I did a forum search before resorting to posting this but did not really what I am looking for.
Im a 28 year old American citizen currently vagabonding around South America trying to find a place to call home. I want to fulfill my dream of being a US Mariner but I absolutely refuse to get married and raise kids in the US. I love our country, but it’s no place I want to raise a family. The only sea experience I have was when I learned the basics of sailing on a 100 year old sqaure rigger for a month.
Is it feasible to work for the Merchant Marines while simultaneously living in South America?
From my understanding if I were to join a union at the bottom of the ladder most of my time would be spent waiting in the union halls waiting for a job? Or do you go to a Union hall, put your name on a list, go home and pray to be called and then report?
Lets say you are lucky enough to land a job, do you travel internationally to wherever ship is? Or are the ships usually stateside?
I understand there is an apprenticeship with the SIU that upon comleteion puts you in a better bracket, but I would rather save the time, get my qualifications and try landing a job with one of the unions. Is this a wise idea?
Should I even be looking at unions or should I be considering non union companies?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I dont know if this a pipe dream I have or if its actually feasible. I dont care if I have to fly and sail long distances for a few years to support my family.
Thankyou so much for your time.