"I wandered lonely as a cloud / That floats on high o'er vales and hills" — William Wordsworth
Last week I met with my high school junior student mentee as part of the iMentor volunteer program, and we talked about career aspirations. He's interested in negotiation and thought being a real estate agent might be a good fit. I told him to check out Suart Diamond's book Getting More, an excellent read on negotiating that someone once recommended to me too. Then when I asked if he was joining in the school's poetry slam the next day, he said yes; he found a poem he really liked called "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" by William Wordsworth. I got so excited! I told him that was a favorite poem of mine and I loved Wordsworth and had even been to his house in England, Dove Cottage. My mentee's eyes grew wide in wonder, and he half-whispered, "I can't believe my mentor knows my poem." When you can genuinely impress a teenager, you feel very, very cool.
I asked why he chose that poem, and he said the first line caught his attention. He said he's had that feeling, wandering lonely as a cloud. He liked hearing I've felt that way too. Though I imagine a cloud being naturally quite content to wander and "float on high," just as traveling alone feels like I'm in my element. Don't you especially wonder at those moments of unexpected beauty you stumble across when you're alone, and don't they feel imbued with a special glow when you think back and remember? I know this isn't just an introvert thing! Even when you're traveling with friends and family, make sure you find some time to wander off lonely as a cloud yourself. You never know what you may find!
Here's some travel news to inspire your next wanderings!
Turkey has dropped its visa requirement for American tourists, making it easier now to visit Istanbul, a favorite with Americans, to soak in its rich history, impressive architecture, and lively markets. You'll also want to see the Lakes Region's ancient ruins and Bodrum's sunny coast. A great way to visit Turkey is combining it with a cruise, and right now there are a LOT of new year deals still out there!
Holland America Line has a $1 only deposit to reserve a cabin, and I truly love the music and dining options on board Holland America. Sailing with them to Alaska with Dad was sublime.
Explora Journeys is offering up to 40% off, a 10% reduced deposit, and a 200 euros per person onboard credit for sailings up to April 2026 - if you act fast and book by January 31st. I'm sailing on A Journey of Pacific Pleasures and the Panama Canal aboard Explora I this year for the first time and can't wait! We depart from L.A. and visit San Diego, then Mexico (Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta), Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala, Puntarenas in Costa Rica, and disembark in Panama City, where I've planned my own Panamanian adventures for a few days. With five days at sea to enjoy the luxury ship, I'll also be able to get my work done with about the fastest WiFi you'll find on any ship.
Prefer land-based ideas? On May 24th United becomes the first carrier to fly nonstop from the U.S. to Portugal's southern Algarve coast on the Mediterranean, officially one of Europe's sunniest places. United's new flight will operate between Newark and Faro, four times a week.
Or head north in Europe and experience one or all three of the 2024 European Capitals of Culture: Tartu in Estonia, Bad Ischl in Austria, and Bodø in Norway. Bodø is the first city north of the Arctic Circle to receive the honor, and Bodø2024 is actually one of Norway's largest cultural projects ever! The European Capital of Culture title brings vibrant cultural events, performances, and exhibitions, and each of these places will offer unique activities and experiences all year.
Where would you like to wander in 2024? Reach out soon for the new year promotions still underway!
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