Travelers vs Vacationers

Some people travel to relax at the beach and spend quality time with family in a gorgeous location. These are what we call ‘Vacationers’. There is nothing wrong with being a vacationer- we ‘vacation’ frequently too! However, there are so many incredible experiences for ‘Travelers’ who are interested in seeing all that the world has to offer. In the 35 years of Starship Travel, we have been fortunate enough to participate in dozens of thrilling experiences. Read on to hear about all our adventures throughout our years as Travelers!

Experience the World Through Our Eyes

Abu Dhabi and the Souks and Mosque

Alaska– endless experiences.  Having been to Alaska so many times via cruise ship, trains, buses and even white-water rafting as a means of transportation, I am seen a lot of Alaska but as it is so massive I’ve only seen a small amount.  I’ve been in Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Anchorage to Denali and so much more.  In order to enjoy Alaska, one has to take the time to feel it, pet the husky puppies, see the whale and smell the roses.

Barbados is a very upscale Caribbean Island.  Not particularity easy to get to, but worth the trip!  We enjoyed the island flair, driving on the left side of the street, shopping in the wonderful harbor marina shops and enjoying the countries food.  After talking our way onto the Royal Westmoreland, a very private Golf course, we enjoyed a round of golf with the assistant pro.  What a treat and experience.

Berlin Wall On the way to the site, we stopped along the way to visit an army museum with ‘a piece of the Berlin wall’ for us to see.  The museum was very interesting to be able to see maps, war uniforms and displays which truly explained a lot of missing pieces from my history memory banks. We went to “Check-Point Charlie”, a replica but even so… we could experience the feeling of what the Germans felt during the War.

The portion of the wall that remains is protected by law, so no one can damage this part of history.  The art work is thought provoking and beautiful, for lack of a better word.  The story of the wall going up is unbelievable. The original fence, which is 106 miles around the city, was constructed by 41,000 soldiers in ONE night.  

Canada Cruises to Nova Scotia.  A great way to see the east side of Canada is via cruise ship.  I had the opportunity of flying into Montreal for a few days prior to going to Quebec to pick up our Holland America cruise ship to sail through the St. Lawrence seaway out to Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and down to Boston.  This is probably the most interesting way to see the beautiful landscape, feel the culture of our neighbor to the north of us and enjoy the food. I always dreamt of sitting on the beautiful coast of New England, picking out a fresh lobster and just tear into it with drawn butter.  YUM!

Canal of Venice and the Rialto Bridge- When I took a small group to Italy, it was always a dream to travel the canals of Venice in a Gondola with a handsome Venetian man singing while I drifted off enjoying the architecture and beauty of this amazing island.  My vision also was to see the famous Rialto Bridge.  This particular evening I strolled with my friend, walking the narrow streets and bridges to enjoy the splendor of the view from the bridge.  Strangely enough, I forgot to take a picture “of the bridge”, well maybe next time!  I loved Venice and would love to go back again.

Rome is a wonderful city with so much history and so much to do.  When in Rome, take the time to see and do it all!  Enjoy the Plaza and get pizza or just watch the people go by.  Visit the Colosseum and feel the fight with the Gladiators.  Go to the Trevi Fountain, throw in the coins and you will return- I did and I did return.

Chechen Itza is a complex of Mayan ruins on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. A massive step pyramid, known as El Castillo or Temple of Kukulcan, dominates the ancient city, which thrived from around 600 A.D. to the 1200s. Graphic stone carvings survive at structures like the ball court, Temple of the Warriors and the Wall of the Skulls.  It is a very long trip from Cancun but to many worth the trip.  I did it once back in 1987, once was enough because of the distance.

Dubai and the Burj Khalifa- Dubai and Abu Dhabi is a small area of the UAE (United Arab Republic).  The overwhelming wealth was really too much for my taste, but very impressive! The Burj Khalifa is stunning, and one of the tallest buildings in the world.  We rode to the 2nd level to view the surrounding landscape.  Everything in Dubai is bigger and better!

The shopping center, the Mall of the Emirates, is extraordinary, and very high fashion.  There are many restaurants to enjoy, and even an Indoor Ski Area. The Dubai Museum was another amazing adventure- there’s even an aquarium in the entry (for an extra cost). 

Eiffel Tower

This beautiful monument in  Paris is lit every hour on the hour after dark, since it was lit in 2000 for the turn of the century.

Give Back Programs On our company 500 Club Award trip with Funjet Vacations, they have sponsored some of our giveback programs which have included painting a school in Cancun, painting a soccer field and having a Christmas Party with Santa at an orphanage in Panama.  Starship Travel sponsored a Toy Drive in Cancun for an school, we shopped at a local store as we felt we were giving back twice, such a great feeling.

Great Wall of China was nothing short of Great! They no longer use cable cars, instead they use a funicular or a cable railroad to travel. It was amazing to see what they built in 1,700 years within 5,500 miles.

Hermitage Museum was walking distance from our ship, as we visited Russia as a part of our Azamara Cruise. The museum consists of 5 buildings that holds 1000’s of artifacts from throughout history.  It is said “if you view each item for 1 minute it would take 9 years to see each piece of work”. We chose to see the “gold room”, at an extra charge, but it was “worth the weight in gold” to see the magnificent pieces! This is truly a museum to be enjoyed and not rushed through. 

Hong Kong and the Junks- This was one of my 1st big international trips, back in 1985.  We went to Seoul Korea, Hong Kong and Japan experiencing a cultural difference so different from our familiar United States environment.  Our travel included so many foods, Monuments, gardens, forms of transportation such as trains, rikshaws, boats and planes.  

