What Is The Next Charm On The Travel Bracelet?

Is life just a big charm bracelet?

Are the expectations for a travel journey just to get that next gold charm on the bracelet and to say you have been there and done that?

These are questions asked by Executive Dean, Dan Garvy at orientation for the Spring 2011 Semester At Sea Voyage leaving Nassau, Bahamas today.  His candor and dedication to “experiential” education is reflective of the magnitude in time and coordination that has gone into creating the 2011 Spring voyage around the world with Semester at sea.   Dean Garvy told  the students and life long learners that they “were needed to make this all happen.”  Without the participants, the vision never becomes a reality which can make a difference in the world.  To me the keynote speech said that “WE” the individuals on the trip are what it takes to “connect the dots around the world” to create a memorable and harmonious experience.  The connection described today made me feel like an integral part of the community and that my contribution will help others as we create the music of life together in harmony all over the world.

It might seem funny to you, the reader, to be describing the event in musical terms. Dean Garvy had piano music as part of the presentation showing how individual expectations alone do not create a melody.  One note alone,  even two notes alone mean nothing and if you have many notes not in sync it just sounds like noise.  It takes combining several notes with harmony to come up with a balance and a meaningful presentation.

One of the goals of the Semester At Sea Organization we heard about earlier this morning is to “Educate Individuals… have infused shared learning coming together with faculty and students.” “We believe strongly in the program’s mission and that the experience truly deepens one’s understanding of issues and culture…”  Today we heard  about how the experience in the confines of the ship with seniors in their late 80’s to college students in our community would impact who we are and where we are going with the rest of our lives.  Dean Garvy explained how we would all be engaging in groups about our personal journey as we experience different cultural exposures around the world. The Theme of this voyage is Thinking Globally Acting Locally.  The opening remarks set the bar of expectations to be one of growth, harmony and change within the 104 days at sea.

It seemed like my husband Tom and I have been planning, packing and waiting for ever!  We finally left the port in Nassau! As the ship pulled out of dock it was like embarking on a journey with 700 individuals we didn’t really know but deep down we know after the 104 days we will all have something very special in common as we learn and process world change together!

Hang on the ride is just beginning.….. actually the wind came up and it is rocking and rolling a bit!  We did a practice evacuation drill so we are set to sail!  We are cruising at a higher rate of speed to make up the three hour delay!  The journey of a lifetime began today!

Be sure to sign up to play “Where in the world is Carra Riley?” Lot’s of fun just posting and following the journey around the world!

Practice evacuation today before sailing

Saying Goodbye to parents on shore

Bon Voyage Spring 2011 SAS taking off!

About Carra Riley

Fun loving classic writer who is a life long learner. Helping people connect the dots as a consultant for small business and real estate along with custom workshops and seminars.


  1. Joy McCracken Chichester says

    Looks like I’m logged in okay! However, I want to change my password – the one your site gave me is too complicated! But, I’ll take care of this tomorrow, i.e. today. It is now 3:20am and I need to sleep, and then go to two square dances at 2pm and 8pm on Thursday, Jan. 13. So now, comments on your trip: did you see any “local life” on Nassau, or were you contained by touristy things? Did you see any local dancing? I want to know especially if any American square dancing will appear to you around the world. I know it’s there, and I hope you find it.

    • Hi Joy, Yes you can change the password in your profile to whatever you wish! Those long numbers can be painful sometimes! Thanks for being here on Cosmic Cow Pie! I look forward to your comments! TRIC

    • Joy~ Happy you got logged in! you do need to sleep! Hope you had fun on the square dances. We did go to a local fish fry area for dinner but no local dancing. Saw some in the street.. if you go back and look at the last blog post you can see the video of a nice young man getting us in to dinner! I will let you know if we see any square dancing! Thanks for coming to the party!

  2. Hi Mom! Are you a cosmic cow pie or? Check out my thoughts on Carra’s post “cosmic cloud pies”! Are we competing for the grand canyon prize? If you win, will you take me with you? LOL

    Pretty soon, I’m believing, we’ll be on the same sleep schedule, when I’m working nights again!


    I wonder if calling them “charms” kind of trivializes all the valuable things you’re going to gain over the next 104 days! Even a small trip, maybe just in our own back yard, can bring untold personal rewards! It’s so exciting to read all about your adventures here! Gee, I just LOVE the Worldwide web!

    I just watched “Julia & Julie” and got inspired to blog more often. Maybe I can parlay my blog into a book deal at some point! And you can write my forward! LOL

    Can’t wait for your next installment!
    Much love,

    • How fun to see mom and daughter connecting the dots in the Cosmic Cow Pie! Whoo hoo! across the world having fun with both of you!