How A Week-Long Jungle Cruise Changed Everything I Thought I Knew About Travel

02.24.16 9 months ago 4 Comments
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Parker Hilton

“But, we’re not cruise people,” I heard my girlfriend, Jenelle, say from across the produce section.

We’d crossed into Texas earlier that day, three months into a road trip across the U.S., and we’d both fully embraced van-living. Every turn offered a new surprise, and we awoke each day not knowing where we’d rest our heads that night. We were free.

I relayed Jenelle’s point to my editor over the phone. I told him that Windstar Cruise’s Star Breeze just wasn’t our scene.

“We’re Travelers,” I explained.

Through the phone, I heard a chortle, but I meant what I said. Travelers have loose, malleable schedules. Travelers aim to experience other ways of living beyond the cushy, sterilized environments of cruise ships and tour groups. Travelers sleep under the stars, and toast to Jack Kerouac and live a life of uncertainty.

Vacationers, on the other hand, stick to their tight itineraries and continental buffets. Vacationers fly halfway around the world to sunbathe and sip mai tais beside over-chlorinated pools. Vacationers wear sandals with socks and toast to retirement while Jimmy Buffet plays in the background.

Vacationers, those are the cruise people.

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