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Reflections on Continent #2

It's been a damn good holiday! Like wow, so much fun. I am also ready to make the journey home. There is still so much to see in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Tassie, Darwin, Perth, the Outback, etc), but I think this was the perfect choice for continent #2 and that was a happy little accident.


Language is similar, although there are some noticeable differences. Vacation is holiday. Napkin doesn't exist here, it's called a servette. Breakfast is Brekkie. Friends are mates. If something is good, it's beautiful...think like a beautiful brekkie.


As I mentioned before, the Australians have been the most lovely group of mates. They have welcomed me into their circle, genuinely interested in conversation and finding common connections.


They cuss. A LOT. And I like it. Just an every day fuck thrown into conversation here or there is completely acceptable. Rubbish if you hold back. The word holds meaning, just more of an emphasis word not a taboo word.


Yesterday, March 21st we stopped in Airlie Beach and my ship-sponsored excursion took me to Heart Pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef. It was a very windy day and we also were on the reef at high tide, which made for less than ideal snorkeling, but I had signed up for an intro scuba dive and I couldn't be more excited to say my first ever dive was at the Great Barrier Reef.

It was an incredible experience. Kicking off the moon platform for the first time, after a very brief but thorough briefing and equipment test was exhilarating and terrifying. But down we went and it was such an amazing experience to see a reef structure that was so large. The fish were amazing. Sitting here 24 hours later, I still can't believe I had the opportunity to do it.


I've decided I am not going to say I am checking things off my bucket list, but instead I am filling my bucket. To check something off indicates it's complete. I am not sure I can ever make a list to complete because there is so much to see and do. Even with all of my travels this year, there will be countless more things that I want to see than what I have had a chance to see. So every trip I am filling my bucket with memories, not checking them off.


The service onboard the Carnival Luminosa has been very, very good...beautiful actually. Milan, Julio and Steven in the Alchemy Bar mix up some

mean cocktails. Gede, my room steward for the last 11 nights seem to know how to anticipate my actions and comings and goings better than I can myself. I think he may be a ninja only to be a seen in the hallways all hours of the day, but never having ran into him in my room.


Nicole, Matt, Agustina, Lara, Kamila, Paula, Georgie and then on voyage #2 the sibling trio of Kelly, Mark and Tony have all left a lasting impression of warmth and kindness, as have many others (Byron, Shell, Adam, Alex, Chloe, Melanie, Sidony, Lucy, the ship illusitionist Azar, Lynnie, Tim from Alaska currently living in the Luminosa, and the list goes on).


So as I sit here on the Serenity Deck (aft, Deck 9) at the adults only pool and soak up the last few hours of sunshine on my Australian holiday, I feel nothing but warmth (the sun is actually ridiculously hot) but also as I look back on the heart-warming memories.


I have never been so tan in my life. I am here for it and could get used to more sun and beach life.


I also cannot wait to get to Europe. It'll be a long couple of months until June when I fly out again, but it'll be here before I know it. There's so much still going on at home. The shower glass got installed! The landscaping work continues. I still have furniture to shop for and blinds to order. So, yeah, the time will go quickly.


I still need to update the travel scoreboard and will be doing so soon. I can't really do that from the mobile app but expect a full update when I get to the airport lounge tomorrow. 2 additional countries. 12 more hotel nights. By the time I arrive home on Friday, another 3 flight segments and another 9,161 flight miles...the trek has absolutely started. I will have already flown over 27,000 miles this year, equivalent to around the earth more than 1x (24,901 miles).


So fortunate. I promise I am not taking any of this for granted.


-Cole from Colorado, soon returning to be "just" Cole.


Enjoy some photos of the ship and some of the onboard happenings over the past 11 nights




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Was awesome to meet you. Great blog!

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Well written “Cole from Colorado”. Sounds beautiful and amazing! Safe travels home!


CH

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about me:

Hey!  I am Cole from Grand Junction, Colorado. In 2023 I stepped on all seven continents, in a single calendar year, solo!

The year continues to shape my life and my lust for travel.

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