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Man travels the world on a cruise ship for free after quitting his day job: ‘Have learned so much’

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A musician at heart quit his full-time job to travel the world on a cruise ship — and said he’s loving the experience. 

Jack Nolan is a 33-year-old musician from Exeter, England, who started working as a musician on cruise ships in 2016. 

Now, eight years later, Nolan said he wouldn’t trade his career shift for the world as he’s gotten to experience so much that life has to offer.

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“Not many jobs will let you see so many countries and experience so much culture,” he said, as SWNS reported. 

After going to school and working in plumbing shops for a few years, Nolan said he was feeling burned out and wanted to make a change in his career. 

Jack Nolan profile

Jack Nolan, 33, works on a Virgin Voyage cruise ship as a musician.  (SWNS)

“I was living for the weekend [and] still often worked Saturdays, too,” he told SWNS. 

Nolan said he received a call from a friend in 2016 asking if he knew anyone who could play the guitar to join a band he was putting together. 

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“I told him I’d love to do it and from there, we recorded a promo video [and] sent it to agents and landed our first gig on a ferry in 2016,” he said. 

Nolan on the beach

Nolan was originally a plumber before deciding to join a band as guitarist.  (SWNS)

After the initial gig, Nolan said the band received their first contract for a cruise — and his new travel adventures began.

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“I was so excited. The ships went to places like the Caribbean — and I had never been,” he told SWNS.

Today, Nolan works as a musician aboard the Virgin Voyages cruise line and told Fox News Digital it’s the best of both worlds for him due to his newfound ability to see the world and his very low overhead. 

Nolan in Greece

Nolan said exploring sites in Greece and many other locations has been his favorite part of his new career path.  (SWNS)

Although his current pay each month “doesn’t sound like a huge amount, when you add in rent, bills, [and] food tax-free, it certainly becomes a great way to save cash,” he said.  

He makes about $4,000 a month in U.S. dollars.

The employee lives on the cruise ship and performs at night — so he can explore new travel spots each time the boat docks during the day. 

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Nolan said the favorite spots he’s visited so far include the Acropolis in Greece, the Colosseum in Rome, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Hobbiton in New Zealand and the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. 

“Not many jobs allow you to travel the world and get paid while doing so. Cruise ships can take you around 3-4 different countries in a week,” he told Fox News Digital. 

Nolan underwater

Nolan told Fox News Digital that his monthly pay isn’t very much — but that he’s able to save it because his costs are so low right now. (SWNS)

He said the beauty lies in knowing that one day you will be in one place — and the next somewhere totally different. 

“Today, we are in Palma, Mallorca, [but] tomorrow we could be in France. Each day we wake up in another country,” he told SWNS recently.

“Each day we wake up in another country.”

Nolan said that although cruise ship employees do sleep in close quarters, being able to get off the boat and explore is a great release. 

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“Even though we’re older than [college] students, it gives that [same] vibe because we have these small rooms, and we are next door to each other.”

While Nolan said he loves his job, he does hope to move back to land one day as he misses his family and friends, he said.

Nolan traveling

A former plumber is now a guitarist on a cruise ship — and travels the world for a living.  (SWNS)

“I’ve met the most incredible people in my time working on cruise ships from all over the globe,” he told Fox News Digital. 

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“I can honestly say I have learned so much from them and probably have a place to stay on any continent around the world.”

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