So, with about one month to go to the big adventure, we have some exciting news to make public. Will and I are venturing out, starting January 1, with Semester at Sea! (Sidenote — our views are our own and don’t reflect the company.) We’re pretty pumped for the upcoming semester-long endeavor and the 10+ new countries we’ll get to visit. I’ve been brimming to share the news, so without further ado, allow me clear my throat, ahem a little and boldly, with zeal, decree “Adventure is out there!”
We embark for Semester at Sea (SAS) in San Diego, where faculty and staff board the ship to orient and prep before taking on about 600 students. Over the course of the semester, we’ll make port every 3-10 days-ish around the world, ending in Hamburg, Germany in April. Our route is mapped out below, but roughly goes: Honolulu, HI; Kobe, Japan; Shanghai, China; Hong Kong; Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Yangon, Myanmar; Cochin, India; Port Louis, Mauritius; Cape Town, South Africa; Tema then Takoradi, Ghana; Casablanca, Morocco; and Hamburg, Germany. Whew!
We’ve been prepping for almost a year now, since we were both hired last fall. Over the last year, we’ve met some of the other faculty and staff, gotten new jumbo-sized passports, procured three visas — one for China, India, and Ghana (we’ll get Vietnam and Myanmar when we dock) — and begun to pack up our apartment here in Colorado. Our plane tickets are booked, so we’ll depart Cincinnati on New Year’s Day, then fly back from Prague at the end of April. We have a rough plan to do a Germany-Poland-Czech Republic tour as we finish out our stay, but those plans are on the back burner. Instead, we’re focusing on the bigger and more pressing fish to fry, like driving cross-country to in less than two weeks. Documentation to come!
It seems like things are coming so fast, but there’s still so much more to do before we make that trip home! We need to find a sublet for the apartment, pack up said apartment, pack for SAS, and of course actually finish out our current fall semester of teaching/librarian-ing, plus at least make dents in our Christmas shopping. Not to mention the basic travel logistics of arranging cell phone service and shut down, ordering currency (did you know the US commonly doesn’t carry Indian rupees? or Moroccan dirhams? or Ghanaian cedis? did you know those were the words for those currencies?? do you know how to pronounce the word for a person from Ghana?! I’m learning so much already, but I digress), as well as notifying our banks and credit card companies of our travels. My poor finger tips are slipping off the keys because my palms are sweating profusely from just typing about all this. Still, there’s a therapeutic, cathartic effect of writing it all out, which is a bonus of getting to share this crazy good news with you.
The good news is that my bullet journal is on point, complete with each port laid out with handy to-know quick tips for each port — emergency phone numbers for local authorities, how to interact with those authorities, how to say hello and help in each language, time zones, weather forecasts, and more.
One of the things Will and I have in common is the sense of calm we derive from a good bit of research. We’ve done our fair share of Googling, TripAdvisor stalking, and more, so it’s comforting to have more information — but would you expect anything less from a teacher and a librarian? So, we continue to work diligently through our to-do list, and sometimes it grows but sometimes it gets shorter. We chip away at more research, we peck at our travel guides and tips, peruse our orientation packets and slideshows.
It may go without saying, but we’re getting noticeably more and more excited, and just a little more nervous. We hope you’ll tag along throughout or for part of the adventure, and we’re glad you stopped by to share in this exciting news!
Soon to be adventuring,