Jun 17, 2018 - Sea Cloud
No matter the length of a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic journey, the end always seems to arrive suddenly. Nine days ago, the Sea Cloud welcomed aboard a diverse group of travelers, most of whom had never met, in Dubrovnik. A little more than one week and four countries later, our final day of sailing dawns warm and clear upon a vessel filled with new friendships and the shared experiences of a lifetime.
I may be unique among the travelers on this trip in having never visited Europe before, but I’m glad my journey started here. There is something magnificent about sailing into the heart of Western civilization. In every town and every country of the Dalmatian Coast, we were allowed glimpses into the foundations of the world we know, a world that has bustled with stories, trading, songs, innovative cuisine, and the exchanging of cultures for thousands of years. Walking the well-worn streets of Dubrovnik, hearing the clash of Moreška swords as dancers perform in Korčula, and watching eagles soar in the mountains of Montenegro has left us invigorated. Passing scores of half-empty buildings and unfinished roads in Albania, coupled with incredible scenery and the unwavering hospitality of its people, has given us small pieces of a puzzle we cannot yet complete. Arriving to rain in Ithaca, stepping into the stadium and temples of Olympia, and parting a brilliant blue path from the Aegean to the Ionian Seas on our final day has connected us with the journeys undertaken by epic heroes—our very own Greek odyssey.
Some of us will continue our pursuit of Homeric voyages aboard the Sea Cloud’s next expedition to the Greek Isles. Most of us will be journeying on to other destinations in Greece, Europe, or around the world and home again. Preparations will soon be underway for a return to the lives we know. And yet, aren’t these journeys just as much a part of that? Isn’t life itself an odyssey? By tracing our way along these historic coastlines, we’ve discovered far more than just our origin stories. We’ve developed new connections, incredible memories, and a greater understanding, not just of our world, but of ourselves.
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