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Launching Our Book

Finally, after four years of writing and rewriting, we are happy to say, our book is ready to launch! 

It has been quite a journey and we know you will enjoy the results. So many faces, stories, and pictures to see, as well a wealth of insider knowledge and practical advice to guide you through the steps to create your own amazingly enjoyable cruise adventure!

Book Cover Digital

Using a travel agent to get the best values

Mastering passport and visa hurdles

Understanding the pros and cons of travel insurance

Finding a free house/pet sitter

Streamlining your packing process

Juggling the intricacies of foreign currency

Enjoying your sea days

Maximizing your port experiences

Embracing cultural differences & interacting with locals

Creatively sharing your experiences with others, and so much more

We created the book in two editions ~ printed and digital, so you get to choose, or get one of each as they truly are different.

The printed book is 384 pages in full color, with wonderful quotes and stories that will enlighten you, make you smile, and help to take the guess-work out of planning an exciting adventure. Though we do emphasize cruising, the ideas and suggestions within the book can apply to most travel itineraries, the difference being that you cruise between locations. 

The digital book was crafted using Apple’s iBooks authoring program, that makes the experience enticing. The information contained in both versions is the same; however, the digital book allows for multi-touch screens that whisk you to websites, movies, and blog entries that highlight the topic you are researching, never losing your place in the book.  All photographs are identified as to their locale, some are also enhanced with additional information in popup widgets. The idea is to immerse you in the research, but allow you to choose the speed and order of learning. And every topic is searchable!

Our website has links that allow you to Look Inside both the digital and print editions.

You can purchase the digital version ($14.99 + tax) from the iBook Store by CLICKING HERE, or from the links on our website (listed above).

The print edition ($24.95 + tax and shipping) has arrived for distribution, but the logistic for purchasing online are still in the construction stage. But send Carolyn an email using this LINK TO CAROLYN so she can email or call you regarding your request.


Integrating a Travel Mindset into Your Daily Life

copyright Steve Evans from Citizens of the World CC-BY-SA-2.0

copyright Steve Evans from Citizens of the World CC-BY-SA-2.0

Too soon after returning home from a trip, we slide into our former pace of life. Our adventures fade into memories. Many of the benefits of the cruise, such as lowered stress, higher levels of physical activity, and multiple interactions with others, that brought many moments of laughter, joy, and interesting conversation seem no longer to exist. They’re gone. After a few months back home, we don’t even notice that we’ve lost touch with the new friends we enjoyed so much on the cruise.

The wistful thoughts of one world traveler capture a portion of these feelings:

Even though I thoroughly enjoyed taking photos on every shore excursion and around the ship, I didnt continue to pursue that interest after I returned home. I let myself get caught up in matters of consequence. I have so many opportunities to photograph animals, birds, flowers, children––almost everything I photographed while on the trip. However, once I returned home, the photo outings ceased and my camera languished in a closet.

Birds of Prey copyright Carolyn J. Wood

Birds of Prey copyright Carolyn J. Wood

What about being on a vacation inspires us to photograph every day, but not take that opportunity at home? Why are we satisfied with inactivity, even being couch potatoes at home, while on the trip we enjoyed being physically active? We simply get so caught up in our daily lives that we leave behind those newly acquired habits and engaging activities. However, it is essential to keep practicing travel behaviors at home:

 Its like elite athletes who practice and work out in the off-season to prevent getting so far out of shape that their game would suffer.

The same concept applies to us travel photographers. If we dont practice in between trips, we get rusty. 

                                                         –Bob Krist, professional travel photographer

No intervention will magically integrate your travel mindset into your life at home, but the following five suggestions may prove helpful.

First, turn your fascination with cultural differences in the countries you visited into a keener awareness of these distinctions locally. Enjoy cultural festivals, visit ethnic restaurants, and try cooking some of the dishes you tasted during your travels. View international art at local and regional exhibitions. Continue to embrace cultural diversities in your everyday life.

Native Americans copyright by Derek Bridges CC-BY-SA-2.0

Native Americans copyright by Derek Bridges CC-BY-SA-2.0

Second, strike up casual conversations with others while standing in line to purchase groceries, waiting for a table in a restaurant, and so forth. Those brief conversations can lead to new acquaintances and friendships.

