Saying Goodbye and Summing Up

Since we’ve been back home in Indianapolis, we’ve had lots of questions from our friends and relatives about our trip.  We love to talk about our experiences, but it’s really difficult to sum them up concisely.  We didn’t have one favorite country–we loved them all in different ways.  Belize’s vim and vigor stole our hearts.  Guatemala’s turbulent history–much of it thanks to our very own CIA–made us cry, but its gorgeous river canyon and lovely waterside dwellings warmed our souls.  We fell in love with Costa Rica’s gorgeous central highland region, probably because its cool breezes and cloud forests gave us a welcome break from the 98% humidity of 95-degree tropical temps.  Nicaragua–the biggest surprise of all–was delightful in every way, and it’s a place we’d like to return to in the future.  Jamaica’s beautiful beaches and reggae welcome made us smile.  The Panama Canal blew our minds…twice!

But all the wonderful archaeology, flora, fauna, literature, history, cuisine, and gorgeous terrain cannot hold a candle to the people we met on ship and shore.  In every port, we encountered friendly faces and learned something new about the land and ourselves. We drank up sunlight, moonlight, starlight, and the sound of the ship moving through the ocean with our awesome shipmates.  We saw the Southern Cross for the first time! We solved all the world’s problems together on decks 4, 5, and 6 aft, and it’s weird to go back to normal, everyday life after all that.  The MV Explorer is part of our history now.  Our experience on the ship is forever defined by the wonderful souls we got to know on board.  It was the people, rather than the itinerary, that made this the trip of a lifetime…so a photo montage of them seems appropriate right about now. It takes a while to load, and remember to turn your volume down or plug in your earphones if you’re at work!

Passage Through Panama from Sam and Shannon Bloomquist on Vimeo.

Eleven-year-old Nick Whittaker is the voracious reader/poet extraordinaire you see with us in the photo below. To end this final post about our fantastic voyage, we leave you with the poem he wrote just before disembarking from the ship for the last time. The blag will go blagward. It just won’t be about sailing through the Panama Canal anymore. But, we still have our memories…and the rest of our lives to get back to the MV Explorer for, as Iain says, another “taste of the lotus flower.”


It’s time to say “bye”
To the MV Explorer
Our lovely experience
Is now all but over
It’s hard to leave
This wonderful cruise
‘Cause this is the one ship
We always would choose
To sail us across the sea
And go to many places
Like Belize and Jamaica
And see many new faces
So we are sad to leave
Even shed a tear or two
MV Explorer
We’ll always miss you
–By Nick Whittaker–

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librarian, writer/editor, floundering guitarist, breakfast addict

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