Weekend Inspiration – Mark Twain

Are you drawn to the unknown?

Weekend Travel Inspiration  - Mark Twain

While it’s true we aren’t really people to get on a cruise, there is something about climbing aboard a ship, leaving the comforts and daily routines of home, putting land behind you and crossing oceans to explore destinations unknown. Don’t get me wrong, we love all kinds of travel including going back to places we’ve fallen in love with. There are definitely plenty of spots on earth that draw us back over and over again with a magnetic pull. But the idea of heading off across the sea to a completely new port has the strongest appeal for me. And we’re constantly open to new opportunities whenever they arrive.

One year we drove up to the Baltic coast of Germany in the middle of winter to see if we could climb aboard a ferry at the last minute and just go somewhere new. We ended up in Gotheburg, somewhere I’d never even really heard of before. One year, after a long and eventful travel-packed summer, we returned home with more than a week of free time before we had to go back to work. We had thought of spending a relaxing seven days just enjoying being home and doing nothing. By day two I had the maps out and was looking for somewhere new. I love looking at maps and tracing those faint, dotted blue lines that stretch out across the water from one point of land to another. By day three we were on the ship to Corsica with no idea what awaited us, other than adventure.

Then one time, we took the ferry across the short stretch of water between Hirtshals, Denmark, and Kristiansand, Norway, to visit friends. How could we turn this into a journey of discovery? Well, while waiting for the ferry departure we wandered into a gas station to get a cup of coffee and found a small tourist information kiosk. On the table was a glossy magazine titled “Iceland!” What? A ferry to Iceland? This one took some planning, but the next summer we found ourselves aboard a ship on a three day crossing to stunning Iceland, with a bonus trip to the Faroe Islands! Once there, we spent a perfect week exploring, dreaming, and discovering.  We loved it.

What about you? Do feel the pull of the sea? Give in to it! Climb aboard a ship, throw off the lines, and steam off to new lands and new dreams!

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22 Comments

  1. I love the idea of driving to the port and just heading to where the next ferry is going to discover a new destination.

  2. Great quote! Very popular among the sailing/cruising community. I guess we’re literally going to be doing this – throwing off the bowlines on our boat and sailing off to new places to explore. We’re planning on heading back to the Bahamas in a few months, then maybe Cuba and who knows after that! I love traveling by boat – you get to take your home with you.

  3. I think I would have also jumped aboard that ferry to Iceland. How exciting. I like cruises (as demonstrated in my post this week), but I will readily admit that the itineraries are so detailed that I don’t exactly have the feeling of sailing off into the Unknown. I think catching a boat to somewhere impulsively would be one way to capture that feeling.

  4. I like the sea and we did a barge cruise through Burgundy, though technically that is a canal. I have sailed between the islands of Samoa with a chicken on my lap, sailed between some remote islands in Indonesia as a means of transport, so that sort of counts, but no, we haven’t really sailed away yet. Maybe because we live at the beach and walk it everyday or maybe we just haven’t done this yet, but we are always open for anything.

  5. You have chosen my favorite travel quote. It really speaks to me, both as a sailor (I race on yachts), a traveler and as and adventurer (although a low key one compared to some of the people we know). To me it’s about leaving the safety of what we know to go off and have and try something new. It’s the pre-quote that I also like, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

  6. I do like boat rides, although I have only been on a few longer cruises. Memorable ones include 3 days in beautiful Halong Bay and a 8 night transatlantic cruise aboard the RMS Queen Mary 2 (also where Laurence and I got married!). I find boats much more relaxing than long plane journeys.

  7. You gave me a great idea, Corinne: cruising the Baltic coast of Germany. We are not crazy about cruises, but there are some European ones I’d love to try.

  8. Jim, I am with you on cruising- I love all sorts of traveling and while the freedoms of road tripping is currently my favorite mode of travel, I enjoy the sense of containment and relaxation of the ship. Planning one for this winter right now!

  9. Corinne, I dig the idea of traveling to new lands. Sure we do the comfort zone bit here and there – Thailand is always calling us – but it is SO fun and exciting and thrilling to go somewhere new for the first time. I recall starting our trip, heading to Bali. I’d never been on a plane and I hadn’t left the States. What an amazing experience it was. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

    Signing off from Nicaragua.

    Ryan

  10. A ship in port, an airplane on the runway, a car in the driveway — they all signal heading off somewhere and having an adventure. I do have to say ship/ferry, etc. is generally a more relaxing way to travel than either car or plane.

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