Tuesday, December 26, 2006

In The Beginning

Once upon a time there was a young woman who was very uncomfortable with travel. If she went anywhere, it would literally take her five years to find the wherewithal to travel again. Fortunately those days are gone, as is the travel shyness. Today she would rather travel than stay at home. In the beginning she was an extreme non-traveler; today she is at the opposite pole.

I now travel with a girlfriend who enables me to be adventurous. Earlier travel was with people who were not great choices, but they were the best available to me. And frankly, I was probably not a good choice for them, either. Fortunately I have changed greatly over the years since my first travel adventure in 1967, the obligatory trip to Europe. Now I can both choose my traveling companions well and be a good one.

The travel bug bit me after I went to Israel in 2005. I guess it woke me up to the possibilities of travel. The cruise that followed approximately 3 moths later sealed my fate. As long a it is possible, I would like to spend my time traveling. It is still important to me to have a home life, so as to maintain the hard-won connections with friends. But now I believe it is equally important to be free to travel rather than be tied down by a home that needs a lot of maintenance. I like the idea of having roots without having to stay in one place forever.

For me, the best form of travel is via cruise ship. When the cruise is long enough it is possible to develop friendships with the people you meet on board, both crew and passengers. I especially like nights at sea, because the rocking of the ship combined with the vibration of the engines enables me to sleep well. I like all the opportunities to dress up, as well as the vast range of different places one can visit. Much as I loved the trip to Israel, I find it much easier to enjoy travel when I'm not living out of a suitcase. Beyond that, the level of pampering one gets on a good cruise is unmatched anywhere else.

In ths space I plan mostly to share my travel experiences. As I recently acquired a nice digital camera, I will be able to share pictures, also. The photo above is of the ms Maasdam, of Holland America Line, in the harbor of Barbados, the vessel that carried me on my latest adventure. I will share more about that in the coming days.

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