An interview with Superyacht Nanny Arielle Maia
• Where do you come from? Annapolis, MD, USA
• What do you do in your spare time? I love anything that keeps me active. Lately I’ve gotten really into boxing since we’ve had a few months on land and I joined a recreational league softball team as well which has been a blast.
• What makes you laugh? Everything. I can find something funny in almost everything but in particular, when you get my best friends and I together, we turn anything into comedy.
• What would you like to be doing five years from now?
I’d love to be in the travel/hospitality industry in some capacity still. I’ve given some thought lately to hotel management work so I think I’d love to be doing something like that.
• Where would be your favourite holiday destination and why? That’s a hard one. I’ve always wanted to see the islands in Greece and the pyramids in Egypt but everywhere I’ve been in Europe makes my heart happy so I’d always go back there in a heartbeat. Can’t beat good bread and cheese with a view.
• Where do like to shop?
My favorite stores are Zara, Aritzia and Madewell/J.crew but I probably spend a majority of my money at funky health food stores because I love trying new health foods and trends.
• What inspires you?
This one is really hard but I would probably say traveling. Every time I find myself in a new place I feel invigorated. I get a high from new sights and experiences and it makes me look at the world with new eyes every time. I wish more people felt that way; I think it would do a lot of good for society as a whole and would help to alleviate many of the misconceptions and conflict around the world.
• How long have you worked in the super yacht industry?
I got my STCW in fall 2010 but I didn’t start officially working until a year later, so three years now.
• What are your biggest accomplishments?
Finishing university and discovering my independence.
• Can you work under pressure?
I think I work better under pressure. I love to be busy and I am usually good at compartmentalizing and keeping a level head so that helps.
• What is the most difficult situation you have faced?
Having to accept my own flaws and limitations. This kind of covers a lot but sometimes we forget that we are human and have different strengths and weaknesses and instead of berating ourselves for weaknesses, we should work to promote our strengths. Without delving too far into it, learning to love myself for who and what I am was a big challenge for many years.
• What are your pet hates?
I can’t stand passive aggression.
• Tell me about the last time you felt anger on the job?
I’m not really one to get angry but I think a lot of people can relate to the “shipyarditis” that incurs during a yard period. It can feel stifling to be stuck in one place and it’s definitely no fun when it stretches out longer than originally estimated so you have to actively try and make the best of it so as not to turn into a miserable person.
• What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love our sense of family. We have a small crew (only 6 of us onboard, including the Captain’s son) and we’ve all been onboard since the yacht was launched. It’s nice to have that when you are so far removed from your actual family and friends back home. Obviously, the travel is pretty great too.
• Can you recommend a service or a product that may be helpful to Super yacht Stewardesses?
To be perfectly honest, I’m having a hard time wracking my brain since the boat has been in the shipyard for months now and I’ve been living apart from it but all I can think of is the distinct smell of the tea tree oil cleaner our stewardess uses periodically to clean the vents. It’s usually extremely potent but now the idea of it is making me kind of nostalgic for it…
• If there is just one piece of advice that you could give to our fellow stewardesses/nanny’s, what would it be?
Take each day one at a time but always be prepared. There’s no sense in stressing over what is or what is not to come so all you can do is give your best every day and to go to sleep knowing that fact.
Introducing: Little Mermaid at Sea
• Can you please tell us about Little Mermaid At Sea?
Little Mermaid At Sea actually was born over farewell dinner with a couple of my best friends. It was meant to be a simple blog to keep friends and family at home in touch with what was going on in my life onboard a private yacht and the ensuing travels but it quickly evolved into a much bigger endeavor after receiving a lot of outside interest. Now I write about almost anything relating to life onboard, travel related topics, and of course, all the intricacies of being a nanny onboard a private yacht.
• When did you develop a passion for travel?
My dad was in the US Navy and we were stationed in Naples, Italy for the first few years of my early childhood and ever since then, I’ve always been saving up for some upcoming trip.
• What type of reading do you do on a daily basis?
I have a few blogs I keep up with (mostly travel related) but I also try to get a bit of news and keep up with recent events since sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the yacht bubble. Other than that, I’ve been reading a few biographies and autobiographies lately. I find people and all their interpretations and experiences relating to life so fascinating.
• If you could go back and change something related to your education (or your life as a student), what would you change; or what would you do differently?
I always planned to study abroad in France and due to some extenuating circumstances, it wasn’t a possibility. I wish there was some way I could have made that happen, but I still studied french all through university and I plan on living there at some point to study at La Sorbonne.
• What is the strangest thing that you have seen in your travels?
Every now and then I write an installment on the blog titled “Fun Fashion Friday” and I cover strange or noteworthy fashion trends I find around the world. The one that’s gotten the most attention, which happens to be the one that I found most strange, was about the prevalence of couples wearing matching outfits in many Asian countries. In fact, I even saw a couple wearing a matching swimsuit set while I was in Hawaii. I couldn’t believe they were actually sold in stores.
• Finally, if you could offer just one “travel tip” what would it be and why?
Don’t over plan. Some of my best memories and experiences have come from simply wandering around a place and seeing where the day takes me. You never know what hidden gems you’ll find when you stray away from the guidebooks!