In this month’s Life After Yachting feature, we speak with Samantha DiLallo, ex-stewardess and founder of Yachtie Crew Coaching. Yachtie Crew Coaching offers programs catered towards crew to help you develop a customised action plan suited to you and your life to reach your wellness goals. 

Read on to find out more about Samantha’s wellness journey, her yachting experiences, and her plans for the future.

Tell us about yourself

My journey into wellness began over a decade ago after I overcame my battle with addiction and started researching homoeopathic remedies to aid my health issues rather than turning to methods prescribed that were not treating the root cause. Through determination and commitment to change, I overcame my hurdles and became obsessed with self development, mindset, physical, and mental well being.

As my passion for personal growth and well-being deepened, so did my desire to help others….inspiring me to transition into the role of a health coach. I enrolled at IIN to become a certified coach and then furthered my education by specialising in gut health/microbiome and its correlation with mental and physical health.

After graduating from school I made the decision to put my coaching career on hold and stepped foot into the yachting industry at the peak of covid. It didn’t take long as a newbie in the industry to recognize the many challenges my colleagues and I faced. Work life balance, mental health, stress, over eating, over indulging…the list is endless. In many moments I was fortunate enough to draw upon resources from my education, tips, tricks, and tools to aid me in these struggles and that is why I want to help others do the same… and why I created Yachtie Crew Coaching.

How long did you work as a yacht crew for? What was your role on board, and which yachts did you work on board?  

I have three years of experience in the yachting industry. In my first permanent role I was onboard M/Y Natural 9, where I was the sole stewardess within a three-person crew, managing guest services, interior duties, and providing assistance on deck. After Natural 9, I joined S/Y AquiJo, where I was a part of a larger team of 20 crew members on an 86 meter vessel as one of five stewardesses. 

When did you leave the Superyacht industry, and when did you know it was the right time to leave? 

I made the decision to leave permanent positions in yachting September 2022. However, I still do temp work from time to time on my previous boat and others. I knew it was time when I had reached certain goals I had set for myself and new ones began to take shape. Things were changing in my life, new chapters beginning, and I needed to take the appropriate steps to see them to fruition.

Prior to leaving, did you plan an exit strategy? 

I wouldn’t say I planned an exit strategy. If anything, I just had a rough draft of an idea in my mind of how I should go about chasing my dreams and creating my company. I knew I needed time and space to focus, which is why I felt taking a break from yachting and work was necessary.

I saved up the funds I needed from multiple busy charter seasons, bought a one way ticket to England to stay with my boyfriend, and spent the majority of my time doing introspective work, enrolling back in school specialising in the microbiome, healing areas in my life, and building my business. Now, just over a year later, things are starting to take shape and come together. I knew what I needed to do to make this happen, that sacrifices needed to be made, and the financial struggles I would face…but it was all worth it.

I believe sometimes you may not need an exact plan, just a general sense of direction and drive. 

Tell us about Yachtie Crew Coaching!

Before I joined the yachting industry I was living in Los Angeles, California, where I was studying Integrative Nutrition. Right after graduating, Covid was in full swing and I needed to make some changes in my life and some moves, which is when I joined yachting.

Being the fast paced, demanding industry yachting is, I didn’t have the time or mental capacity to focus on developing my coaching business. So for years my dreams were put on hold as I started my new adventure at sea. I was so fortunate that I had the tools, resources and knowledge from what I learned studying Integrative Nutrition that I could fall back on when times were difficult and balance between work and life seemed nearly impossible. Between stressful situations and long hours, to loads of temptation and excess… striking a balance between personal and professional can be challenging.

It was after my time on board yachts that inspired me to want to work with fellow yachties to help them strike their own balance, create  healthier lifestyle choices, and provide them with an arsenal of tools to help them achieve their health and wellness goals. This is why Yachtie Crew Coaching came about and where my mission started… I regrouped, refocused, and started to make the moves necessary to create a company that could help others in the industry.  

