It’s flattering to be asked with what( I think) is envy more than astonishment how in the world little old me managed to get the retirement gig of the century, traveling the world lecturing on luxury ships. I always respond by saying how utterly lucky I have been, but I do sense in the asking, at least sometimes, a feeling that behind the question is the perception that it isn’t that hard to do. “I’ll have to figure out something I can lecture on,” some people say, while others give varying renditions of “not a bad return for a couple of lectures.”
These people (really only a small percentage of an overall appreciative clientele) have no idea what I look like right now, bleary eyed, unwashed, tongue tied, and staggering as I wrap up my work before leaving tomorrow for Montreal. I am packed, but I don’t really know what my distracted and semi-functioning mind thought I would need. I have checked the to-do’s off my list, but I have no idea how many things never got on it that should have.
Since February I have been working with every minute of my time at home, and every chunk of private time on ships, to be ready for the Big One, which here means a five-month stint in Asia. In the middle I had to take time out to prepare new talks and revisions for the late-add Baltic assignment I did for Silversea. Add to that, the prep I did from scratch last fall for Alaska and several new and revised talks for Montreal, and the destination talks I did in the Med this summer and I am up to about 40 talks, maybe more, I have developed either from scratch or significantly revised in the last year. That is one every nine days or so but that’s not how it works. It really means none for weeks on end, then a flurry when I have the time and means to work.
This morning I crossed a major hurdle. I finished Asia! For the last few months I had been wondering whether I would be able to get it done before I left for the first foliage cruise to Montreal, especially since my original goal of being done before Alaska had been unfulfilled.
Now I can breathe a sigh of relief because although I will keep revising and improving the talks before I give them, there is no hole in my preparation. I still need to do a lot of work for the last piece of My Year of Living Travelly, crossing the Indian Ocean from Mumbai to Dubai then on to Athens through the Suez Canal, but that really, truly can wait a while.
Quiet the mind, relax the kinks…trying…..
….maybe ice cream will help.