Bogotá, the sprawling capital of Colombia, is a city of tree-covered hills in the shadow of the snow-capped Andes. It’s also where Miguel Brijaldo, a three-year crew member on Carnival Cruise Line, calls home.
Naturally daring and curious, Miguel finds joy in discovering new locations, meeting many different types of people, and documenting his adventures on his popular Instagram page, @miguelangel.photo. Through the lens of his camera, Miguel shares the world as he sees it, from on-ship to one of his many ports of call. “I joined the Carnival crew to leave my comfort zone and have the opportunity for new experiences,” he says. “I love knowing the world in a different way and feel blessed to meet so many new people and learn about their cultures.” Miguel’s adventurous spirit and strong desire to live a life full of excitement and wonder led him to a career sailing the open sea, and he hasn’t looked back. His position as a bar waiter also allows him to meet people from all over the world and hear their stories, learn their cultures, and of course, provide a delightful and memorable experience for Carnival guests.
In addition to making friends across the globe, exploring the unknown with Carnival has taken Miguel to fascinating locales. “This year has been amazing!” he says of his recent travels. “I got to visit Europe and see places filled with history and tradition.” Miguel’s adventures have taken him to Italy, Portugal, Aruba, New York City, and on one particularly special trip, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Miguel was able to experience the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. “The marine museum is home to the remains of the Titanic and a cemetery where the majority of the victims from the tragedy were buried,” Miguel says. It was there that he was able to pay his respects to victims of the tragic sinking, an event close to his heart as a seafarer.
But traveling the world wasn’t the only reason Miguel was drawn to life on the open ocean. “I knew I could have a better lifestyle for myself and my family by working on a cruise ship,” he says. “I am taking care of my parents back in Bogotá, so being able to save and transfer money is very important to me.” Miguel’s family has felt the benefits of his newfound financial freedom, even with the always-changing and unexpected lifestyle that Miguel leads. “The security we have when we make transfers makes them feel safe, and it’s so much easier when paying the bills, too!”
Miguel credits Brightwell’s product for helping him get closer to his dreams. The easy to use mobile app allows him to keep his unexpected and always-changing lifestyle under control – at least his finances. “Brightwell has been a huge in helping me control my expenses. If I don’t need to spend anything that month, I can keep my money on the card. Being able to monitor my account helps me to save for the future. Sending money is also safer and faster than sending through an agency, and I love knowing how much money I have at all times, thanks to the Brightwell app.”
With a successful career underway and more destinations on the horizon, Miguel is now thinking about the future. “Someday I want to live in another country, or go to culinary school,” he says of life after cruising. “I want to help my family first, and then study to be a chef.” But before he starts his next journey, Miguel has some advice for his fellow crew members: