When I was a child I lived in in North Bay, Ontario and spent most of my childhood building snow forts in the freezing winters and swimming in Lake Nipissing during the scorching summers. Life was bliss!

My brothers and I spent sunny days climbing trees and building little rafts that we would precariously navigate on the creek behind our house. I imagined the water taking me to places where magical things would happen.

Those little backwater voyages introduced me to the world of cruising. I was always curious about what was around the next bend. I never learned to be a great swimmer but loved the water.

As often happens in life, our paths diverged geographically after our mum’s death. I started exploring the world when I was 20 while my brothers stayed planted in the United States. I grew into a bit of a weed. I loved to spread my arms far and wide making the whole world my home. I start planning my next trip as soon as I return home. My preference is to travel by train or sea, staying close to the moving earth and sea.

Today, I look back on my life of amazing travel and cruising. I have been to over 30 countries and have the postcards to prove it. Other than those pieces of paper however, I have very little to show for my travels. No jewels, textiles, silver or ivory trinkets. I have one Lakshmi figurine I bought in Jaipur, but even she has special significance and answers the question about why I travel. Everything is inside my heart. The Art of Cruising allows me to experience the 4 following things.

Learning about the Truth of Kindness

I travel and cruise to reestablish and reinforce my faith in humanity. When you are travelling solo you are alone and dependent on the kindness of strangers. This takes a special kind of courage. A special form of trust and openness. In 50 years of travel, I have been taken advantage of, hurt and deceived. But for the most part I’ve been blessed with stories, smiles, hugs and acceptance. This is a great lesson for women of all ages.

Kindness on the road is a different kind of experience. It is an oasis in a desert of unfamiliarity. This makes if more precious and real. It has made me treasure kindness and love.

Meeting new people is one of the main reasons I travel.  Cruising allows everything to happen in flashes. Seven hours instead of 7 days in Malta, 4 hours in Molde, a quick stop in Athens. Appreciating the short port days in all their beautiful intensity and depth represents for me the Art of Cruising.

Seeing WOW Experiences with Big Eyes

I love the moments of discovery and eye-opening experiences when I travel. Cruising particularly enhances my vision. It’s like putting on magic glasses that amplify the world. Arriving in a new port is like having invisible binoculars on my eyes. Those WOW moments are at the heart of my love of travel.

Discovering the Creativity that Permeates Our World

Everywhere I travel is am overwhelmed at the amazing creativity of people at work. Whether it is watching a woman beading and stitching textiles in glorious color in Jaipur or viewing the street art in Berlin or Bristol. The sound of hypnotic music in Morocco or the crazy ethnic sounds in Brazil.

Houses painted in rainbow colours and huts stuck together with mud. The visuals and sounds transcend words. When we travel, we discover a common language in the history, arts and music of countries we visit. I am in awe of the creativity of people I meet on my shore excursions.

Feeling Love for the Future of Our Planet

When I travel and cruise, the hard work of people trying to live a better life and raise happy, educated children is visible. Even those short moments in ports around the world communicate how everyone is just doing their best.

It is a great lesson in humility to see the common threads of our humanity. There are lots of challenges in this crazy world, but slow travel and especially cruising can soften the heart and increase the sense of connection and love for eachother.

The seas and rivers connect us.

For me the Art of Cruising is aligned directly to the Art of Living. With style, passion resilience and optimism for a better future.

What was your first cruise experience? What did it teach you? What do you love about experiencing the Art of Travelling and Cruising?

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