Think of this as a “live post”… Written as it happens and as I take a River Boat adventure across much of Europe. Nearly 200 passengers and crew slowly gliding down the Maine as we make our way from Prague to Paris. Not a bad way to spend nearly two-weeks of my summer with an eye on the unexpected and a not so secret desire to uncover the mysteries of the countryside that seems to wave back at me as I pass by.
The entire experience on my Viking Cruise makes me happy, but mealtime is especially joyful. Make no mistake, the food is delicious and the staff well versed in that fine line between remaining attentive without being intrusive. What is it that truly makes my heart sing? A multi-generational group of travelers ranging in age from late thirties to early nineties from all walks of life making it work.
Last night I had a lovely dinner with a table of “strangers” comprised of me, my lover, a Persian doctor and his lovely wife, a semi retired couple who found love later in life; he of Irish and Italian decent and she with Puerto Rican roots. Multi-Fabulous to say the least and each as unique as we were the same. Universal themes of food, family, a fascination with travel and a love of life woven into the colorful tapestry of each conversation with sense of interest, intrigue, respect and joy as each of us shared a piece of who we were and lives well lived.
This kind of openness and life without boundaries is what makes me happy. A moment in time where a group of people with seemingly nothing in common find a connection devoid of judgment and instead filled with curiosity, humor and a recognition that within all of us lives a common desire to connect, be understand and be heard.
Paris is my final destination where I will once again regain my land legs before heading back stateside. Until then I will embrace my onboard friends and try to hold my own judgments in check as we cruise towards the possibility of a time and place where we each take the time to embrace new experiences one meal, on person and one conversation at a time.