What is the hardest struggle you have faced since leaving the industry, and how did you overcome it? 

Since leaving the industry I faced many struggles, some harder than others… I’d say the biggest challenge for me though was lack of structure in my life.

From going from so much regimented structure and routine to not working or having anyone telling me what to do and holding me responsible for not doing it. It took strong self discipline and drive to keep myself on track with my goals and developing YCC. That discipline I feel I owe to the yachting industry, because without it I don’t believe I would have been able to do what I am doing today. 

If you could return to the start of your yachting career, would you change anything? For example, financial choices, ways you would have enhanced your CV, extra courses, and so on.

If I could go back and do it all over again, I believe the one thing I would have changed is joining the industry much earlier in life than I did and spending more time in it. So many incredible opportunities that are available to you, career development, once in a lifetime experiences, networking opportunities, not to mention so many different skill sets one can learn and the personal development that goes along with it.

I would have liked to have taken more courses and certifications, giving me the opportunity to work in other departments and broadening my areas of training. Looking back I feel I could have made more responsible financial decisions, given it is such an incredible way to make and save money, but in the end it all worked out just as it should 🙂

Can you tell us more about your role at Yachtie Crew Coaching, and what you do on a day-to-day basis?

As creator and founder of Yachtie Crew Coaching, what I do on a day to day basis is a little mix of everything. I research, I write, I create, I write some more.

Being that my business is in its infant stage, I am still learning so much while I’m in the process of molding my coaching programs and tailor made plans for clients. In between all of this I set aside the time to speak with fellow yachties, connect with them, and stay relevant within the industry, being constantly reminded of all the challenges yahties face while refining my approach in how to help them in their unique situations…hence why every program is slightly different and unique to my client, focusing on their needs and what would benefit them the most. 

What does success mean to you and what is your career vision for the next 5 years? 

When I think of the word success, I like to think of the feelings it creates in my body. My heart races, my hands go clammy, and my muscles tense up. Success to me is excitement, the thrill of the adventure, of reaching goals that at one time felt unobtainable…no matter how big or small they seem. 

I believe success is not defined by a finishing line but instead a lifelong journey, something that keeps you going and gives you a sense of purpose and accomplishment. To me, success with my career and with Yachtie Crew Coaching would be reaching many and helping others in their journey into wellness. In a perfect world, if I was to envision myself and my business 5 years from now, I would love to work with a team of people that share the same vision and similar goals. Not only would I like to help yachties individually, but with the entire crew, where my team and I can work with them as a collective helping foster an environment on board promoting balance and wellness for all parties. 

Lastly, can you share 3 pieces of advice for crew members thinking about their life after yachting.

Don’t lose sight of your goals, dreams, and aspirations. We all joined the industry for different reasons, in different situations, and scenarios… with different strengths, skill sets, and visions. When life gets hectic and chaotic the things that really matter to us can fall by the wayside, and that’s ok. But the important thing is to get back on track and keep moving forward. I created vision boards and put up posters in my cabin and next to my bunk to constantly remind me of the direction I wanted to be heading in… and it helped immensely.

Take a look at your current situation and develop ways and techniques that the industry can aid you and be the catalyst to your goals. Whether that be financially, education wise, or career development, yachties are in a unique position where they are surrounded by opportunities for growth. The thought of leaving such an incredible industry can be overwhelming and scary. However, if you take all the beautiful tools and what you’ve learned during that time and apply them to your future, you can’t lose.

Lastly, and it sounds cliche, but enjoy every moment now while you’re a yachtie. The people you meet, the stunning places you visit, and the once in a lifetime experiences…the good, the bad, and the downright unbelievable… take it all in, because one day if you choose to leave the industry, memories and what you’ve learned along the way will be what you take with you. 

To take a closer look at Yachtie Crew Coaching and the services they offer, click here.

Check out their Instagram @yachtie_crew_coaching

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