I’m here to explore the strange, inexplicable life of being a G.O (Gentil Organisateur). Is it a cult? Why is everyone speaking French? What are these signs and why are they called crazy?
Actually, I’m not going to answer any of those questions. Sorry, not sorry. If you’ve never been to Club Med, the best analogy I can come up with is that it’s summer camp for adults – except all year round and with a lot of alcohol 🍸 Or maybe it’s like a cruise ship on land 🤔
How about this – if you’ve seen Dirty Dancing, Club Med is very much like Kellerman’s, but with a saucier history. You can do your own Googling (or just click here for the Wikipedia page).
At some point after the 80s, Club Med became the ultimate family-friendly, all-inclusive resort. Mind you, not fancy all-inclusive (like the direction they’re going in today). More like, all of the access to activities, kids’ club, dining, and beverages kept you so busy that you didn’t even notice there wasn’t a TV in your room.
When I was little, we went every once in a while to various Club Med resorts in North America – by the time I was a teenager, I was hooked. It was my happy place, where I could practice circus tricks and eat every type of dessert and no one would think I was a weirdo.
Eventually, “running away to join the (Club Med) circus” became a dream job It just looked so fun. So when I ended a long-term relationship, I figured it was now or never. I was learning to be a yoga instructor and figured it’d come in handy for whatever role I could get. There’s a pretty open hiring policy – they’re more concerned about your people skills than anything else.
Anyway, we’ll skip all the waiting bits and get to the juicy stuff.
I’ve been thinking of writing about my experience as a G.O. ever since I started the job, but it’s one of those things that just takes a while to process. I feel like in the 1.5 years that I worked for Club Med, I lived 5 years of experience. Seriously.
I started out as a fitness instructor. For about 6 months (non-consecutively), I was the only fitness instructor, which basically means that snoring and drooling became a regular part of my sleeping habits.
I’ve never been more tired in my life. Along with teaching 5-8 lessons a day, joining an active game in the pool, and eating lunch and dinner with guests, I was very involved with the nightly stage productions. I reached a point of exhaustion where I would fall asleep in the middle of a Pilates class when we were in a resting pose, hugging my knees to my chest. (I’ll never know for certain, but I think I only fell asleep for a few seconds at a time. No one ever mentioned noticing.)
Did I mention you get one day off a week?
I was physically and mentally worn out from my job. I also became emotionally drained as I watched my fellow coworkers come and go, arrive and leave, and after a year there were only 4 of us that remained from when I started. That’s a lot of letting go.
As an introvert, I couldn’t keep up with the very outgoing nature of the job. It was hard to leave my very own version of paradise, but I had to do it for my mental health. I always felt like the odd-one out, and I wonder if others did too. I’ve since asked some of my ex-coworkers what their favorite and least favorite parts of the lifestyle were. Here are some of their answers:
For me, my favorite part was the community that was always there for me. You arrive without knowing a single soul, and live through 💩 that will keep you connected with these people forever.
I could probably write a book about just a week at Club Med and all of the shenanigans that happened in the background, but I’ll leave you for now with this:
- It’s ok to fall in love, even if it’s just for a little while 💓
- Your time is your most precious resource ⏰
- You really can do whatever you want if you just step out of your comfort zone
- Going off of that – fake it till you make it, baby. Did I know how to teach a spin class? Did any of my students ever find out? Nope and nope.
- Sleep is so very, very underrated 😴
- Even fleeting moments can have a very strong impact on you. Absorb.
It was an intense time that I’m oh-so-grateful for. But it wasn’t for me. More often than we realize, we have to let go of a tempting offer in order to properly take care of ourselves. You’ll know you made the right choice when you put your own well-being first. 😌