Third, continue the wellness and exercise behaviors you adopted while on vacation. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car a little farther from your destination and walk. Don’t amble as you walk the dog, pick up the pace a bit. Listen to music while you clean the house or wash the car.

Fourth, you engaged in entertainment opportunities while on vacation. With just a little effort, you can continue to enjoy many of the same types of offerings: plays, musical performances, lectures, demonstrations, and many other forms of entertainment in your hometown or in a major metropolitan area nearby.

And finally, keep your travel attitude alive by adopting a mindset focused on discovery and spontaneity in order to re-explore where you live. Take a different, less traveled, route so that you discover new places such as parks, shops, and unfamiliar scenery; choose a form of transportation that you don’t normally use: ride a bike, take a bus or a train, or simply walk. Most of all, take the opportunity to be in a different space by disconnecting from the noise of your smartphone or cellphone.

Cox Farm bridge copyright Kathy (from just livin' in a small town in SW PA, USA) CC-BY-SA-2.0

Cox Farm bridge copyright Kathy (from just livin’ in a small town in SW PA, USA) CC-BY-SA-2.0

Wooded walking path in Erie Bluffs State Park, Pennsylvania copyright Yinan Chen in public domain

Wooded walking path in Erie Bluffs State Park, Pennsylvania copyright Yinan Chen in public domain

Objects that are usually the motives of our travels by land and sea are often overlooked and neglected if they lie under our eye.

We put off from time to time going and seeing what we know we have an opportunity of seeing when we please.    

—Pliny the Younger

Sheldon ruins outside Beaufort, SC USA copyright Mary Jane Wood Zabinski

Sheldon ruins outside Beaufort, SC USA copyright Mary Jane Wood Zabinski

When you return home from a vacation, integrate all those positive experiences into your day-to-day journey. Continue to be a traveler throughout your life, not just a tourist on the sidelines watching life pass you by.



New Year Wishes Last Longer Than A Day

A Thought For the New Year

Travel so Life not Escape us

 And Two Suggestions for 2015

tourist vs. traveler

 Fill Empty Jar

May 2015 Be Your Best Year Yet!


NYE Sydney Harbour Fireworks

© Rob Chandler (own work) CC-BY-SA-2.0

I Cannot Count That High


On sea days, we have opportunities to enjoy many activities, one of which consists of lectures on myriad topics. Throughout the latest series, focused on various aspects of the universe and the planetary system, the presenter, Frank Buzzard, frequently talks in terms of millions, billions, and trillions, of miles from earth and has even used many other words that I have never heard of to describe numbers higher than this.

One evening we talked with our tablemates about how difficult it is to even conceive of what all of these numbers represent. Robert Rowlands came back the next evening with a chart that helped to put large numbers into perspective.

If 1 second of time is given the value of 1, then the value of

         100 seconds       =      1.66 minutes or about 1.5 minutes

         1,000 seconds    =      16.66 minutes or about 16.5 minutes

         10,000 seconds   =      2.77 hours or about 2.75 hours

         100,000 seconds =      27.77 hours or about 1 day, 3 hours  

   1,000,000 seconds (Million) =     277 hours or about 11.5 days

1,000,000,000 seconds (Billion) = 31.709 years or about 31 years.8 months

1,000,000,000,000 seconds (Trillion) = 31,000 years       

We thought the chart provided a very useful way to simplify numbers by putting them into a context with which we are all familiar. 

As but one example, use the above to better understand the amount of the national debt we have in America!


Lumpy Days at Sea ~ We Are Headed For a Cyclone

We left Dubai early Sunday evening, trying to out run a cyclone that has formed in our path. The Captain is taking us on an eastward course towards India, in hopes of skirting the storm, before heading back westward to the Seychelles. Of course a lot depends on the storm, what track it takes, and if it doubles back on us.

 This will be Carolyn’s first storm at sea, and she is getting nervous. But newly arrived third sister, Barbara, already has been in one major hurricane, and Mary Jane has been in four hurricanes at sea.

They are only predicting 15 to 20 foot seas on our present trajectory, so all should be well; however, our Internet connection may be broken for a few days as we sail about the Indian Ocean.

We shall be back on line, hopefully, soon. Just another adventure to add to our diary. 

Mary Jane, Carolyn, and Barbara