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.

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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Ants on the Tracks

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Ants on the Tracks

A focal part of my relationship with my niece and nephew is reading.

Sure, we do a lot of tickling, and kissing, and hugging, and chasing, and shoulder rides, and laughing.  There are water slide parks, and cheeseburgers, and musicals…and other things, too.

But, every time put them to bed, we read.

So, it is no surprise that traveling with them involves books, too.

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Ethiopia: I had a lot to learn!!

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Ethiopia: I had a lot to learn!!

I have been fascinated by Ethiopia ever since I learned about Lucy, the ancient human ancestor found there.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be an archeologist.  Or maybe an anthropologist.  I struggled between the two, but in either case, I knew I wanted to go to Ethiopia.

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Mongolian infection

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Mongolian infection

I think of Mongolia on a daily basis, since I have named my dog Gobi.  She looks just like one of the dogs my sister and I met and adopted for the duration of our stay.  Like my dog, my memories of Mongolia are never far from my heart.

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Bring your vacation home with you!

Bring your vacation home with you!

Guest post by Rebekah Marcano (https://definewellbeing.com)

There is something about getting on an airplane and having a forced technology break that makes me go super inward-my childhood prayers and daydreams come to mind as the plane takes off and I text my I love you’s to my family and head into the clouds with a sense of gratitude for life and curiosity for the unknown adventure!

Chemistry formulas

Chemistry formulas

The funny thing about travel friends is that you can end up with friends all over the world, whom you love just as much as some of your closest friends from home.

Welcome

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Welcome

I don’t remember not traveling.  I started earning frequent flier miles when I was 8 years old. I vividly remember the year my sister and I got matching Snoopy suitcases for Christmas.  Nothing else we got that year even came close to being as cool as those suitcases! 

After my parents divorced, and my mom moved my sister and I across the country, my sister and I flew alone cross-country several times a year to visit our dad.  And, my sister and I went on great holidays with our dad to Mexico and Jamaica, and with our mom to England, Florida, New York, D.C. and Australia.

But, even more common than flying were the road trips.  With our dad, we took trips to Wisconsin (the Dells), Indiana (the Dunes) and Michigan (some kind of Lithuanian summer community).  With our mom it was all about the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite.

I learned about history, culture, politics, and life.  Not through the filter of television, but by actually traveling and seeing it.

I started this blog in 2012 to explain what travel is teaching me now, or key lessons I learned in the past.  My hope is that you enjoy reading it a fraction as much as I enjoy learning it!

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