I am going on a week long cruise next week and it will be my first solo excursion in many, many years. I am excited about the new discoveries and freedom that come with being alone. It will definitely be a new experience for me. A cruise ship is hardly alone but for those that know what being a loner is like…one can be totally alone in the midst of a crowd of people. I plan to make some new friends, visit the ship library, lay on a lounge chair and read, go to the beach in port and lay in the sun sipping a tropical fruit drink, visit museums, photograph everything and just do what I want to do, when I want to do it. This actually may be the first vacation that is truly a resting vacation for me.

I work really hard at many things and now I get to put it all away for a week and think about things I want to think about, the color of the sand, the settings on my camera, dining room or buffet, and things that normally fall by the wayside when traveling with other people. Not that I won’t miss them, I will. My kids are wonderful traveling companions and we will have many more travels together.

I just applied for an internship with the U.S. Department of State. This is something I have thought about doing for a while now. The hours upon hours of research that I have done on art conservation/preservation located in Europe keeps bringing me back to government organizations. Both the European government and our government are the leaders in art conservation/preservation efforts. I have also been doing some soul searching about what motivates me and keeps me going …it is service to something greater than myself that contributes to a better world and continual learning. I plan to continue my education overseas and if I can work in the capacity of civil service for the U.S. then even better. If it is meant to be…it will be. But now that the application is completed and submitted, it is time for vacation!!!!

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