Category Archives: Travel Essay

Discover Yourself through Discovering the World

Sitting here in homeport watching the sunrise over the ocean on a cold winter day, I dream of cruising in the warm Caribbean sunshine. I live in Paradise. I dive the dream of living at the ocean. I am blessed beyond anything I would have believed 10 years ago. And yet I dream bigger dreams now.

My dad instilled the love of ships and sea in my. The beach became my sanctuary when I couldn’t get out on the sea. It lets me imagine and see the possibilities that are out there beyond the horizon of my everyday life.

I have wanderlust. I long to see distant shores. To discover beaches in every port. More than that I long to see other places, to have new experiences, to meet new people. In learning and exploring the world and what others know and live I develop more of who I am. I open doors within my self that I never knew existed.

I become more of who I am. I step more and more into who I am. I am more understanding of others, and of myself. It allows me to step out of my comfort zone, to stretch myself, to be comfortable with the unfamiliar and unknown, to conquer fears, to discover what I am capable of, and who I can be. I become more of who I am.

Travel is the ultimate mindfulness pursuit. It makes me become present in my surroundings, with what I am doing, experiencing and what I see and hear around me. When you are out of your eliminate, out of your everyday routine you become more aware, more alert to your surroundings, more present to your experiences. It happens almost naturally if you let it.

Travel is transformational. Travel shifts my perspective. It shows me not only possibilities of life but it connects me with myself and with others.

When I travel with someone it allows me to experience them in new ways. To develop a closer bond, to appreciate our differences and share our experiences. It teaches us how to be together and respect each other’s space and time.

Travel is an inner and outer journey. It is in discovering other cultures, other places, other people and the world-even the world right outside your door- that you discover yourself in the process.

 

Storms of Life

It has been a long time since I have posted anything. I had made a resolution once before to post every month but life gets in the way. Once I finished my memoir I spent time resting, then enjoying the summer life on the island.

Finishing a major project that had been years in the making was amazing. It made me not want to take on any major project anytime soon. I took on teaching some personal development classes. Mostly I reacquainted myself with the beach, the ocean, my friends and my community.

My sister and I were overdue for a Sisters Travel Adventure. Even planning that became a logistical adventure in and of itself. Finally we decided on a cruise to Cuba.

The cruise itself was wonderful. Experiencing Cuba amazing!  I spent a great deal of it following in Hemingway’s footsteps. The writer in me couldn’t resist. In doing so I was able to experience Cuban culture and experience the openness of the people. I discovered that they had a love affair with Hemingway way beyond my interest in seeing the places he spent his time writing and drinking! (That’s another blog in and of itself that I still haven’t taken the time to write)

And while on that cruise my life began to take a turn I didn’t see coming. As we explored Cozumel, I heard rumblings of a major hurricane heading for the east coast- the Carolina’s to be exact. The next day on the ship I heard people talking anxiously about this hurricane.

I met people who lived around me concerned about getting home and what they would do when they got there. I still wasn’t concerned but I was alert. Then I met a women who lived not far from where I lived, she had talked to family back home and she was  very alarmed about what they had told her.

I finally tuned in – when I am on a trip I unplug from my phone, the news etc. I watched the news and saw this massive storm heading straight for where I lived. So I went from vacation to evacuation.

The month of September just went by. It seemed forever before I was able to return home. And when I did life was off kilter as every one tried to pick up the pieces.I was lucky as the damage in my life was contained and manageable but it shook me up.

It sent me looking for my next step-my next project. I craved a new direction. So in the midst of clean up I made a decision to step into a new direction with my career.

That has kept me out of circulation as I restructure and rearrange my thoughts, my development, my directions and my projects. I am excited about this new avenue. I am trying to interweave and blend this new project into my life.

I actually came on here to see about making changes and restructuring my website and blog(s). And instead I find myself writing to you- here. I am not sure how it is all going to come together yet, it is still a work in progress.

