There's No Place Like Home...
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
We've just departed Morocco, the first port of an 111 day, 11-port itinerary that will take us on a voyage that circumnavigates the globe. It's the early days of what I believe will be a wonderful journey.
So ... I'll bet you'll think I'm silly and ungrateful or, perhaps homesick if I take this moment (day #12 of our adventure) to say, 'There's no place like home.'
However, don't be too quick to judge. The 'home' I'm referring to for now is not the one you think I'm referring to. Rather, it's my current address, Cabin 4064 aboard the MV Explorer. This ship is where I eat, sleep, play and study. It's where my community of fellow travellers is, and it's where all the folks who keep me safe, healthy and travel savvy are.
We all boarded the MV Explorer in Montreal and sailed together across the Atlantic to Morocco, our first port in Africa. We all received the same pre-port information and those who had been to Morocco before counselled those who had never been and were a bit apprehensive about what experiences the destination might hold for us.
We docked in Casablanca amidst a collective shout of excitement. Students young and older descended the MV Explorer's gangway laden with backpacks, cameras, high hopes and a touch of anxiety about the unknown. Close to 600 travellers headed off to all corners of the country via bus, trains and organized tours.
Four days later, with our time in Morocco drawing to a close, the shipboard community converged at the port once again. This time there was lots of hugging and high-five-ing. We were sunburned, smiling, less clean than when we left (camel riding, trekking and sightseeing will do that to you) and laden with photos and treasures we had haggled for in the souks.
For now our African adventure was over and we were glad to be 'home.' Everyone was looking forward to clean sheets, hot showers and food that we could eat without worrying about 'Delhi Belly". We greeted each other like long lost friends and shared both our success stories and our failures. Our shipboard population may have left Montreal as strangers but we departed Morocco as a cohesive 'family' unit. We felt safe, secure and supported.
That's what Semester At Sea is all about.
Next stop, Ghana.
Today’s Semester At Sea Trivia: On this Fall Voyage International Students (from 16 different countries) make up 5% of the student body.
P.S. What do you think? Would you like to spend three months at sea? Leave your comments. We’d love to hear.