From the time I was a child, I have been fascinated with faraway places. I was officially bit by the travel bug in high school, when I had the opportunity to go on a one month trip around Europe, starting in Madrid and ending in London. I was amazed by the cultural differences between “them” and “us”, and loved seeing and learning about the different places we visited, including (at the time) communist countries such as Poland, East Germany and Russia.

Though I always dreamed of travel, I could not always do so. I was a middle school teacher for 35 years, and also had a family to raise, which made extensive travel difficult, if not impossible. We were limited to “peak season travel” due to my occupation, which meant that not only was the travel more expensive, but the locations much more crowded. As I reached the end of my teaching career, I began to dream of places to visit.

To celebrate my retirement, my husband and I decided to take a cruise. We have cruised before, but only for short trips (up to 12 days). This time, we wanted to take a longer trip. We wanted to cruise at the beginning of the school year, when I would normally be in the classroom teaching. We found a 28 day Mediterranean/Transatlantic cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line. This sounded perfect; the Mediterranean region was definitely on my bucket list, but we had held off visiting there due to the summer heat and crowds. This way, we could explore the region during a less crowded time, when the temperature was a bit cooler, and the cruise fares were quite a bit lower. We weren’t too sure about being on a cruise ship for nearly a month; we were a bit concerned about being bored cooped up on a ship for that length of time. Turns out we loved it so much, we booked a 2 month long cruise for next fall!

If you are interested in the Mediterranean cruise, please read my blog posts regarding the ports we visited.

If you are interested in reading about the planning for our next adventure, a cruise that starts in Rome, and ends in Hong Kong, you can find information about that as well. During the cruise, which starts October 30, 2016, I will be posting about each port.