So I bit the bullet and booked the trip. I haven’t really done any major traveling for about 2 years, aside from that Alaskan cruise last Spring. Even then, I took the train to the coast, then white knuckled it on the 90 min flight home from Victoria. I figured if the plane went down, at least we would all die together. I wouldn’t have to worry about my parents being sad or me missing them. Somehow that justification is how I got through it.
Anyway, a really great cruise deal came up last week. I have taken more than 75 cruises, some lasting more than a month. I have done a bunch of transatlantics and they are among my favorite. There is nothing like being in the middle of the sea, literally. No lights, no islands, no cities, no trees. Nothing save for the random passing ship. It’s really quite magical. When you go out at night and look at the stars, it’s like you are one of them. That paired with the sound of the deep ocean waves lapping up against the ship and the subtle scent of fresh salty sea in the air…well, to me it is sublime.
I have spent many a night staring up into the expanse fully aware the vast world below me. When there is nothing for miles in all directions, you really get a sense of how infinitesimal we are. I think it’s the closest feeling you can get to feeling out in space, down here on Earth. So I will deal with my fear of death by plane, so I can get back to my peaceful happy place.
We are also stopping at a few ports that will be somewhat new to me. I have been to Portugal, Ireland, France, and England but not these ports. There is always a special flavor that port towns have. Sea people are one of a kind. I have a real affinity for them. I have always found it something of a cruel joke that such a lover of water was born landlocked.
My grandpa died when I was way too young, I barely got to meet him. It’s one of my few regrets in this life. Apparently, we were cut from the same cloth. I mean, I am definitely the black sheep in my family. It would have been nice to have someone like me around. I miss him. When I go out on the sea, I feel closer to him. He was in the Navy, loved the sea, and fishing. I try to imagine him next to me telling me stories of his war days, and that huge fish that got away.
It’s definitely a shift thinking about a short-term holiday rather than long-term traveling. It’s a very different beast. I have definitely done a lot of both in my life, but I have a travelers mentality now. It’s weird to think about it ending before it starts and coming home after just a few weeks. To have deadlines and tickets and schedules. These things change the whole dynamic. But I will do it! Because I have to get back on that horse.
Today I am grateful for determination, the expanse, affinity, adventures, and courage.