How To Travel The World Without Flying

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Sherry Laskin Kennedy was just 8 years old when she sailed on her first cruise ship with her parents from Los Angeles to Hawaii aboard the M/S Matsonia. Today she is a world-cruising enthusiast and founder of www.CruiseMaven.com, her award-winning blog that was voted one of USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice for travel blogs in 2014 and 2016. With over 184 cruises and 68 countries under her belt, Sherry has adopted the mantra, “If there is a port, I can get there.” Her modus operandi for travel is to get to her destinations by any means possible – as long as it doesn’t involve flying. “I hadn’t flown since the early 80s and I decided that I didn’t want my girls to have an irrational fear of flying like I did. The thing is, I never had a bad experience with flying. My best memories are flying from Chicago to Miami on Eastern Airlines and choosing between lobster and steak for lunch. So in 1995 my husband, children and I took a flight from Detroit to Orlando and it was perfect. The sky was clear and there was no turbulence but I nearly passed out because of self-induced anxiety and ended up taking the train home. My husband and kids flew back home and that was my last adventure on a plane.”

Sherry spends at least three months every year on ocean liners and river cruises taking detailed notes and photos to document her adventures. She has become an expert on domestic and international train travel and a connoisseur of hotels and restaurants around the globe. “Every year I do a Transatlantic crossing twice, once to get to Europe and once to get back to the U.S. and I usually sail on the Queen Mary 2. I am also very passionate about river cruising. I’ve sailed over 2,000 miles on the Amazon and I have cruised on the Rhine, the Danube, and the Black Sea.” Rail travel for Sherry comes a close second to cruising. “Once I’m in Europe I rely on trains to take me all over the country and I love trains. You know, it’s all point of view and how you view the situation I guess. I talk to so many people and they say, ‘I don’t want to waste two days on a train to get there,’ and I’m thinking that’s part of the fun of it, you know? I’m on wheels with meals, and you meet people and the scenery is spectacular. What do you see when you’re flying?”

Following her passion, Sherry managed to turn traveling on ships and trains into a multi-faceted career. Along with maintaining her blog, she has also authored numerous articles for web-based and print trade publications, served as a board member for both the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and Norwegian Cruise Lines, and operates The Vacation Shoppe, her home-based travel agency since 1992. She hopes to expand her scope of travel to try some things that she hasn’t done before. “I would love to go to Oxford, Mississippi, the literary mecca of the south where so many writers came out of, and I would like to have a book published. I would still like to do a month or two or three and rent a place in Europe and use that as my home base. I would even like to go up to Alaska and have an Air BnB for a month. Maybe I’ll be a grandma and I can take my grandchildren to Europe. Maybe I’ll be an old person that retires on a cruise ship.” Despite her intrepid spirit, Sherry doesn’t think that she will ever fly again. “I can’t be 100% positive about that. I always say that if El Al, Emirates, Qantas, or Singapore Air offered me a first class seat just to try it I would do it. I honestly don’t know if I would but that would be the only way I would. I really have no desire to fly. I mean, why?”

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