We are back from our 10-day cruise. Our first cruise, our first vegan cruise, and our first trip to the Panama Canal. We were on Holland America Line, ms Zuiderdam, with the Vegan Vacation at Sea. It was overwhelming in many ways, but there were a few things that I learned.
- Cruising is fun. All-inclusive, with so many options for how to pass your time. There were pub crawls, dance lessons, a salon, even a 5k fundraising walk to beat cancer.
- Vegan is good. I don’t eat vegan all the time. I eat vegetarian most of the time, and if I eat any animal products they are fish or eggs. That said, we enjoyed vegan food at all three meals for the whole cruise. We also had four vegan chefs as part of our group, there to give us great recipe demonstrations, and now a vegan diet seems much more attainable (and tasty).
- Traveling with a group is nice. Not only did we have the luxury of knowing that all our meals would be provided vegan for us, we also knew that we would be sharing our table with other vegan folks. We all started with something in common, and learned more about each other as the trip went on. The ship held over 1,900 people, but we enjoyed getting to know a more manageable group of around 90 people.
- It is good to take a break from the news. We had access to national cable news channels on the ship, but we didn’t watch them. We didn’t spend time on the internet. This separation from the 24-7 news cycle really helped me relax.
I got home from the cruise feeling like I just got home from summer camp. I miss all the friends I made, the stupendous Caribbean weather, and of course the inclusive service.
On top of all that, this break is really helping me accept the results of the presidential election. (It did not go my way.) I was able to shake off some of the stress of daily campaign ads and projections before I had to handle the results of the voting. Ultimately, I’ve always been interested in politics, and I feel it’s my responsibility to continue to let my elected officials know what I want them to work for.
My one vote wasn’t enough to turn the tables, nor is one letter to a senator or governor. But thousands of us together can make a difference. No reason to let up our messaging just because the election is over.