I am good at turning corners, in fact  I crave the adventure of change, new learning, new possibilities, new discoveries, exploring new places and meeting new people. I guess that is why I love travel so much! And it is another travel component that is the new path I am adding to my projects.

One of the Amazing things about traveling is through discovering other places, cultures and meeting new people I have discovered and uncovered so much more about myself,  who I am and who I am capable of being. Stepping out of my comfort zone, reaching out and connecting into the world has taught me more about what lies within me.

I have seen my passion of travel be reignited several years ago and wanderlust has taken me by the storm! And more that just sharing my love of travel through my series Sisters Travel Adventures- it is time to take that a step further and help you Discover the World and Yourself through this amazing world of cruising and traveling!

It is time for you to Come Along on These Amazing Cruise Adventures or to Have one of Your Own!!

So are you ready to take to the Ocean of Possibilities and Set Sail to Discover the World!

 

Misadventure to Our Epic Journey

Sister’s Travel Adventure Series

Epic Cruise Adventure 2016

British Airways Flight 632 London to Athens, Cancelled.

We wake on the morning of our Epic Cruise Adventure to find out that our connecting flight to Athens is cancelled! All flights in and out of Greece have been cancelled.

The air traffic controllers of Greece have threatened to go on strike. We knew that they were threatening. We called British Airways yesterday to see if we should fly out early and they told us there was nothing to worry about.

Now they have cancelled our flight to Athens! Several more calls to the airlines and to Carnival Cruise lines. Our goal is to get to Piraeus in time for the ship but our backup plan is if we can’t get into Greece in time that we will fly to Malta and get the ship there.

Still hopeful we can get to Athens in time, we go to Logan for our flight for London and see what arrangements can be made when we check-in.

Standing at the British Airways flight desk we explain our dilemma to the customer service agents. One agent begins to check us in for our flight to London while another wonderful agent is looking for new flights that are being added to Greece. The two wonderful women are doing their best to help us get to Athens.

After several searches she pulls up a flight that leaves London 12 hours after we arrive. It is the first new scheduled flight out. Excitedly jumping up and down we thank the understanding and helpful British Airways customer service agents. We don’t even care about spending a day in the Heathrow airport.

Change of planes, change of plans. As we wait for our flight to London we cancel all our Athens reservations. We are not going to arrive in time to stay in Athens or take the tour of Athens we had booked. Knowing we will still arrive the day before our ship we book a hotel at the port for that Monday night before the ship leaves on Tuesday. Sitting in Logan airport waiting for our flight to London the beginning of our Epic Journey is revamped and rebooked.

Our flight to London is on time. We are on our way. Exhausted we arrive in London at 9 AM on Sunday morning. I tried to sleep on the flight but to no avail. It will be a miracle if either of us can get any sleep at the airport. The anxiety of not knowing if we would make it to the ship and now the time changes have me tired but awake unable to sleep.

The day is inching along moment by moment, hour by hour. Our flight isn’t even on the flight board yet. We walk around Heathrow to see the available food options. I need tea and food. We choose a restaurant and have breakfast.

We are in London and stuck inside this terminal. Susan is disappointed that we are stuck inside the airport and not able to at least go out and explore London. London is one of the places on her bucket list. If only we could go out and sightsee! All we are seeing of London is the airport.

Hours tick by….we close our eyes at times jolting awake just as we begin to nod off.  We take turns sitting with the carry-ons and walking around the terminal. A few more hours tick by. We are constantly looking at the flight board for our flight to show up. We notice that the flights on the board do not list a gate but a time when the gate will be shown. Gates are shown when the boarding begins. We do not like this. We would like to at least be sitting around the gate or area where our gate for our flight will be.

Our flight is on the flight board! Still hours away but now at least we know that it is still scheduled. Rest my eyes, take a walk, look at the flight board, rest my eyes, take a walk, check the flight board, Rest my eyes, take a walk, have something to drink, check the flight board. Rest my eyes, take a walk, and get something to eat, check the flight board. Close my eyes, check the flight board, sit and look around, check the flight board. Hours crawl by. Check the flight board. Check the flight board again.

There are two ladies sitting nearby they too are waiting for the same flight we are. Time inches by minute by minute. It seems to be slowing down as we inch closer and closer to the time our flight gate is to be announce. All four of us now are annoyed. We have waited all day why are they not telling us what gate our flight is leaving from.

Then it flips over and says please wait. Please Wait! We have been waiting all day!! One of the other ladies goes and asks a customer service representative, Gate A1. We head in that direction. And finally it is announced, Gate A1.

The gate area is filling up quickly. We are told the flight is slightly delayed. Several other people are heading for the same cruise we are. Some people like the two ladies we have been talking to are heading home to Greece after being stuck in London for a couple of extra days.

And finally our flight boards. It is now after 10 PM London time. Sleeping is impossible. Everyone is restlessly awaiting arrival in Athens. Touch down is at 3 AM Monday morning. The airport is essentially deserted except for the airline employees, immigration and custom agents waiting our arrival. The immigration agent just takes our passport and stamps them. They do not question what we are doing in Greece, where we are going or how long we are staying. They just want to get us out of here as fast as possible.

Outside the terminal, in the dark we get a taxi to take us out to the hotel at the port and hope they will have someplace where we can sleep. We are way beyond exhausted now.

On our way our taxi driver points out the Acropolis light up in the night sky. That is about all of Athens we will see. We arrive at the Dream Hotel in Piraeus, Greece at about 5 AM Monday morning.

The hotel receptionist realizes that we are fatigued and tries to find us a room where we can sleep until our room is ready. She provides us with a room key and says they will call us when our room is ready. Grateful we head up in the tiny elevator to a small room and fall into bed and asleep.

At 12:30 pm the phone rings in our room. The front desk lets us know our room is ready for us to move into. We are beginning to come alive. We may not be in Athens but we are in Greece so we will venture out and see what we can see of this port city, Piraeus.

We are just happy to be in Greece in time to make the ship tomorrow. Today we step into our Epic Journey after having another misadventure to our adventure! It just wouldn’t be one of our Sister Travel Adventures without some kind of misadventure in getting to our starting destination. This time it was not just me who had the misadventure! It was both of us together.

Our misadventure to Greece was easy compared to some of our fellow cruise passengers. Some passengers had more difficulties and complicated journeys to get to Piraeus. Some passengers had to use the backup plan and catch the ship in Malta. Still others gave up and cancelled their voyage.

 

 

Restlessness in Homeport

I am about to embark on an Epic Journey of a lifetime. My sister planned this trip while I was enjoying our last cruise. A year always seems so far away when you plan something special. You wonder if it will ever arrive.

Life goes on day by day. My everyday life is sometimes crazy busy filled with work and social obligations and other times somewhat like a vacation itself. I live in a beach community that fills with tourists during the summer season. The islands life and economy revolve around this time of year.

Some of the locals get very caught up in daily life and never enjoy the island or the beach. I try not to let that happen. I spend as much time on the beach as possible. I have a social circle of friends that get together regularly. I intermingle work, beach and fun weaving a life that many would envy. Tourists ask about my life and many do envy it.

I love my life. I wish I made more money. I wish I could find a way to earn money and do the things I love. I putter at it often trying to make it happen but nothing has manifested. I keep focused on enjoying life the best I can.

People always ask me what I do on vacation or even why I go on vacation. The answer is simple. I love to travel. I love spending time with my sister. I love cruises. I love the ocean and the seas. I love discovering new places, meeting new people, discovering new things about myself.

I have wanderlust. I have always had wanderlust. When I could find a way to jump from cruise ship to cruise ship, beach to beach, amazing place to amazing place all around the world and earn a living I am there! I guess you could say that is my dream.

In the meantime I fill my life with small adventures. It is nice to have an amazing base to come in and out, homeport I call it. Homeport is safe and wonderful. Still I get restless easily and am always ready for the next adventure.

The anticipation and the planning is what gets my sister high. I fill that time with beach and island life in my homeport. And then suddenly the days are counting down to the time to head out to sea. It arrives suddenly sneaking up on me. Time flies. A year has passed and it is time to head out again on another new adventure.

This year our adventure is Epic for us. It is a trip we never really imagined planning but we did. Now it is getting close to embarkation day. I can’t even imagine what this trip will be like. I have no expectations or vision of any kind. I haven’t really been able to wrap my mind around it. My imagination has even been stumped.

What I am sure of is being on the ship. Ship life is something I know and am comfortable with. I love ship life. I am so ready to return to sea. I do not have any idea what the ports of call will be like. What will the ports look like? What experiences will I have? What activities and places will I see? What new discoveries will I make? How will what I see and do change my view of life and of myself? What new aspect of myself will I discover? Will I be up to the challenges of being in places I have never been before?

Travel and experiences always reach deep into me. In discovering new places, cultures and meeting new people I find new aspects of myself. What I am capable of or not capable of? What brings up excitement or fear? I find new activities and food I love or hate. I hear and see new points of view on life and living.

Each day I become me. I become more of who I am. Sometimes I choose aspects of who I am becoming sometimes I stumble upon aspects of myself. Everyday life, moment by moment I am becoming who I am.

Traveling not only enriches who I am and who I am becoming it is who I am. I am every place I go, everyone I meet, every experience I have. It is why after being in homeport for a while I am anxious to set sail and set out to sea again.

Restlessness has set in even with a major move this summer to a new homeport that is closer to the sea and to my being. Seeing her everyday has given me solace. Yet I have sat looking out over the Atlantic Ocean every morning sipping tea and dreaming of being out there upon her charting new courses and discovering new ports of call.

I may be embarking on an Epic adventure but I am returning to who I am to my core being within, to expand who I am and to continue being and becoming.

The time is almost here. I am preparing for a new adventure, new challenges, and new experiences, to be inspired and in awe, to be at sea for twenty-three days. It will be the longest journey yet. It will bring me to ports I never imagined going. I have no idea what I will learn.

I am an archeologist of self and life embarking on an expedition to unearth who I am, who I am becoming, to uncover new corners of the world yet uncharted (by me), and stumble upon new views and beliefs, retrieve long lost loves, to stretch myself beyond my current beliefs about myself and life, acquire new passions, make new friends and spend the best time of my life with my sister.

 

Misadventure to Our Epic Journey

British Airways Flight 632 London to Athens, Cancelled.

We wake on the morning of our Epic Cruise Adventure to find out that our connecting flight to Athens is cancelled! All flights in and out of Greece have been cancelled.

The air traffic controllers of Greece have threatened to go on strike. We knew that they were threatening. We called British Airways yesterday to see if we should fly out early and they told us there was nothing to worry about.

Now they have cancelled our flight to Athens! Several more calls to the airlines and to Carnival Cruise lines. Our goal is to get to Piraeus in time for the ship but our backup plan is if we can’t get into Greece in time that we will fly to Malta and get the ship there.

Still hopeful we can get to Athens in time, we go to Logan for our flight for London and see what arrangements can be made when we check-in.

Standing at the British Airways flight desk we explain our dilemma to the customer service agents. One agent begins to check us in for our flight to London while another wonderful agent is looking for new flights that are being added to Greece. The two wonderful women are doing their best to help us get to Athens.

After several searches she pulls up a flight that leaves London 12 hours after we arrive. It is the first new scheduled flight out. Excitedly jumping up and down we thank the understanding and helpful British Airways customer service agents. We don’t even care about spending a day in the Heathrow airport.

Change of planes, change of plans. As we wait for our flight to London we cancel all our Athens reservations. We are not going to arrive in time to stay in Athens or take the tour of Athens we had booked. Knowing we will still arrive the day before our ship we book a hotel at the port for that Monday night before the ship leaves on Tuesday. Sitting in Logan airport waiting for our flight to London the beginning of our Epic Journey is revamped and rebooked.

