Friday, January 22, 2010

One Hundred Ten Days

CruisingAbout this time each winter I get a little restless. The days are getting longer but it's still so cold that I dress in layers of wool and turtlenecks with my breath hovering in the air in front of me. When I walk out to my car in the darkness the snow crunches and groans and my fingers feel stiff with the chill.

And while I'm surrounded by four more months of snowy darkness I start to dream about places I could be . . .

Do you have things that you want to do before you die? Near the top of my list it says "travel around the world" but I'm a lot more specific than that. When I should be folding laundry or vacuuming crumbs from the floor I sometimes stop to sneak a peak at a cruise that I promise you someday I will take.

The trip I want is a complete circumnavigation of the globe. Doesn't that just sound wonderful? Sailing around the entire earth in one voyage like some modern Magellan--but with a lot more comfort. The M.S. Amsterdam leaves Ft. Lauderdale on January 5, 2011 before crossing the Atlantic for Spain where it will sail through the Straits of Gibraltar then through the Mediterranean, stopping at Seville, Rome, Naples, Athens and Ephesus.

After a stop in Cairo and Aqaba (to see Petra) it will sail through the Red Sea and around to Dubai, over to Mombai and on to Singapore. From there it's Hong Kong and Manila then on to Cairns and Sydney, farther south to Tasmania and over to New Zealand where it will bounce along the southern Indian Ocean and up into Polynesia and Bora-Bora.

The ship will traverse the Atlantic to Easter Island then up along the western coast of South America past Peru, Equador and through the Panama Canal into the Caribbean, stopping at Grand Cayman before returning to Ft. Lauderdale one hundred and ten days later.

Holland America's Grand World VoyagesI can't describe amount of longing I have to be on that ship. Yes I know that one hundred and ten days is over three and a half months but that's the point. What would it be like to walk up the gangplank and leave winter and icy roads and dirty cars all behind and just see the world? To be able to visit places with names so fat and luxurious they roll around in your mouth like a ripe strawberry?

Cartagena . . . Rarotonga . . . Papeete. Twenty-six different countries. Just saying the word "Papeete" gives me chills of romance and the idea of waking up one morning, walking out of my room and finding myself staring at Gaugin's beaches and palm trees is enough to make me sigh. Someday that boat will leave with me on it.

Six continents, all in complete comfort and with a grace and elegance that you can't find with any other form of travel. I want to be on a ship and feel myself rock to sleep each night or wake up each morning to see the ocean going past with dolphins and flying fish playing in the wake as I follow Sir Francis Drake and James Cook.

Portable Office in Steamer TrunkI would need some steamer trunks. Big ones, covered with leather and fancy tacks and fitted with brass corners like the trunks Tom Hanks uses in Joe v. the Volcano. Definitely. Though I'd update and include this trunk here which includes a portable office because I would be blogging every mile of the way, making you all wish you had a cabin too.

So for three and a half months at sea what do you think you'd pay? Take a guess. Here's the amazing part--I could buy a ticket on the M.S. Amsterdam for $17,000. Think about it--you'd have airfare to Florida and some taxes to pay but you could see the world and live like a king for nearly four months, eating so much they'd have to roll you down the gangplank when it was over, all for under $20,000. When you compare it to those overpriced Disney cruises where you spend $7,000 for nine days it blows them away.

So my point is, it's not an unrealistic idea to say that someday I'll be there. Of course it won't be while my kids are living at home but at some point in my life Andrew and I will have tickets and steamer trunks ready to go and then you won't hear from us for four months. Bon voyage.

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46 comments:

Melissa said...

Heavenly!! Go for it, Michelle!

Nancy said...

My husband and I have talked about this cruise several times. We have decided that this will be our 'empty nest' celebration cruise.

Our nest won't be empty for a good 20+ years, but it gives us something to look forward to.

Good taste Michelle!

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

How much would you weigh after that trip? : )

Lucy said...

I'd love it! It's the $$$$ that would stop it in infancy. I've always wanted to travel each and every back road in the United States until death to us part. I have a blogger friend that does that. They sold everything upon retirement, bought an RV and just travel here and there stopping when and where they wish.

*sighhhh*....it'll never happen with me. Do we get to come back after death?

Meg said...

