I’m just an hour away from boarding a plane to Rome…and I think, after all we’ve gone through to get here, this trip might actually happen.
Since the initial planning stages, our Holy Land cruise has been shrouded in bad luck. Just a month after we booked in April, Nan had a massive heart attack that could have easily kept her from a lot more than this trip. Still, she bounced back, ready and raring to go. Two weeks ago, when the demonstrations broke out in Egypt, we watched, horrified, debating on whether to call the whole thing off. How many signs do we need to see before we give in and give up?
Apparently, those were not enough. Our bags are packed, tours are booked, and we’re heading to the Holy Land.
I’ve been a little hesitant to discuss this trip with anyone besides close friends. There’s been the general doubt of it happening, for one. Beyond that, I just haven’t been sure what the trip means for me, personally. I have no idea what to expect out of a vacation of this nature. It could be an experience that strengthens faith beyond measure. It could be an eye opener to the state of this world as a whole. It could be a number of things that both scare and excite me.
While the number of uncertainties are endless, there is one thing that I’m sure of: watching my Nan mark off the top item on her bucket list is going to be a religious experience in itself. I’m so happy that it’s happening for her – out of all the trips I’ve planned for clients, I’ve never seen someone so excited. During the rough times that we met to discuss calling it off, I’ve never seen her more devastated. She’s made it through so much to get here and I’m thrilled to see her greatest travel dream coming true. The trip serves as a reminder to seize the opportunities that you’re given with those you love the most – what an incredible opportunity we’ve been given here.
Our amazing Celebrity Cruises rep, Joyce, upgraded my parents and grandparents to Aqua Class cabins, so we’re already starting off on a great note. I’m just happy to be in my own cabin, I won’t fret over the princess problems of not getting upgraded.
Keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the next few weeks. While others are avoiding this entire part of the world, we are marching face forward into the heart of it. Should be an adventure! Posts to come whenever I have internet access.
Our Celebrity Silhouette itinerary is as follows:
– Rome, Italy
– Santorini, Greece
– Haifa, Israel
– Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel
– Alexandria (Cairo), Egypt
– Naples, Italy
Scattered throughout are private tours from our partner companies, Kenes (Israel & Egypt) and Pallenberg (Italy), as well as several days at sea to explore the ship, read a few books, maybe even write one, if I’m lucky. But, luck isn’t really something we’ve had in our favor here – I think things are starting to look up. The fact that we’ve defied the odds so far has inspired me beyond measure, and I believe there should be many more moments of inspiration on this pilgrimage.