On 6 March 2023, I reserved a first-time-ever opportunity that was announced only five days earlier. Life At Sea Cruises, a brand from Miray Cruises, has created a THREE-YEAR around-the-world “live-and-work-aboard” cruise with (at present) 350+ stops in ports in 135 countries on all 7 continents. And I’m going on it!
For me, and for a lot of people, this is a truly phenomenal opportunity! It took me about 8 hours to decide to risk a deposit that was claimed to be refundable. Preliminary due diligence supported a decision that it was worth the risk to plunk down the reservation deposit.
At the end of March, after lots of soul searching, more in-depth due diligence, and coming to some fundamental realizations about what mattered to me, I paid the not-fully-refundable balance due on the initial reservation payment. Today, 19 April 2023, I’m beginning this blog to share with you the experiences of preparing for my Life At Sea to come.
The ship, MV Gemini, has been in operation for over three decades and is being refitted to support working from our ship/home with about 800 passengers and somewhere around 250 crew. The departure date is 1 November 2023 – 196 days from today, 19 April.
6+ months seems like a long time, but time goes by very quickly when preparing for a major life event. Day to day it seems to take forever. Every once in a while, you realize how much time has passed, and the time is, in fact, flying by. For me, those moments reliably happen when I have to re-fill my daily pill case (it’s good for 14 days) and every time it comes up I feel like I just filled it a couple of days ago! When I was a kid in Texas, my father used to tell me “When you get older, the days take as long to go by, but the years pass much more quickly.” I wish he was around for me to tell him how right he was. About so many things, actually. There were some things he didn’t get right, of course At least in my book.
Today I plan to purchase an airline ticket from Windhoek, Namibia, to Istanbul, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (still commonly called “Turkey”) in time to spend at least 4-5 days exploring one of the oldest and most fascinating cities in the world. Before the trip begins I’m going to start posting blogs about preparing for the trip, and about the ports we will be visiting. Istanbul is the first one – the starting point for a 3-year adventure!
This is a travel blog and I plan to post something about every port we visit, the time at sea, the ship and the passengers and crew including lots of images and videos. Additionally, and in all honesty the parts of the cruise I am most looking forward to, involve getting to know like-minded Residents in such abundance and being able to share this trip with you on this blog. I plan to evolve this site into a significant and well-kept journal of an epic adventure.
This is a rare opportunity to be around a concentration of people with similar values to mine that have the time to get to know each other. The company, Life At Sea Cruises (a brand of Miray Cruises, has been clear that a top priority (together with safety) is building a community. This is a topic near and dear to my heart.
I came to Namibia in 2015 as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Community Development (more on that in my other blog site, WITWIA.COM). I’ve been at it ever since and plan to continue it on board. I’m sure not every Resident (passenger) and crew member will “hit it off” with everyone else, of course. These instances won’t be avoided, but also we won’t dwell on them.
At first, I’ll be posting “catch-up” entries from stuff I’ve been writing prior to going public with this decision. That delay was for some personal reasons and also involved getting this blog site ready. I encourage you to subscribe so you will get an email notice when I post something new, and ONLY when I post a new entry. You won’t get it every new posting unless you want that, and can opt for a summary every week or so. I may also let you determine what categories of information you want to see – I’ll let that evolve as I get this site up and rolling. Your contact info will not be given to anyone else for any reason and won’t generate spam, loss of data, or other onerous “ondjala” (see the Oshiwambo language for translation, but you can guess). If you can’t find a translator for Oshiwambo don’t feel bad, there are only about 1.2 million people in the world (of eight or so billion) that speak it. But I’m in the middle of those 1.2 million every day here in Namibia.
I’m also going to be working on the website design actively (not just the blog postings), probably pretty much forever, and I encourage feedback on what you like, suggestions you may have, or topics/things you would like to see. I can’t promise it will all be done, but I appreciate and value your feedback. There will be a lot of effort put into keeping this material relevant and interesting, and I could use the reinforcement of knowing people are actually looking at it!
Also, I’m planning to facilitate submissions for posts by other residents and crew members It would be great to get other perspectives! The website and menus will have some changes in the near future that facilitate those kinds of contributions.
I am very excited to finally be planning, and then experiencing, this next phase of an interesting life, this next part which I get to share with you. What a trip!