Monday, December 14, 2015

Were There Buffets on the HMS Bounty?

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” Mark Twain

Just returned from a cruise! Left Ft. Lauderdale on Dec 6 and returned on the 12th. In between, we hit Key West, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Semi-random thoughts:

At various points along the way, both on the ship and off, I kept remembering Mark Twain’s quote about travel. In fact, every time I left the buffets I kept thinking about his use of the word broad. I brought 4 pounds home with me, but if it hadn’t been for all the walking we did the damage would have been a lot worse.

The main thing I brought home was a profound sense of gratitude. As beautiful as some of the places are we kept thinking Dorothy’s belief that, “There’s no place like home.”

If you live in a place in which tourism is the main industry, and the location is essentially Turn 4 on the Hurricane International Raceway it doesn’t take much wind and rain to blow your life up. 

Once you get away from the flash and dash of the ports in Cozumel and Grand Cayman, and see how so much of the population lives, you think, “Never again will I complain about the cable going out.”

Our cabin had a balcony and, especially on the two days we were at sea, it was great to sit and watch the ocean go by. At night, we’d see blinking lights on the coasts of Florida, Cuba, and Mexico. I kept thinking, “What was it like hundreds of years ago to be on some sort of sailing vessel and sighting land and wondering if there was anyone there? And if so, were they friendly? And, if you knew people were there and you knew they weren’t friendly, believing you could hop in a row boat and go see ’em and claim their land for your country?”

Believe me, I get the political incorrectness and moral issues of that attitude. But, going back to Mark Twain’s thought, would I be thinking in those terms if I hadn’t made the trip? Maybe, but I wouldn’t be able to connect the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and touches I’ve had in the last week with the thoughts.

Maybe you can’t take a cruise in the near future, but you can get out and walk around. You can go somewhere new for a day, afternoon, or a few hours. Try this…go to the mall and don’t look at it as a grinding, overcrowded, holiday-driven drudge…go and look at it as an adventure. You’ll be amazed.


  1. Good post Mike. I love the Mark Twain statement and how you reflected on it during and after your cruise. Thanks for sharing.