Seventeen years ago, I made a list of things I wanted to do in life. When I look at that list now, I smile.
It was a simple list. I’ve marked the items off one by one.
Thankfully, my list was not complete. I would like to add, “Take a freighter cruise.”
Yes, I’m talking about getting on a giant ship holding massive quantities of containers filled with everything from nuts and bolts to electronics to fishing poles or yarn.
A few of those colossal crafts also have room for passengers interested in seeing the world from a different perspective. The passengers eat with the crew and stay in modest cabins.
There are no organized activities or excursions. No Julie Cruise Director. No Bingo on the Lido deck. No lavish buffets. The ships spend three or so days in port to unload and reload, giving passengers opportunity to get a taste of a place and see a few sights.
Freighter cruises go from three weeks to much longer. Since I’m dreaming, I want to take one of those monster cruises — 125 days around the world. I can see it: my family on a giant freighter leaving the likes of Houston and New Orleans headed for Hamburg, Antwerp, Genoa, transit the Suez Canal, possibly Jeddah or Dubai, Jakarta, one or two ports in Thailand; Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Yokohama, cross the Pacific, through the Panama Canal, a likely call in Central America and back to Houston.
My freighter-cruise dreams won’t be realized this year. In contrast, these days I prefer to stay home with the ones I love most. On the surface it seems that my longing to take a 125-day freighter cruise around the world runs pell-mell to a hunger to be still.
However, there’s gypsy in us all, and I can’t get away from my freighter cruise wandering notions. Like flotsam and jetsam in my brain’s tide, during the last decade, wanderlust thoughts surface every three months or so — usually coinciding with some degree of commotion in the world where I operate on a daily basis.
This time, there’s no real tumult — just a growing desire not to participate in the rat race around me. I realized a few years back that the cheese is momentarily satisfying, but finding one’s way out of the maze is tricky.
Researching freighter cruises has been my antidote to chaos.
Operating with a small crew, freighter cruises usually have room for eight or so passengers. I’m sure my family would be grateful for extra folks providing a perspective beyond our own. Trading books with someone is always nice. My daughters and I would appreciate being able to sit and play cards or put together puzzles with a small group of adventurers.
I’m not sure how much of the cards, puzzles or books my husband would enjoy. Likely, he would be glad to sit and watch the world go by…literally.
I’d like to sit there beside him.