Would we do it again?

Wrong question but the answer is, “Probably not.” A better question is, “Are we glad we did it?” The answer to that is “Absolutely!”

We experienced exotic places, plants, and animals that we had only known about from books and stories. We heard many languages, glimpsed many cultures, tasted many foods, and watched many religious ceremonies. Many of the people we met had ancestors who had traveled thousands of miles at considerable expense and risk, but almost always seeking a better life for their children. Others had ancestors who had been “transported” halfway around the world to penal colonies for petty crimes. Some had ancestors who weren’t classified as human beings until well into the twentieth century.

20170208_173727 (1)
Bora Bora

We’re glad we did it but to even consider a similar cruise it would have to have a very different itinerary. We were never on mainland Asia; Egypt’s Valley of Kings was the only stop in Africa; Málaga was the only port in mainland Europe. While the islands of the South Pacific are the stuff of dreams and Broadway musicals, after a few it was, “Ho hum, another gorgeous tropical island with white sand beaches,  bright blue water, and colorful fish swimming around a coral reef.” And pervasive poverty.

20170207_164840
Tahiti

With about 35 ports in 107 days, we saw a lot of water . The cruise line worked hard at keeping us amused, with craft classes, art classes, a ship choir and acting company made up of the passengers, port lectures, enrichment lectures, concerts, shows (of varying quality) with professional singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, and magicians, and shows (of varying quality) with amatur singers, dancers, musicians, and comedians,  but no amatur magicians.

DSCN0139
Salalah (Oman) Incense Stall in the Souq with bags of Frankincense

We met many people basically no different than us, trying to be happy, worrying about the future, curious about the world and the people in it. Some thought riding a horse to attend a one-room school was exotic; others thought attending school for more than a few years was exotic. Behind all the superficialities, people (and especially kids) aren’t that different. By any measure, we, and everyone we know, are among the very richest people who have ever inhabited this planet. It’s impossible to see the world in quite the same light.

20170417_231811 - Copy
Dancers from Housekeeping, on the right, who did their traditional dances with the traditional costumes, and dancers from the Engine Room, on the left, who did a vaguely suggestive interpretation of something from South Pacific. Odessa, our cabin attendant, is in yellow and seems to on a slightly different beat.

One thought on “Would we do it again?

  1. People are the same everywhere you go. It is just the way they dress, speak, eat, drink, and the customs they have that make us different. It is enlightening to meet people from exotic places and see how much they are like us. Where is your next horizon?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s