all goods in circulation are at one point or another shipped via sea. so if there's no one to sail those ships, how are we going to get our stuff (including those precious petroleum products to which we are so addicted)? these are the dilemmas i'm working on. there isn't an easy answer, but i do really love asking the questions and exploring the topic through conversations and through writing. and i simply adore hearing the officers' stories. they simply have to be some of the best storytellers on the planet--their stories and timing honed to perfection from many retellings. it's work that makes me very happy.

so, that's in a nutshell, why i'm always writing blog postings from an airport lounge somewhere.


Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

I've got so much reading from you to catch up on- hardly time for 'Wind-up Bird Chronicle' :O
Also, I have nominated you for a little award that is circulating the blogosphere ;)

julochka said...

The (as Texican addresses you :-) )--Thank you so much for the nomination!! That news really made my day!

And now I'm off to Sweden. But just for the evening. :-)

polona said...

here from theelementary and i must say i have thoroughly enjoyed browsing through your blog :)

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

I love a band called Gogol Bordello. They have one song which I have had in my head for four days now. Spouse has too. I can't get it out of my head.
It's called 'Wanderlust King.'
:| It was almost gone, almost faded and then I read the first line of your post.
Sigh. But your eloquent explanation of why you do what you do and why you go where you go has nearly evaporated it from my mind.
"Cause I'm the wanderlust king..."
:| I Guess not.

Jaime said...


I go down to the beach on a very regular basis and there is always a huge barge sailing through. I watch the pilot boat leave Victoria and travel out to the barge to drop off a person who is qualified to navigate the barge through these island dense waters. I always thought that would be such a cool job...maybe boring at times, but an interesting way to see many parts of the world.

julochka said...

polona--thank you for stopping by, i can see that we both have nominations for the blog award from The Elementary--I'll definitely stop by and check yours out as well!

T.E.--i must limewire Gogol Bordello--even just the name sounds interesting!

Jaime--pilots have an important job in busy waters, but they're stealing all of the Chief Officers--at least in Denmark! :-) i'll have to write about my experience of the pilots in the Suez canal...thank you for reminding me of that!