March 9, 2012
One of my favorite quotes is from a very close family friend, Jeff Mills; “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow may never come. All you have is today.”
Today at noon marks the halfway point of my voyage—Exactly 52 days in and 52 days to go. Although I usually don’t like to look ahead much further than today, observing the halfway marker and looking forward to the next half of this journey is important for a number of reasons.
As I mark the halfway point of my journey, it is also is a bittersweet moment for me as I commemorate my Oma’s life, who passed away just two years ago. My Oma, all four-feet eleven inches and 90 pounds of her, was one of the strongest and feistiest women I ever knew. It is because of her legacy that I am able to be traveling the world today. Two years later, and her memory is still alive as I circumnavigate the world. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to call her and tell her all about my journey and the incredible places I’ve seen, people I’ve met and the memories I’ve created.
Besides the 600 students on board, there are about 60 Lifelong Learners, who are individuals of any age that get to enjoy the same voyage as the students. A couple weeks ago students were able to sign up to be “adopted” by the Lifelong Learners and have an extended family while on board. Although I initially didn’t sign up, fate would have it otherwise. Sandy, or “Momma” as I like to call her is one of the sweetest women I know. Sandy worked as a kindergarten teacher for a number of years, while her husband spent his time in the armed forces. They have lived all over the country, but dreamed of the day when they could travel internationally upon retirement. In a sad turn of events, Sandy’s husband unexpectedly passed away just a few months ago. Fortunately for myself and so many other voyagers, Sandy still chose to join the voyage. She argues that being around us brings her joy once again, but I can’t tell you how much comfort she has given me on the days that I’ve needed a hug and what joy and poise she has shown in the midst of such trial.
Although years and wisdom may separate Sandy and I, we both have been purposefully joined together for a reason—to honor two lives that have made it possible for us to enjoy this journey together.
Here is to 52 more days of sailing around the world and living for today.
Cheers from the Indian Ocean,
**Blog post retrieved with permission from http://chelcieatsea.tumblr.com