Why did an American woman decide to live on a cruise ship for three years?

(CNN) When Sharon Lane, 75, heard about a cruise line offering three-year round-the-world trips, she immediately began fantasizing about life on board.

Life at Sea Cruises is selling the cabin of the MV Gemini, an epic round-the-world voyage departing from Istanbul, Turkey via major ports on November 1.

Lane is a retired high school teacher living in California who loves to travel. Ryan is a foreign language teacher who used to love to take her students on trips to Europe. In the 1990s, he spent two years of adventure in Cape Town, South Africa.

Recently, Ryan has become obsessed with cruise ships. Not only because he can travel around the world, but also because the feeling of floating in the sea is irresistible.

“I actually prefer sailing all day. It’s exciting when a boat is going through the ocean and going strong,” Lane told CNN Travel.

Living on a cruise ship has always been Mr Lane’s dream, but high costs have been a bottleneck. But when a friend told him about the three-year voyage on a “Zoom” call one Friday night, Lane hung up and spent the rest of the day researching and budgeting for the voyage.

The cheapest room on MV Gemini runs about $30,000 a year, including discounts for solo travelers. Considering that the price was acceptable, Mr. Lane decided to take a boat tour.

“It was midnight and I had done enough research so I made a reservation.”

Mr Lane is currently busy preparing for the November launch of the MV Gemini. He has sold most of his property, canceled his lease and is preparing for a long life at sea.

“Preparing for a trip is really hard work,” Lane said. “I have no proof, but when I return from my travels, I should find my place here again. Or maybe I’ll live in another country. I don’t know, but the possibilities are endless.”

prepare for a new life

Lane opted for what Life at Sea Cruises calls a “virtual interior” room, one of the cheapest on the ship. The 12-square-meter room has no windows, but is equipped with a screen that shows live video from outside the ship.

“It does show what you see out the window. That’s really enough.”

MV Gemini, where Ryan plans to spend three years

Lane insists she has had no problems living in a room without natural light for three years. He uses the guest room as his bedroom and doesn’t plan to spend any time in it except sleeping. During the day, the plan is to spend relaxing time on the boat strolling, looking out to sea, and enjoying the excursions.

Lane plans to sell “95% of the property” before setting sail, but plans to bring a few family photos and personalize the cabin. One of her favorite photos is of her now-grown grandchildren taking them whale watching as children.

“I plan to laminate the photo and attach it with magnets to the guest room door for two reasons,” says Lane. “On the one hand, it’s fun to see my grandchildren’s faces every time I go back to my room. And second, because they smile at me, I know which door is my room.”

I haven’t told my daughter or grandkids that I’m going on a cruise. “I don’t want to be talked out of,” he said. Lane believes her daughter and grandchildren will support her decision. Still, three years is a long time, and while traveling the world, you probably won’t be able to see most of your loved ones on land.

But Lane is looking forward to video calling family and friends far away and making new connections on board. I heard that there are many people who take the cruise alone, so it is expected that there will be many interactions. In fact, the cruise line already has many guests connected via the app, and “the fun has begun,” Lane said.

“We’ve gotten to know each other by helping each other, brainstorming, answering questions, making plans. It’s been fun.”

Lane, who has been happily single for a long time, denied that anyone on board could be in a relationship.

“It’s not going to happen. I’m not thinking about it, and I’m not interested. I want to make friends.”

Lane said she was grateful to be single when she decided to take the three-year cruise. Lane has spoken to some people who wanted to get involved but couldn’t because their partners or spouses weren’t interested.

“I don’t have that. If I want to stay home, I can go. If I want to go out, I can go out. My health is the only thing stopping me, but as long as I can control it, I’m fine.”

The pool deck at MV Gemini.Lane says she can’t wait to travel

Ryan has a lung condition that makes him more susceptible to COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses. Since the outbreak, I have barely left home, let alone vacationed.

But Lane thinks he’s probably more comfortable on board than on land, rather than being nervous about boarding a plane. He credits the cruise ship’s coronavirus response and onboard medical facilities, and plans to take the precautions himself.

“Wear N95 masks, surgical masks and goggles on board or elsewhere.”

Lane also wouldn’t disembark in a place like Antarctica, where the cold air can make your lungs worse. But I had high hopes for this itinerary, which included places I’d never been before, such as my ancestral homeland of Scotland and Ireland.

life on board

MV Gemini made a total of 375 port calls during the three-year voyage, 208 of which were overnight. It makes stops across India, China, Maldives, Australia, some for several nights.

Lane is happy to travel the world and have plenty of time to visit the ports of call, but believes he will spend more time on board than other passengers.

“For me, the sea is very important.

Lane plans to blog about her experience. “My goal is to write something every day,” he said. She uses a pseudonym on her blog in hopes of enjoying her travels and sharing her adventures with loved ones back home and people she’s never met.

Lane also hopes her blog will inspire others to take risks and step out of their comfort zones. Lane said he still regrets his procrastination in middle age.

“When things are going well in my life, when I have money, when my schedule matches, when other people want to go, I think I’m always waiting for that perfect moment to start.”

“Don’t be stuck at home,” Lane said. “Home may be a place of rest for the soul, and there may be no place more relaxing than home. After relaxing at home, go somewhere by boat, by plane, by car.”

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