Japan and the Bullet Train Traveling from Tokyo to Osaka on the world-famous Bullet Train was so emotional traveling through the cloud covered sky then watching as the skies open and the magnificent Mt Fuji in her majestic glory. 

Panama Canal is a must-do in Panama! We did a half day visit, which includes seeing the fascinating Visitor Center. This depicts the building of the Panama Canal, and we spent several hours there. The building of the Panama Canal not only changed the landscape, but also the economy of this beautiful country. For a fascinating look at the canal, take a taxi or local bus to Miraflores Locks Visitor Center and look down on the traffic below.

Parasailing in Acapulco– Have you ever wanted to experience flying up in the clouds but you were afraid of jumping out of a plane, well try parasailing instead.  The sensation is amazing, flowing through the air being pulled by a boat.  The take off is a bit daunting but then feeling on being free is awesome  The landing were very smooth, the whole experience was exhilarating. Of course this was in 1972 and I was only 25 years old. 

Running the Sand Dunes in Veracruz.  We had no idea what we were getting into but this was one of the greatest experiences ever.  First we were on ATV’s flying down the sand dunes and driving all over them.  Then we were on snow board on “sand” running down the “slopes of sand”; as a snow skier this was a bit over the top for me, I could not do it but several in our group tried.  Not very easy or pretty but different.

Serengeti is a spectacular, once in a lifetime opportunity. There have been two World Heritage Sites and two Biosphere Reserves established within the 30,000 km² region. We participated in 6-8 hours of game drives in order to see everything. On this trip, we saw lions, giraffes, elephants, wildebeests, zebras and more!

Skiing across USA and Europe– soaring down a beautiful mountain of fluffy white snow whether in Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, Canada or the Alps in Switzerland is a dream come true.  I had the opportunity of being a proud member of the NATIONAL SKI PATROL since 1969, one of the very 1st woman ever allowed. Traveling to many destinations skiing with family and friends was truly an amazing experience.

Swimming with Dolphins our mammal friends is an experience everyone should do.  While swimming in a protected environment for the dolphins and friends we get to pet them, talk with them and they even lift you to new heights by pushing on your feet until you fly.  I’ve done this twice- once in 2010 at the Xcaret Water Park in Cancun and once in Jamaica. Even my grandkids loved it in Jamaica!

Swimming with manta rays in Maui,  Hawaii.  What a rush!  Traveling by boat to a very protected area at night might be a bit scary but the thrill is amazing.  In Hawaii it was found these gentle giants come to the light to feed on plankton.  As we quietly get into the water, the manta rays float by to feed while we get to watch.  We are not allowed to touch but the visual is wonderful.

Terracotta Warriors– We visited the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, China where we saw over 1,000 life-sized sculpted warriors, archers, infantrymen, horses and chariots. It was breathtaking to see what has been accomplished since they were first discovered in 1974. People from all over the world still dig to find more unfound warriors. There are only 1,000 that have been uncovered so far, but it is believed there are 8,000. Afterwards, we indulged in a meal accompanied by dances and music from the Tang Dynasty. Over 100 performers recreated dances and music from the dynasty with costumes. 

Titanic Museum-

Karen visited the Titanic Museum in Ireland, and found it to be a very heartwarming experience. It was one of the trip highlights, as it had just opened. It was also the exact location where the Titanic was built, so it was extremely special. Linda visited the one in Halifax, Nova Scotia and also loved the experience!

The Basalt Columns were also an interesting adventure in Ireland!

Vatican City was a must! Even though I am not of the Catholic Faith, I still wanted to see the Vatican.  One cannot envision the magnitude and beauty of the Vatican Museum  (aptly named as it is that), a collection of art all in one place that cannot be imaged.  The Sistine Chapel is only a small part of the Museum. I almost got arrested, as I was taking so many pictures- I did not know this was not allowed! The beauty will just have to be in my memories.  Next, we went to St Peter’s Basilica which is located right next to the Museum. The lawn was being set up for the Pope’s visit the next day,  as the Pope gives his blessing every Wednesday when in town. 

Walking with the Elephants is probably one of the highlights of my travel adventures.  We had the chance to walk with these gentle giants while in South Africa.  The hike was about 1 ½ miles slowly strolling to their feeding station.  As soon as we arrived we were able to throw food into their mouths, trunks up!  Such as amazing experience.

White Waters Rafting in Yukon Territory and Veracruz was  probably one of the best experiences ever. The 1st time we rafted was in Tatshenhini River in the Yukon Territory.  A permit is required to go into the part.  Our raft was made of all women- ours was the only one all women of  6 rafts.  The trip was 2 ½ hours, we stopped for a wonderful lunch on the banks of the river.  Then continued on for another 2 ½ hours.   Our raft  beat all the others.  If you’re looking for an adventure on the water in the Yukon, white water rafting is an activity for all ages and experience.

Our 2nd experience was in Veracruz, Mexico.  OMG what a trip.  Our guide Mike Vandruska was amazing leading our 2 rafts to glory!

Zip Lining in Costa Rica, where is all began.  This experience although it can be intimidating is the biggest rush of adrenaline possible.  Costa Rica designed this amazing trip of 12 zips through the jungles with very long zips.  The climb to get started is a bit of a trek but once you are harnessed into your safety gear with the rush of air in your face the fear all goes away.  Just remember to keep your eyes open, you don’t want too miss the view.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but these were some of our most memorable adventures while traveling! And, of course, there is always something more to do in any of these destinations. Let us help you become a ‘Traveler’- contact us about planning your next journey!