Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune to travel quite a bit, both inside the United States and internationally. Quite a lot of that travel has been while I was working in one capacity or another. Aside from the work aspect, what that meant was that I usually spent time with locals. They showed me around, told me stories and helped me to understand the culture of my destination. That sort of travel isn’t exactly glamorous, but it is certainly enlightening. And it can be a lot of fun.
But here in a couple days, I’m leaving on an entirely different type of travel. I’m taking a cruise. Yep, on one of those big, behemoth cruise ships that holds thousands of people. We’ll be stopping along the way in four destinations, but literally we’ll only be in each one for a few hours at a time. (Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but the longest stop is about eight hours.)
I have to admit to some mixed feelings about this trip. I’m sure it will be a blast and we will laugh and joke and have lots of fun. There will also be plenty of time for introspective staring at the blue Caribbean; time for lying in the sun and playing in the warm water. That part I totally understand, and all indications to the contrary, I do know how to relax and kick back. I don’t have to be in constant motion.
It is also extremely likely that I will get some writing done. And hold on, before you say “But, that’s work. You’re supposed to be on vacation,” as a writer, writing is a lot like reading, except I get to tell the characters what happens. Writing is certainly work, and it can be difficult, but when the words are flowing it is a whole lot of fun.
The part where my mixed feelings come in is the time visiting the ports-of-call. It’s going to kill me to tour around a place for a few hours and then have to get back on board the cruise ship and head off to the next destination. I’m going to want to talk to people and hang out and watch the sunset, have a beer with the locals and hear what they have to say.
I’m sure I’ll make the best of it…yes, I am joking. I KNOW it will be great. But even this falls into the category of new life adventures for me. I’ll probably have to spend some time exploring the behind-the-scenes parts of the cruise ship though to make myself feel less guilty about not actually “working” while I’m on board. Hey, maybe I’ll get enough ideas that I can set a future story on board a cruise ship bouncing around the Caribbean. Yeah, that should help assuage my guilt….