No Matter Where You Go There You Are

My blog has been quiet for awhile. My apologies. I was on holiday.

This was no ordinary holiday. If you’ve followed what I do at all you’ll know that I usually try to travel to an historic part of British Columbia when I go away. Where was I?

I was on a cruise ship off the coast of Florida.

Again, if you know me this may seem a bit of a departure. It was a family holiday that had been initiated almost a year ago. I certainly had trepidations about going into the United States at this time in its political history. I had worries about bringing my children into a situation that could prove disturbing.

In the end, we witnessed no civil unrest. We were allowed to pass without incident through the international border.

This gave me some comfort. Some. If anything, this made me concerned about a different matter.

What about those that couldn’t pass without incident through the border?

I realize that entering another country is a privilege. It is not a right. That is why we as travellers need a valid passport. But I couldn’t help but feeling a bit sheepish about my position all the same.

Once on board the immense vessel, I couldn’t help but feel, well…a little confined.

Now don’t get me wrong. This had nothing to do with the service. Like I had been led to believe by countless accounts of cruise ship travel tales from family, friends and acquaintances over the years, the staff were tremendously helpful. They made every effort, whether they were serving my family in the restaurants or making up the stateroom, to ensure we were comfortable and confirm my family and I were enjoying ourselves.

Let’s put it this way: I’ve decided I’m not a cruise person. There were several reasons for this.

The small living space. The fixed itinerary. The fact no passengers, despite being all in the same boat, to coin a phrase, said hello. I think that most of the ship’s guests brought their own views from home with them. There were no new ideas or cultures to understand. The off-ship visits were quite pleasant and on well-trodden paths.

What I couldn’t help but thinking after awhile was: this ship has quite an international crew!

This was a part of the cruise I found interesting. Our principal server at dinner was from Mumbai. Our secondary server was from Manchester. The manager of one of the restaurants was from Istanbul. As points of origin were shown on nametags, I began looking at them. South Africa, The Philippines, Jamaica. As I spoke more with the crew and got to know them I felt as though I had travelled, but that sense certainly hadn’t come from my fellow passengers.

I’m not sure if I would go on a cruise again. To be clear, this conclusion had nothing to do with the level of service, which was thoroughly wonderful. But the style of travel doesn’t appeal to me very much. I suppose it comes down to the old saying: no matter where you go there you are.

The kids had fun though.

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Author: Trevor Marc Hughes

Trevor Marc Hughes is an author and travel writer. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with his wife and two sons. He rides a Kawasaki KLR650 motorcycle. If he can help it, he doesn't ride his motorcycle in Vancouver; he takes it out of town, where he enjoys exploring the province of B.C. and beyond, and writing about his adventures. He has written for magazines such as Canadian Biker, Rider, Motorcycle Mojo, Inside Motorcycles, and RidersWest. His two books are "Nearly 40 on the 37: Triumph and Trepidation on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway" and "Zero Avenue to Peace Park: Confidence and Collapse on the 49th Parallel".