'Take the bull by the horns and live while you can live': Musings & memories with a seasoned traveler

Traveler Interview Blog Header
Lindsay Slattery January 4, 2021

Recently, I was lucky enough to speak with avid Vantage traveler, Marjorie Woodrow.* With eight upcoming trips booked, five aboard our 5-star Ocean Odyssey during its 2022 inaugural season, I was thrilled to learn about some of her favorite destinations, her cherished travel memories, and why the current climate of Covid-19 hasn’t discouraged her from planning a handful of unforgettable journeys for the future.

Q: Hi Marjorie, thanks so much for speaking with me! Let’s get right into it. I think we all miss seeing the world right now. What are some of your favorite places that you’ve visited, and why?

A: My trip to Croatia, Montenegro, and Slovenia stands out it my mind. The Cruise Director was wonderful, and I really managed to bond with the folks I was traveling with. The people in that part of the world were so welcoming, and I especially enjoyed visiting the family home. I loved everything about that trip.

One thing that’s stayed with me is the pre-trip to Montenegro. There were only three of us on it, and I can’t say enough about the Cruise Director. When we got there, it was a holiday weekend, and our rooms faced the promenade with lots of booths and bands playing until God knows when. When I told our Cruise Director that it was difficult to sleep, he said he was having the same experience and worked with the hotel to get us moved. Unfortunately, there was only one room available. He gave it to me and endured the noise until we left.

As a single traveler, I try to keep to myself and not bother anyone. But the last night of that trip we were on Lake Bled in Slovenia, and I had really bonded with another couple. We went and ate dinner on the top of this hill and had an amazing conversation with such a beautiful view, I’ll never forget it.

Q: Sounds like a wonderful experience. Travel is clearly very dear to you, but due to the current climate with Covid-19, it’s obviously not as simple as it once was. What inspired you to plan trips for when the world opens back up?

A: Well, before I was married, I traveled to a lot of different places. And after my husband died, I started to feel really alone. I thought, what am I going to do with the rest of my life? There are lots of places in the world I want to go, I’m going to go while I can. I can’t be afraid of this world, I have to go do something. I’ve always loved history, so I enjoy researching the places I’m headed to before I go.

As far as Covid goes, I’ll continue to travel as long as I’m allowed to. A few years ago I was on a plane next to a woman who was sneezing and coughing, and sure enough I came down with something a few days later. Ever since, I’ve always traveled with a mask and stocked up on disinfectant wipes. So, when all of this happened, at least I was equipped for it! Listen, you never know what’s around the corner. You have to travel while you can.

Q: Five of your trips are aboard our new Ocean Odyssey during its inaugural season. What drew you toward small ship cruises, and is there anything in particular you like about what we offer onboard?

A. I like your cruises because you only unpack once. There’s no “meet me in the hotel lobby at 6 a.m.” The destination is the purpose of most of these trips, so it’s the most comfortable way to experience those destinations. And of course, the ships offer everything you want, and the food is great. It’s a place to call home for the whole trip.

Q: Out of your upcoming trips, which one are you most excited for?

A: Luxury on the Nile was a trip I had booked for last year that I was really excited about, but unfortunately it was postponed due to Covid, so that’s been rescheduled for this year.

Q. Are there any travel memories you’d like to share?

A. I had an unexpectedly delightful experience in Killarney, Ireland. Everyone always says that the weather is temperate in Ireland, that they rarely get hit hard by hurricanes. Well, with travel, you learn to expect the unexpected. I was there during hurricane Ophelia, staying at this beautiful hotel, when the power went out. Fortunately, the hotel had a backup generator and an onsite pub. So, what did everyone do? Head to the pub, of course. I met so many locals, it was such a wonderful experience. And I never would have had it if the power didn’t go out.

Q. Any words of wisdom you’d like to offer to your fellow travelers?

I’ve always been involved in theatre and the dramatic arts, and there’s an opera called The Old Maid and the Thief. There’s one line from it — “Time’s flight is stealing my youth.” I feel that deeply, because I often feel that time’s flight is stealing my chance to travel!

I think people should know that if they have any curiosity about traveling, go now! When I retired, I tried to get back into my community’s drama club, but I just felt like I’d been there, done that.

I went to Budapest last year after not having been there since 1975. It’s unrecognizable. There’s a Starbucks and so many new structures and businesses. So, even if you’ve been everywhere once, revisit your favorite places! They’re most likely completely different.

Just take the bull by the horns and live while you can live.

*Per traveler's request, her real name has been omitted

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