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  • gloria139

Around the world in 80 (plus 38 days) and then some

I am going around the world. On a boat.

And then I am spending a month with family and friends in Portugal.

Let me start by saying that I think taking a cruise is the laziest, least adventurous form of travel. I am also well aware of the environmental implications (even though the ship I am taking has better environmental measures than some others).

I am also not an experienced cruiser: I have only been on one other cruise in my life. So 118 days at sea may have its challenges.

Add to that my introverted nature and the fact that I am doing this alone ... and, well, this whole thing may prove to be a horrible mistake.

But I don't think so. When am I ever again going to have the chance to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, or drink Madeira in Madeira, or see traditional villages in Papua New Guinea, or gaze the night sky from the middle of the Indian Ocean?

I bought this adventure in the middle of the COVID lockdown of 2020 ... two and a half years ago. And it never seemed quite real to me. It still doesn't ... even though it appears to have begun.

In two days I take a train to Marseilles where I will board the MSC Poesia (inshallah).

I have a cabin in the bowels of the ship next to the boiler room (it is what I could afford with the 70 per cent singles supplement.)

But this adventure starts in Paris.

I arrived this morning having not slept in two days (excited) and took an Uber to my hotel in downtown Paris.

I checked into the tiniest hotel room I have ever booked in my life. It is now crowded with five months worth of luggage. And the elevators, oddly, let you off between floors. So you have to hike up 12 steps or down 12 steps to get to the floor you want to reach - not easy with the aforementioned five months worth of luggage. But is it comfortable and will do just fine.

I fell onto the bed and, even though I have never been to Paris before, my fatigue might have kept me there.

But my little daughter (who travelled through France by herself earlier this year) demanded by text that I get up and do something. So I did.

I put on my big girl pants and walked through the drizzle to the square of the Bastille.

Then I crossed an arm of the Siene and walked the road that runs the middle of the Island to the Cathedral of Notre Dame and saw things I will definitely be checking out when I have more time tomorrow.

The Cathedral is still under construction after the devastating fire of 2019. But there is an interesting outdoor exhibition describing the progress that is being made.

Then I strolled until I found a bistro that and ordered onion soup and champagne.

Because why not?

I got back to the hotel with 13,000 steps on the Fitbit ... and crashed. But woke up at 7 pm and knew I had to keep going.

So I got dressed and popped into the creperie next to the hotel. The waiters here have been very patient with my bad French but I think I tested their limits. That said, dinner was delightful.

And now back to the hotel after another stroll. Thanks for joining me through day one. I am pretty stoked about my 'once in a lifetime ... but maybe not' adventure.

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7 Comments


lou30ise
Jan 05, 2023

Gloria: thank you for letting us experience this adventure along with you! Bon Voyage!

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Cindy Allan
Cindy Allan
Jan 05, 2023

Yay! What an amazing first day! Can't wait to join you virtually on this trip!

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maryelizbrown
Jan 05, 2023

As I read your first post, it felt like I was there with you. Can't wait for your next entry. Bon voyage.

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luhodgins
Jan 04, 2023

Best wishes to you, Gloria, as you begin this wonderful adventure!

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sarah.a.hampson
Jan 04, 2023

This sounds so lovely! Wonderful. I am envious. Alll best to you on your adventure!

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