“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”

~Joseph Campbell

I’ve never been a numbers kind of traveler. Goals of setting foot in all fifty U.S. states or ticking off visits to every country in Europe just haven’t been on my radar. Instead, my travel dreams and schemes have woven themselves into specific destinations, places that for whatever reason I’ve longed to wrap my arms around and experience.

But a funny thing happened to what I thought was this makes-perfect-sense-to-me approach to travel planning when we boarded the Seabourn Quest for Antarctica earlier this year. As our group of 400 fellow travelers gathered for our first briefing meeting, one of the expedition team members called out, “For how many of you is Antarctica your seventh continent?”

Hands flew in the air, and a momentary excitement filled the room as if someone had just won the travel lottery. Before I could even figure out how many people we were actually talking about, the discussion had moved on to the rules and regulations of visiting the White Continent.

All seven continents. It made sense that this remote part of the world would be the final continental goal on many travelers’ lists. Only about 40,000 people visit Antarctica every year. Compare that with Venice, Italy’s, 70,000 visitors a day, and the numbers are quite self-explanatory. It was just that I hadn’t thought of Antarctica in that way. My “travel ideas” file had been bursting with stories of voyages, penguins and explorations for so long that every time I opened it, the folder practically shouted, “Will you please do something about this?! You know Antarctica is where you want to go.”

With Herb and 6,500 pairs of Gentoo penguins on Cuverville Island, Antarctica. 2017.

And now I find myself getting ready for another new continent, this time because of happenstance rather than years of research. In January, we will be heading to Australia and New Zealand (yes, I know New Zealand is part of Oceania and not considered a continent!). Because of a price drop after we had booked our Antarctica journey and then a medical emergency on board that resulted in leaving Antarctica two days early, Seabourn had given us a generous credit toward a future cruise, with the caveat of booking it within a specified time frame.

If you have any “must sees” for this part of the world, please feel free to send them along. I’ve been following my own travel planning advice and have put together some terrific-sounding itineraries and excursions, but I would welcome any input and recommendations!

Planning the next adventure.

Happy Holidays and many thanks to all of you for following along with The Modern Postcard this past year. I’ve sincerely appreciated the time you’ve taken to leave comments and thoughts, and I’ve loved connecting with so many of you from around this small world of ours.

Whether your adventures take you to a new far-away continent or a newly-discovered destination around the corner, I wish you Happy Travels and a Happy 2018!

At the “Greetings Tour” mural in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood.


  • Hello Mary!

    Chuck and I are headed in the same direction in February. I only regret we will not be on the same adventure at the same time. Is there any chance you would contact me privately so we could compare notes on what to see and do? You taught us last time that we should research before going.

    Happy holidays to you and Herb!


  • Great hearing from you, Shelly! It would have been too wonderful if we were landing on the same voyage at the same time. I’ll be happy to share our plans and would love to hear what you’ve discovered. Will email you later today. Happy holidays to you and Chuck!

  • You will love Auz/Nz ! My top picks are:
    Syndey – coastal walk Bondi to Coogee, climb the bridge (very touristy but great fun) day trip to the Blue Mountains. Stay at Ovolo Walloomoolloo.
    Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays. – snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
    Tasmania – if your ship calls in Hobart, visit the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and feed the ‘roos
    Wellington NZ. Museum of New Zealand
    Auckland – ferry to Waihiki Island

  • Janet, thank you! I have a few of your suggestions on my list and will check out the others. We won’t be stopping in Tasmania on this trip, but there’s always hope for another visit 🙂

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