5 Ways to Enjoy Your Next Ferry Ride
Anybody who has to take a ferry to get around – whether it’s the Staten Island Ferry that connects the residential borough of Staten Island to the central business district of Manhattan or a ferry that connects islands in Southeast Asia – knows that ferries involve a lot of “downtime”.
Depending on the distance your ferry travels, you could be stuck on the boat for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. And the biggest problem with ferries is that there’s usually not a lot to do or see. Ferries are different than cruise ships or tour boats. There’s nobody giving you a play-by-play description of the scenery that is passing by the boat’s bow. And you usually aren’t hitting the most popular tourist spots, either. A ferry is basically a bus that floats. That’s it.
Yet for many people long ferry rides are unavoidable. People have to go to work, get to the mainland, visit family, go to school, and all the other numerous trips that make up their everyday lives. So here are five ways for you to make the most out of your next ferry ride.
- People Watch
Even though there may not be a lot of scenery to watch, there is still a lot to see while taking a ferry ride, especially if you are something of an amateur anthropologist. People are the most interesting of all the animals. They have the most advanced brains, the most developed cultures, and the most complicated interactions.
Yet when it comes down to it, people are usually motivated by the same basic needs as all the other animals: Sex, food, comfort and security. So everything they do or say usually are somehow related to one of these basic necessities.
For example, men will ogle women because they are sexually attracted to them. Women, in turn, will wear makeup and dress up when traveling because they want to attract the attention of men.
People will avoid making eye contact with strangers because they fear offending them or interacting with somebody who is new and potentially dangerous. People also will compete for the best seats and the areas of the ferry that are most protected from the elements, especially when it starts raining or gets too cold.
Observing the people on your ferry as if you are an amateur anthropologist is a great way to spend several hours learning about human interaction … and perhaps something about yourself as well!
- Meet Somebody New
Ferries are full of interesting people, whether it’s a traveler looking for an exotic location or a local native simply going about their normal everyday business. Everybody has a story to tell. To hear it, all you really need to do in most cases is to ask.
To make your next ferry ride a more interesting experience, make it your objective to meet and get to know just one person. Take your time and identify somebody who looks like they will have a truly fascinating story to tell you or something really interesting to teach you.
Then, all you need to do is approach this person using open body language and a friendly smile, introduce yourself by name and wait for them to tell them your name. Then find something that you both have in common – for example, a long ferry ride – and use this to discover other points of similarity between the two of you. This is all you need to start a conversation in which you can ask innocent yet insightful questions about where they are from, what they do, their past life, and where they are going.
Before you know it, both of you will have arrived at your destination and you will have made a new acquaintance and possibly a good friend. And if you are really lucky, you will see that person again another time when you are making the same ferry voyage!
- Bring a Good Book
Many people complain that they never have enough time to read everything they want or to catch up on all of their newspapers or magazines. Being stuck on a ferry for a period of time offers the perfect opportunity.
- Listen to Music
Similarly, the ferry is a great place to listen to all of your favorite music or to discover new music that you enjoy. Download music into your mobile device or stream it if the ferry has WiFi.
- Do Isometric Exercises
If you are stuck on a ferry, you can’t get a good workout, right? Wrong! Isometric exercises are when you pit one muscle of your body against another.
For example, grab your right forearm with your left hand and vice versa, then pull on each as hard as you can for 15 to 30 seconds. Do several repetitions of these and other muscles and you can step off the ferry having gotten a high-quality workout without the gym!
Image courtesy of nitinut/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the Author – Ronald Baxter, the author of this article writes on behalf of Phuket Ferry. If you’re wondering how to get from Phuket to Phi Phi, do visit phuketferry.com today.