My first Carnival cruise was on the inaugural Permission to Hustle Retreat at Sea. It brought together 40 women entrepreneurs for five days of learning and fun and was actually my first cruise, ever! Thanks to Carnival Cruise Line for providing a discounted rate to attend this conference.
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Why Did I Never Cruise Before?
I'm going to start at the beginning if you don't mind. You see, for as long as I can remember, my family and friends have begged me to go on a cruise, and to no avail, my answer was always a resounding “no.” The movies that scarred me forever were Jaws and Titanic; solidifying my thoughts to “Boats sink and sharks eat you.” There also seemed to be news of poor folks stranded in their rooms due to breakout illnesses, so I just assumed as a person who easily succumbs to motion sickness, if sinking, sharks or virus didn't get me, seasickness would surely be reason number 254 why I would never go on a cruise.
The Invitation That Changed Everything
So, what was it that changed my mind to forego all fears and take my first Carnival cruise, ever? That would be the amazing ladies behind the Facebook group Permission to Hustle. I am part of a small Mastermind group led by Audrey & Vera and when they first mentioned they were thinking of doing a retreat at sea, I was on board; no pun intended here. It was shared that this event was going to remain small, full of women entrepreneurs comprising of both bloggers/influencers and small business owners seeking to support peers while furthering goals for success. I have much respect for these women, their daily hustle, and willingness to openly share their successes and failures to help others.
Making Friends in the Middle of the Ocean
One thing that probably scares me more than sharks (well, maybe not more than sharks) is being in a scenario where I don't know anyone. When looking at the list of attendees, I realized I only knew maybe a handful of ladies, a few others I've only known online, and the rest were complete strangers. I've never even heard of their blogs or businesses. I am friendly, but I am also an introvert/extrovert, so making small talk is something that always makes me feel a bit awkward. I knew that in order to expand my circle of friends, I would need to step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. The amazing part of this retreat, was learning everyone else was there to do the same, so conversation was easy and relaxed, welcoming and open.
You know that saying “Your vibe attracts your tribe?” Well, my hesitations of feeling awkward were for naught because of every single woman at this retreat. Everyone was truly amazing and after so many heartfelt conversations made me realize I need more women friends in my life.
My First Carnival Cruise Helped Me Grow
My first Carnival cruise was exactly what I needed and when I needed it. I learned so much from the amazing speakers about affiliate marketing, podcasting, Pinterest, keywords…and so much more. Nuggets of information shared freely. I especially learned so much through an open-forum discussion we all had one afternoon and side chats over lunch or a cup of coffee that has kept my head buzzing ever since.
There really has been no way for me to find the exact words to convey how much this entire experience has meant to me. I've tried to find them, however, they continue to elude me. My heart was searching for those who would see, hear, laugh, encourage, and be kind with no other agenda or expectations. This Permission to Hustle trip was nothing short of magic.
I hope to return to a future Permission to Hustle retreat. If Audrey and Vera can get me on my first cruise, I would pretty much go anywhere to participate in this amazing event!
Have you ever gone on a 5-day cruise for a conference? Where did you go?