The World is my Office – Ed

Working as a superyacht engineer

Ed is a good friend of mine and one of the people who actually inspired me to up-and-leave the conventions of a UK office-job lifestyle and travel the world. Watching him leave the safety net of Cambridge and jump head first into the unknown showed me that change is possible. After a year of getting sick of looking at his ridiculously inspiring Instagram photos, I finally plucked up the courage to quit my job and move abroad (and now can give him a good run for his money in Instagram wars…) so I’m excited to share his experiences in the latest ‘The World is my Office’ interview:

Ed, tell us a bit about yourself…

After graduating university and doing the full-time, adult job thing, I decided to sell all my belongings, quit my conventional job and train to become a superyacht engineer.

Working abroad as a yacht engineer

How did you get into your line of work?

My previous company were going bust and I needed to find a new job. A friend of mine guided me through all that I needed to do in order to qualify for a job on a large yacht. He also gave me the confidence that I could actually do it, as otherwise I don’t think I would have taken the plunge, sold all my belongings and use that capital to do all the courses I needed to do.

How often do you travel with work, and where do you tend to go?

I live aboard a Superyacht, or Megayacht, or Gym Palace, whatever you want to call it, so I’m constantly travelling whilst working. I’ve just switched boats and am currently crossing the Atlantic from Barcelona to Florida, but prior to that we cruised the Med extensively and went to the Maldives in the winter.

Working abroad as a yacht engineer

What does a normal working week look like for you?

Off charter, it’s 8am-5pm maintaining all systems on the boat. There tends to be too much work so its normal to skip weekends and work later than that. People think that engineer means “man what fix engine” but in reality I work on a floating hotel and the engines play an important but small role in the running of it. Think water, electricity, waste, air conditioning, refrigeration, internet, peoples TV’s, satellites etc. Then all the shit that people break. Which they do, all the time.

What’s your favourite part of what you do?

The variation of it all. Although, funnily enough, I like working on engines mostly.

Working abroad as a yacht engineer

What are the lower points of your job which people don’t necessarily see or realise?

It’s like BIG BROTHER on a boat. 20 odd people with the kind of characters that have led to them working offshore. It’s bitchy, there are bullies, you have no freedom on most things like when to wake up, when to eat, what to eat, where you go.

Where in the world is “home”, and what do you miss the most when you’re away from it?

Hertfordshire, UK. But London is where all my mates are. I miss pub food, having pets, bumping into kind faces, getting mid-week drunk, driving my car and going to gigs.

Most of all I miss music festivals and get REAL jealous when I see all my friends pics from them.

Where’s the best place your job has taken you?

Barcelona. And I hated the Maldives. Say what?! Yep.

Working abroad as a yacht engineer(Yep, looks terrible…)


What’s the most unexpected thing that’s happened to you whilst travelling with work?

Being asked to scuba dive under the boat mid-atlantic to free a fishing net from the props. That’s a tick off the bucket list right there.

What advice would you give someone wanting to follow a similar career?

Do it now while you’re young and single. Don’t be afraid. Stop being a pussy. Stop working at a desk. Home doesn’t change. Do something with your life.

Working abroad as a yacht engineer

If you were stranded on a desert island, what 5 things would you have in your survival pack?

Solar-powered fridge (to chill dem coconuts)

Minirig soundsystem with ipod and solar charger (that still counts for one, OK)

Machete so I can hack through the jungle and forage in a really manly way

Some seeds so I can grow my own food

A hat, so I don’t go mad, and more bald

You can follow Ed’s amazingly jealous-making adventures on Instagram where you can see pictures from all his travels (including the ‘terrible’ ones from the Maldives…life is hard)

The World is my Office’ is a series of interviews with inspiring people which are designed to showcase the many and varied ways you can incorporate travel into your working life. If you travel as part of your career – whether you live abroad or whether you travel as part of your full-time job – and you’d like to be featured in the series, please get in touch.