Working at Sea: How to Cope with Homesickness and Seasickness


Working at sea is something that appeals to many of us at some point or another. You might have pictured yourself sailing the seven seas as a child playing pirate games with your friends or imagining yourself as the next great adventurer.

You might have wondered if a cruise liner was the right place to launch your career as an entertainer. On the other side of things, you might have longed to get away after a tough period at home. What is more appealing to someone that wants to get away from it all that to set sail?

A lot of us grew out of or moved on from these desires. The idea of being a famous pirate like Captain Jack Sparrow is undoubtedly a dream that most of us outgrow. But, that doesn’t mean that a career at sea isn’t still appealing to some.

You can work at sea in many different professions. You could be a captain of a large passenger ship or naval fleet. You should serve in the military, or work as a deep-sea fisherman.

Other careers at sea include working on an oil rig, many varied careers working on a cruise ship, sailor, deckhand or officer, tactical positions, navigators, or you could work in conservation, deep-sea piping and welding, and many other things. There are many jobs at sea, many of them, high paid and widely respected.

But, while a career at sea might seem worthwhile, both financially and in terms of job satisfaction, it’s not all positive. In fact, for many, there are two big drawbacks. Homesickness and seasickness. Which is frankly, a little too much sick for anyone to handle. So, let’s take a look at some of the ways to avoid both.


Prepare for Sickness

A mistake many people make is assuming that they won’t get seasick because they don’t travel sick, and they’ve been to sea before without any ill effects.

But, there’s a big difference between a short trip on a ferry, or even a two-week cruise and living on a boat or ship most of the time. Even those that have completed training often find that when they start work in real conditions and unpredictable weather patterns, their steady stomachs fail them.

Even if you have never been travel sick in your life, and have no reason to think that you might be now, take your time to learn more about travel sickness treatments before you embark on a career at sea.

Especially if you will be spending time on a smaller ship or boat. On which you’ll feel the movements of the sea much more than you would on a larger cruise ship.



To an extent, you might get used to things, and your seasickness might pass on its own in time. Children that haven’t been in cars very much might find that they feel travel sick on school trips or other occasions when they have to be on the road.

But, if their parents bought a car and started driving them around more often, most would find that their sickness decreased in time, even if it never fully went away.

But, that doesn’t mean that you have to put up with sickness while it lasts. There are plenty of anti-sickness tablets and even patches that can reduce or even prevent symptoms.



Try Natural Remedies

Medication isn’t the only way to deal with seasickness. In fact, medication might not always work on its own. So, whether your medicine fails you, you are unable to get any, or your symptoms are mild enough to deal with without it, you might want to look for alternative solutions.

Dry, bland foods like plain toast and crackers can be an ideal lining for your stomach. Some people find drinking milk, or ginger beer also helps. Avoid intense flavors, sweet and sour flavors, and fizzy or acidic drinks.

You might find that getting outside for some fresh air helps, but some people find this makes them feel worse. Try to avoid screens and reading when you feel sickness coming on.

You can also buy pressure bands for your wrists, which are meant to stimulate pressure points and reduce sickness. The best thing to do is to try things out to find what works for you.


Keep in Touch

Most people that work at sea do so on long contracts. You could be away from home for months, or even years at a time. This is why many people find the homesickness harder to handle than physical sickness.

You might not have time to check in or call as often as you want to. But, you can still keep in touch. If something happens and you are injured and unable to work contact Hofmann Law Firm’ accident attorneys and try to get into a routine of phoning and emailing home regularly.


Take Home Comforts

While you are working at sea, your room or cabin isn’t likely to be substantial. You might even share with other crew members and have almost no privacy.

This means that you won’t be able to take everything that you might like to. You are going to have to pack light. But, it’s still a good idea to take a few things from home that help you to feel settled and at ease. Your favorite books, some photographs and even your pillowcase from home can be good things to include.


Meet People

Homesickness is often worse in the first few days and weeks when everything is new. During this time, you might simply do your job and try to catch up on some rest. It’s lonely, and you will find yourself missing home a lot more. Your sickness will be worse too unless you take your mind off it.

So, get out there and meet people. Remember, you are all in the same situation, and the social side of life at sea can be wonderful You’ll create firm bonds quickly, you’ll still think of home, but it won’t make you sad, and you won’t have the time to feel nauseous.

What are you doing to cope with homesickness and seasickness?

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