This is one of the funner posts I have ever read in the blogosphere. I'll be smiling all day...especially at that price. You are right - that is a very attainable dream.

Jennifer said...

What do you mean we won't hear from you for 4 months? You just promised to blog the whole thing with your fancy office steamer trunk! :)

I am sure you will make it and hope I'm still around to read all about the day you finally click the purchase button!

jacjewelry said...

That sounds amazing! Thanks for the great idea - and yes, what a blast it would be!

Blessed said...

That does sound like an awesome trip. And up till now I've been happy to daydream about taking a road trip all around the US of A, hmmm... I might need to set my sights a little bit higher!

planetnomad said...

*dreamy sigh* That sounds fantastic! I'll join you!
My parents flew around the world on their honeymoon! They met in Ethiopia, where my dad was working for the Ethiopian gov't, who would pay the fare for he and his wife to the place where he'd signed the contract--LA, literally halfway round the world. Flights were much shorter then, and they flew back the other way. I have always wanted to top this or at least come close, and I think this cruise would do it!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I could totally see you doing this, and writing about it, someday.

PS love the new look!

Steph

Heather said...

Sounds devine! I am drooling at your description of what it might be like; can't wait to hear about the real experience. I have no doubt youll get there. Think there's room for me in one of those trunks? :o)

Jackie @ Lilolu said...

What a wonderful way to travel the globe. I hope you do make that trip someday. Heck! I hope I make that trip some day!

Janelle said...

Oh Michelle. Can I come with you? If there was only one place I could visit in the world, it would be all of Western Europe, but there are really so many other places I would like to also visit, not just there. I think I'd be sad only that this cruise wouldn't include Ireland, Moscow (I really want to see St. Basil's), and India (Taj Mahal). If they stop at Cairo, I'm guessing there is time allowed to visit the pyramids. There's a little more in Europe I'd miss out on, but this trip would definitely be satisfactory. Talk about the trip of a lifetime!

Mrs. Ohtobe said...

I could so book that cruise. Once the kids are gone. And the house is paid off. And we win the lottery. And...but dang it does sound so wonderful!

The Source said...

Wow. That sounds heavenly. We've got our own plan, my hubby and I. We want to sell our house as soon as all of our kids are grown and on their own. Then we'll buy something smaller (won't need 5 bedrooms) and probably older, that we can afford with no mortgage. And THEN...then we're buying our own sailboat and heading to the British Virgins Islands. We'll leave the boat there, let others charter it when we aren't using it, and head over every chance we get! That way we won't have to wait for our one week of paradise every other year!

When you take your world cruise, be sure to look for our little catamaran as you pass by! We'll wave at you!!

Headless Mom said...

Sounds lovely! Although I'd have to do it alone because my husband doesn't like cruises. What kind of freak is he?

Janessa said...

That sounds AHHHH-mazing!! I'd love to do something like that someday also.

MiaKatia said...

Oh man sign me up!!! That sounds amazing and the price is fantastic. Of course still outside of my current vacation length and price range, but some day.

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

I love to travel, too. Reading your post makes me wonder which would be more fun . . . actually seeing all that or writing about it along the way. What a great dream!

Mrs. Organic said...

I think I'd go just for an excuse to buy that steamer trunk.

I've been reading Frances Mayes' A Year in the World and now I'm itching for warmer climates and a private tour of the Mediterranean coast.

Shannon said...

That trip sounds amazing! I have always wanted to travel by train through the Canadian Rockies to Banff. They have skiing, shopping and five star cooking classes- my kind of vacation. It's on my bucket or 'someday' list.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

WOW! What a fabulous cruise. I think you've just given me something I want to do when my husband "retires." (Not being baby boomers, we figure we'll never truly retire. But half a year traveling the world would sure make up for that.)

Cop Mama said...

Hey, love your new blog design! How fun!

Scribbit said...

Holland America is such a nice cruise line--Andrew and I used it when we went on a cruise three years ago in the Caribbean. A smaller ship and very elegant and quiet.

They had another world voyage that's disappeared from their webiste but it was 114 days and went down along the western coast of South America, down to Antarctica, up the east coast, across to Africa's west coast then around Cape Horn to Madagascar and over to Mombai then through Indonesia and south east Asia and up around China and Japan to Russia then over to Vancouver. Also a fabulous trip with a little different view of the world. I don't know which I'd want more. Maybe take both?

