Reflecting on our Our NatGeo Experience

At this point in our lives, I’m getting confused as to which trip has been the best trip.  Perhaps they were all the best.  After all, going on a trip is a very serious thing to do.

IMG_0274First, you must decide to do a trip.  This is harder than it seems.  Do you want to travel by car, ship, boat, bicycle, roller skates, RV aka as The Dog House, plane, kayak, canoe, bus?  Well, that depends on where in the world you want to go.  

Where to GO?

The world is our oyster.  (funny I should resort to that metaphor since I don’t like oysters)…however, it is a good saying.   The choices are mind boggling.  Want to stay close to home?  Want to do exotic?  Want to take a long trip?  After answering a few of those questions, you may have a great idea of where to go.  

In this case, for us, we decided we wanted to go where I wanted to go which was to see whales up close and personal.  And what better way to do that than on the water.  So, instantly, much of our plan was set.   To backtrack, this is a trip that I was paying for with money I earned as trustee of my Uncle’s trust so I pretty much got to pick!!  As it should be, right?

Then it was a matter of choosing the cruise operator and for that we were in agreement that it should be an outfit with naturalists on board.  The location was also set by virtual of the activity we had selected.   Whales go south for the winter.  And it is well known that they return year after year to lagoons in Mexico.  So, Mexico it would be.  And National Geographic has a stellar reputation for cruises that focus outside the boat, rather than inside the boat.   So, NatGeo was selected.  And the rest is history.  

Except, what is the aftermath of our adventure?

Firstly, we ate in Mexico on several occasions and did not get the, ahem, tourista trots.  

 Secondly, a cruise without TV is a liberating experience.  It is like taking an overdose of happy pills.  No bad news.  The only thing we used our iPhones for was taking very BAD pictures.  OMG.  I even captured a video of the inside of my pocket…for about 4 minutes.  Because we were floating around the Sea of Cortes, and because there were no digitree towers with big dishes on them to deliver digital signals to us, there was no other need for a phone.  Although, one evening the phone rang.  It was my accountant.  How did that happen?  Who knows?  The funny thing is, when I went to return his call…the call would not go thru.  So, Rayman ran to the pursers office to find out how to call out, and in the purser’s office he found Capt. Cook.  Explaining our situation, the Capt. beckoned me to the purser’s office, and he placed the call on their “system”.  Now that is service.  Okay, true confessions time.  I did buy $50 worth of time (2 hours) for posting my blogs.  But I immediately recognized that was not going to work…no high speed data on that link.  So, I used the time reading a bit of news.  I know.  Me bad.

Thirdly, the food was fabulous.  

Fourthly, there was a plelthra of things to do.  Activities, educational talks, instruction of use of the camera or Iphone.

Okay, I’m not sure if fifthly is a word to I will now abandon the counting and continue on with my observations.

One passenger was a fish.  If there was opportunity, she was in the water.  An inspiration to me as I loved Esther Williams.  But she made me feel bad because the water was cold and not as user friendly as I’d like.   Plus with the Rayman episode (an earlier blog post), I elected to stay on the boat, or on shore rather than in the water.  Oh, there was the exception of kayaking.  We did kayak and managed to get ourselves pretty much soaked (glad I left my iPhone on shore for that one).  The entire time, I worried that Rayman might capsize us which lead me to the conclusion that perhaps individual kayaks might be a good idea but then it wouldn’t be as easy to splash the Rayman.  Flipping my oar to get him wet is one of my favorite things to do.  Just sayin.  If you click on Home Page below, you will get a surprise.

Home Page

Traveling on one’s own has a few drawbacks and setbacks as you all know if you have been reading my blogs for 10 years.  This trip pretty much eliminated those issues.  And it was a big ah-ha for me.  You see, when we travel, it is up to me to arrange everything.  Make all the plans, reservations and the like.  It is also up to me to hand the Rayman his passport when needed, to get us through customs, to fill out all the forms, to shepard him along and smooth his ruffled feathers.  Now, he will take exception to some of this, but not all.  Myself, I am resolute in my beliefs.  

But I digress.

Perhaps it is time and perhaps we are of a certain age to quit the solo tourism gig.  Is it time to surrender and start doing organized trips?  A part of me loves the chaos as much as I dislike the chaos.  Perhaps we can strike on a happy medium.  But then, where is the fun?  Where is the heartache?  A tender proposition.  

Let’s take whales  They are the complete opposite of me and the Rayman.  They go to the same places every time.  The route will be slightly different because of food they are chasing, but they know Alaska is where to head in the summer and the lagoons of Mexico are where to head for the winter.  And they know how they plan to get there…by swimming.  The journey is probably one of “just do it” because that is how they are programmed…and because they like to eat and procreate.  The predictability is the important point here.  And they seem happy.  They lack hostility because it was in the very lagoon we visited where they were killed by the hundreds by early whalers.  And yet, they returned, yet they persisted.  These gentle giants that visited our boat.  

The Whale and US


Okay, I admit it, I’m meandering which of and itself reminds me of travel…a series of meanderings.  

Looking back, it seems to me that most wonderful trip have involved nature.  Africa and Sea of Cortes.  To be able to view nature in the is exciting, exhilarating, thought provoking, awe inspiring.   Gorgeous vistas also make one’s heart race with excitement.   High mountains, full rivers, deep gorges, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, lakes, streams, deserts…the list goes on and on.

So, all I know is that at traveling is mind expanding in many different ways and on many different levels.  No matter where or how, travel is important to us.   Where we go and how we do it in the future?  Who knows?  That’s yet to be determined.  

Next trip?  To Portland, Oregon for 6 months.  To the SHIP.  Looking forward to the adventure.  Come and visit us.  We love company!!

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