You Can’t Take Everything on the Journey

My month-long holding pattern is about to end. On Friday I’ll leave for my first cruise since the pandemic abruptly interrupted my 2020 world cruise.

I feel at a loss during time between trips — like I’m not living in the present, but just planning and preparing. Right now, I’m preparing for this 51-day cruise that will end on (US) Thanksgiving in Australia. It’s been almost three years since I packed for a cruise, so there’s lots of planning and list-making involved.

Meanwhile, there are lose ends to tie up, and one was what to do about my car. I’ll only be back about five weeks before leaving again for seven months at sea in early 2023. So I made a big decision. I sold my Subaru.

My Subaru Outback

For a self-described “car person” who has had as many as three vehicles at a time for several years, it’s a bit jarring to be carless.

I’m fortunate that my sister Eloise, with whom I am staying this week and in December, will let me drive one of hers. But having your own car to jump into whenever you want is a key part of my life. I’ve driven to Montreal, Key West, Los Angeles and pretty much everywhere in between over the past couple of decades. Throw in countless trips to Starbucks for that mid-morning latte, and my car is my natural habitat.

My Subaru Outback also has been my house on wheels. Not that I´ve ever spent a night in it, but I’ve pretty much lived out of it as I’ve traveled this summer (Santa Fe, Brownsville, Tampa…). After my sister Elaine sold her Dallas house (my previous home base), if it didn’t fit in my car, I pretty much got rid of it.

Actually, giving up my house in 2014 came easier than deciding to sell my car. But if I kept the car, I would just spend money renting somewhere to store it, the tires would develop flat spots, and the battery would go dead. And inflation is skyrocketing my car insurance rates.

My car now will join many, many other Subarus in Colorado where it will be a great ride for a long-time friend.

The car isn’t the only thing I’m missing. In early September, my cat Cooper crossed the Rainbow Bridge after nearly 16 years. His litter-mate Callie is missing him, too. They were seldom apart, even for photo sessions.

I know my good friend Daisy also misses him, as since spring the cats have lived with her in Largo, Fla., while I travel.

I’m so glad that I visited Daisy, Cooper and Callie in late August. Cooper seemed to be doing well then, but shortly after I left, he quit eating. Blood tests showed several potential issues. Given his age, his arthritis and long odds of extending his life significantly, it didn’t make sense to spend thousands of dollars in hopes of finding a resolution.

Leaving the cats has been the hardest part of choosing a life on cruise ships.