Carina said...

Yes but...

The idea of eating a ton of rich food and then bouncing up and down on any waves at all is...unappealing. Sure, there's mystery, excitement and adventure. But if you're stuck in your cabin with your head in a bucket, what's the use?

Carinne said...

WIth trunks that size - maybe you could pack me in one and I could come with you!

Serena said...

I want to go to there! If we could come up with the money, I would do that in a heartbeat, two small children and all!

Geekwif said...

Wow. I had no idea something so wonderful existed. I think I'd miss home after a bit, but then again, with an itinerary like that ...

I hope you get your dream cruise someday and that it is even more fabulous than you imagined.

Organizing Mommy said...

You have so many people who want to go with you, you should just be the tour guide and have yours paid for.. just a thought!

Lori said...

Well, if you think that the kids and your husband can survive without you for almost four months, then go for it.

I'm pretty positive that not only will we not have the money for this, but my husband will most definitely not have the vacation time! But you're so right, a girl can dream.

I've gone so far as the checkout page on trips planned on expedia and travelocity to places like London and Riga, but that's about all I can do right now...

By the way, I'm a huge fan of any post with a shoutout to Joe vs. the Volcano. You just don't hear that much about it anymore!

Daisy said...

Have you read Nicholas Sparks' "Three Weeks with my Brother"? He and his brother took a three week round-the-world trip. The book chronicles the trip and retrospectives of his childhood.

Miss_Jill said...

I would LOVE to do this! I've been thinking of places to go for my honeymoon and this would be fantastic! Although I should probably put $17,000 towards buying a house, but hey.. I can dream!

patty w said...

You GO girl !

And, I like your new look !

Rebecca D said...

Sounds great... sign me up!

Rebecca at Toothwhale said...

I hope you get to do it someday. You know where I'd like to cruise with my husband? To Alaska!

Michele said...

I. Would. So. Love. To. Do. That. Too!

Danise Delights said...

What a great plan! :)
I believe you will do it!

I can even begin to understand how cold it is there... I live in So Cal. We've had just a few days of rain in a row with temps around the 50's and I can't wait to see the sunshine again. Reading about your layers makes me realize, I don't even know what cold is.

Take the cruise girl... you deserve it! :)

Love your blog

Blessings~

Laurel Nelson said...

I would so join you. One of my dreams is an around the world cruise too. And as soon as I saw the picture of the steamer trunk - actually as soon as I saw the word steamer trunk I instantly pictured that movie! :)

Don McNeill said...

That sounds just fantastic! $180 per day plus throw in a little more spending cash - Say another $20,000 (really live a little)and I am on board with you. What a goal to set! Thank you for finding this.

Naomi said...

Someday... sounds amazing. Someone should really sponsor you on that trip!

miriama said...

I have no doubt in my mind that you will go on that cruise. Now I have something to dream about, too. I had never heard about it before. My husband and I took a 7 day Princess Cruise to Alaska summer before last and I can't wait to do it again!

Lisa said...

We are big fans of cruising. You can eat and eat and eat, but they also have gyms on board and you have plenty of opportunities to work off that food! :)

But let me suggest you get a room with a window--especially on that long of a trip! ;)

I think it would be a fabulous way to see so much of the world and I am really tucking that in the back of my mind for when my kids have moved out. I could so do it!

Linda said...

Ok, that was just what I needed. I even emailed it to my husband for someday when the kids are grown and done college! Oh, I guess we'll have to be retired too!

Stephanie said...

Tim and I have a dream to travel around the world too...but we want to do it with our kids and preferably not on a cruise. Maybe someday we'll bump into each other in Manila or Tasmania or Hong Kong...? :)

stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

First of all....

Where have I *been*?! Gasp! I lovelovelove your new blog look. I want it for myself.

Second, I live in Ft. Lauderdale and it's easy to take a cruise. My family loves them. Going around the world will go down on my life list too. Maybe we'll end up at the captain's table together and talk about the good ol' days of blogging then....

imadramamama.wordpress.com said...

First of all, oh my Lordy, I love your new layout. It's all homey and stuff. LOVE IT!

Secondly, oh my Lordy, I love to cruise. That cruise sounds amazing! I'm not sure Dave would ever take that much time off work, but I could send him postcards...