Our flight to London is on time. We are on our way. Exhausted we arrive in London at 9 AM on Sunday morning. I tried to sleep on the flight but to no avail. It will be a miracle if either of us can get any sleep at the airport. The anxiety of not knowing if we would make it to the ship and now the time changes have me tired but awake unable to sleep.

The day is inching along moment by moment, hour by hour. Our flight isn’t even on the flight board yet. We walk around Heathrow to see the available food options. I need tea and food. We choose a restaurant and have breakfast.

We are in London and stuck inside this terminal. Susan is disappointed that we are stuck inside the airport and not able to at least go out and explore London. London is one of the places on her bucket list. If only we could go out and sightsee! All we are seeing of London is the airport.

Hours tick by….we close our eyes at times jolting awake just as we begin to nod off.  We take turns sitting with the carry-ons and walking around the terminal. A few more hours tick by. We are constantly looking at the flight board for our flight to show up. We notice that the flights on the board do not list a gate but a time when the gate will be shown. Gates are shown when the boarding begins. We do not like this. We would like to at least be sitting around the gate or area where our gate for our flight will be.

Our flight is on the flight board! Still hours away but now at least we know that it is still scheduled. Rest my eyes, take a walk, look at the flight board, rest my eyes, take a walk, check the flight board, Rest my eyes, take a walk, have something to drink, check the flight board. Rest my eyes, take a walk, and get something to eat, check the flight board. Close my eyes, check the flight board, sit and look around, check the flight board. Hours crawl by. Check the flight board. Check the flight board again.

There are two ladies sitting nearby they too are waiting for the same flight we are. Time inches by minute by minute. It seems to be slowing down as we inch closer and closer to the time our flight gate is to be announce. All four of us now are annoyed. We have waited all day why are they not telling us what gate our flight is leaving from.

Then it flips over and says please wait. Please Wait! We have been waiting all day!! One of the other ladies goes and asks a customer service representative, Gate A1. We head in that direction. And finally it is announced, Gate A1.

The gate area is filling up quickly. We are told the flight is slightly delayed. Several other people are heading for the same cruise we are. Some people like the two ladies we have been talking to are heading home to Greece after being stuck in London for a couple of extra days.

And finally our flight boards. It is now after 10 PM London time. Sleeping is impossible. Everyone is restlessly awaiting arrival in Athens. Touch down is at 3 AM Monday morning. The airport is essentially deserted except for the airline employees, immigration and custom agents waiting our arrival. The immigration agent just takes our passport and stamps them. They do not question what we are doing in Greece, where we are going or how long we are staying. They just want to get us out of here as fast as possible.

Outside the terminal, in the dark we get a taxi to take us out to the hotel at the port and hope they will have someplace where we can sleep. We are way beyond exhausted now.

On our way our taxi driver points out the Acropolis light up in the night sky. That is about all of Athens we will see. We arrive at the Dream Hotel in Piraeus, Greece at about 5 AM Monday morning.

The hotel receptionist realizes that we are fatigued and tries to find us a room where we can sleep until our room is ready. She provides us with a room key and says they will call us when our room is ready. Grateful we head up in the tiny elevator to a small room and fall into bed and asleep.

At 12:30 pm the phone rings in our room. The front desk lets us know our room is ready for us to move into. We are beginning to come alive. We may not be in Athens but we are in Greece so we will venture out and see what we can see of this port city, Piraeus.

We are just happy to be in Greece in time to make the ship tomorrow. Today we step into our Epic Journey after having another misadventure to our adventure! It just wouldn’t be one of our Sister Travel Adventures without some kind of misadventure in getting to our starting destination. This time it was not just me who had the misadventure! It was both of us together.

Our misadventure to Greece was easy compared to some of our fellow cruise passengers. Some passengers had more difficulties and complicated journeys to get to Piraeus. Some passengers had to use the backup plan and catch the ship in Malta. Still others gave up and cancelled their voyage.