And then I'm jumping on a Silversea Explorer ship that will navigate the truly rarely trodden destinations of Japan and South Korea over a period of two relaxing weeks.
It's for this reason that I've been working pretty hard over my two-week stay in Manila, so I can get some downtime, just being amidst nature while sailing on one of the most luxurious explorer ships in the world.
SEE YOU SOON, SILVERSEA
I'm a very big fan of Silversea and it's really the only cruise line I've sailed on so far for private trips on ocean voyages, having loved the experience from Day 1 of my very first sailing nearly 20 years ago.
I was on the maiden voyage to the Ukraine on a private holiday.
I like the intimacy and country club atmosphere of the Silversea ships, and the pampering onboard.
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THE EXPLORER SHIP
For the Silversea Explorer ship, it's 120 guests max versus the crowds of the big ships which make me feel like I'm stuck in a ballroom of people I don't really know, eating way too much of the kind of tasty but generic food you get at fancy wedding receptions.
And I know all the Silversea ships by heart save for the new Explorer ships -- which is why I'm quite excited to do this quickie holiday (if you can call two weeks a quickie) before my three week trip to Morocco with 35 friends. And am I so excited for this upcoming #Travelife to Morocco, too.
Anyway, more on Morocco and also on my Silversea journey later.
A HOKKAIDO WEEKEND
For my Hokkaido weekend, someone is meeting up with me in Sapporo and we're staying in three places I've always wanted to stay in around Hokkaido, mostly in hot springs towns I haven't been to yet.
I actually sent this guy my wishlist of ryokan and restaurants to stay in just as a courtesy proposal as we are planning this holiday together, after all.
And within a day or two, there was an email in my In Box with a short but succinct message as he's an incredibly busy person of few words: "My secretary has booked everything as you wanted. Happy?"
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DOWN THE HIGHWAYS OF HOKKAIDO
Of course I was. And he's rented a pretty spiffy sort of sports car to tool around Hokkaido in, too, although I still don't know how my Silversea luggages will all fit in the back of the car.
I never travel light.
He's coming along on the cruise as well, although just until a midway point, as he's got to fly back to Chicago in a rush.
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FROM CHICAGO TO THE SKY.
OR ACTUALLY, THE OTHER WAY AROUND.
So in some pretty middle-of-nowhere seaport in Japan, he's getting off and arranging for a car to drive him to the nearest functioning airport of a large city.
From there he's arranged for a private plane to link him up with a flight back to Chicago from the nearest international airport of Japan.
As for me, I'm continuing on till the end of the voyage, which docks in Kobe, just in time for a very nice Kobe beef lunch with friends and some shopping, before I head to Kansai airport to catch a flight back home that same day.
Read about an amazing glamping holiday in Sri Lanka in our new issue...
JUST IN TIME TO COOK
SOME VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS
I land within hours of our next Travelife event, which is a very special cooking demonstration and lunch at the New World Manila with some of the top chefs of Ho Chi Minh.
This is going to be such an enjoyable event, which I hope you'll consider joining.
PRE-MOROCCO TRIP COCKTAILS
Everything's set but I thought a cocktail party would be a nice way to start a trip of a lifetime, literally showing my friends the very best of Morocco, as always living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.