Books in flight: our common ground

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Books in flight: our common ground

And, because my mom traveled so often, she would feed our shared addiction with a continuous supply of books she had purchased at the airport and read on her latest flights.  My bookshelves are full of these books from her, books she would hand to me after she finished them.  We would talk about them with warmth, and without any fear of tripping each other’s sensitive emotional landmines.

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Playtime!!!

Playtime!!!

I’ve never been bull riding, but I imagine it’s like tubing, especially when our captain is pulling the tube! I really miss tubing! I have a chronic tubing injury 🤣 so I can’t go anymore. It’s been years now of watching guests partake while I sit on the sidelines.

Authentic travel

Authentic travel

I love tasting, feeling, experiencing, learning about the places I go, learning the local history and culture. And food!

Fishing for dinner

Fishing for dinner

A perfect lazy weekend activity: fishing for dinner 🐠🐟🐡⛵️🧜‍♂️ It’s great to have workaholic guests onboard relax for the first time a decade. Of course, some can’t totally let go, and put their relaxing to use by learning a new hobby and providing the rest of us dinner!! 😂

But, at least the fishing line replaces the phone and laptop!

It’s a small, small world

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It’s a small, small world

One of the wonderful results of traveling to places is the sense of affinity I now have with that city/state/country.  After I’ve been there, whenever I see it in a newspaper or magazine, or hear it discussed in the news, I listen with more rapt attention than I would have before.  And, when I am reading a novel, or watching a TV show or movie that is set in that locale, I am that much more tuned in and engaged.

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Not on a digitized road

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Not on a digitized road

For anyone who has ever used a navigation system, and driven (or walked) beyond where the map has coverage, you were probably prompted with a message warning you that, “You are not on a digitized road,” meaning that the detailed directions will cease, and you are on your own until you return back to civilization.

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Behind every successful Voyage is an amazing crew

Behind every successful Voyage is an amazing crew

Props to the crew. They love the gulet. They take care of her. The beautiful lines that the fresh water hose makes. The meditating sights of the swabbing of the decks and the polishing of the rails. Beauty in simplicity. Love.

Love to the captain. The captain sets this tone for his crew, which is why they are the best crew in the biz. They work like crazy, keeping us safe and attended to. Then, they party like rockstars when the work is done.

I love and respect our captain so much. He runs the boat and has such discipline. Day in and day out. Year in and year out. Watering the decks is one of my favorites. It’s so cool on my bare feet after, and I like walking around on the wood after making splashing noises in the puddles.

Active travel

Active travel

I love travel that challenges me physically. I am in no way a fitness fanatic, but there’s something exhilarating about proving to yourself that you can accomplish with your body what your mind set out to. Surf camp, yoga retreats, trekking excursions, I’ve done them all. I’m also a control freak and could never understand why so many of the adventures I signed up for were one-size-fits-all. Not everyone is one size!

Love letter to Mali

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Love letter to Mali

After having no idea what was going on for hours, and getting up to board for every flight that was departing, only to be told “non”, I learned that apparently “the plane needs to be plugged in and charged, so we will be taking off at 11am”???

I think in this kind of situation where frustration feeds off frustration, and since I was by myself I was happy just to sit and wait.  If I had been with someone else I am sure I would have been agitated.  There were 6 other Americans also waiting, 2 men I didn’t meet, 2 women from Miami (Nancy and Arlina) and 2 women from outside Atlanta (Barbara and Suzy).

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Fun and games

Fun and games

And, we’ve started to have backgammon competitions on each of our Voyages, which are an absolute hoot! The first step is teaching everyone the Turkish rules, (captain’s boat, captain’s rules) and training the novices in the basics of the game. Then, we draw brackets and let the games begin. We’ve had some unlikely upsets, which is what brackets are all about, really. And, it’s a great way for people who may not know each other well to spend some quality time together.

Paddington Bear

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Paddington Bear

This year my sister and I took her kids to England. And, we missed our mom a lot! But I know she was smiling down on us as we took the kids to see Paddington Station, and to have high tea with marmalade.

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The Blue Voyage never gets old!

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The Blue Voyage never gets old!

At first it was odd to me that I kept wanting to go on the same Voyage. I have travelled the world, and rarely visit the same place twice (except when I’m with my niece and nephew who want to always revisit the same summer house in Michiana – now I know why!). In my travels I always planned something new. That was actually one of my goals (in my matrix…yes…my traveling planning matrix). I felt it was almost a disservice to myself if I retread the same ground. But then…I met the Blue Voyage.

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Bird by bird

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Bird by bird

Starting something new, like writing, is exciting.  But it is also scary.  Having Lamott to look up to as a woman ahead of me on the trail, and not only surviving, but thriving, is reassuring.

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Belly dancing

Belly dancing

One of my favorite parts of the Blue Voyage is the Turkish dance lesson we do onboard. The crew is really committed to helping us all learn. And the joy of dance and laughter and being free and silly is contagious. Even those guests who opt out at the beginning are tying on sequenced scarves and kicking their legs by the end. And if you’re really lucky, Rebekah may join us.

Now you see it, now you don't

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Now you see it, now you don't

I published some of the pictures on Facebook, some on this blog. Others I just kept.  I also digitized all my old photo albums and added those to the library, painstakingly noting dates and locations.

It was all going swimmingly, until…

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Places better experienced through a photo...

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Places better experienced through a photo...

So, the bottom line of my trip, is that I recommend skipping Uluru, and spending an extra day or two at one of the other amazing locations across Australia.  I left feeling unfilled and disappointed.  But, I do have some amazing photos!

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American female on the loose

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American female on the loose

Something I really do not spend a lot of mindshare on is my gender.  I love being a woman; I am proud of it, I wouldn’t change it for the world.  But, I simply don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about it.

During all my travels, it has become clear that the rest of the world sees me as a woman, first and foremost.  Some of the my most colorful memories are directly related to the fact that I am a woman, and I am thankful for each and every one.

Here are just a few cherished nuggets…

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