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Traveling By Cargo, With Lots Of Reading Time


WEEKEND EDITION's travel segment Winging It aims to bring you advice and ideas about different ways to spend your free time and profiles of people embarking of adventures of all kinds. A few months, ago we introduced you to Rebecca Hall. When we spoke with her, Hall was getting ready to set out on an unusual journey - traveling from Greece to Hong Kong on a cargo ship.

REBECCA HALL: The idea of spending just time looking at sunrises and sunsets and being amongst nature; that appeals to me a lot more than just getting to a destination very fast. It's more about the journey.


MARTIN: Rebecca is now back home in Greece and we thought we'd check in with her to see how it all went. She joins us on the line from Athens. Welcome back to the show, Rebecca.

HALL: Thank you, Rachel.

MARTIN: For people who may have missed that initial interview, describe what your space was like on this ship.

HALL: I had a cabin all to myself. It was 25 square meters with its own bathroom, so it was on-suite. It was massive. I had a double bed all to myself and a desk and a lounge with TV and it could play DVDs. And it was worth it. It was really, really worth it.

MARTIN: What did you do in those moments when you were just passing time?

HALL: I did a lot of reading - a lot of reading. I used the pool. We had a swimming pool, so I went swimming every day. I got quite fit actually, which built my appetite up, which was good, 'cause we had three really big regular meals a day.

MARTIN: Just to remind people, you were the only kind of civilian, for lack of a better word, only tourist on this cargo ship. It's a working cargo ship. So, you were the only non-crew member. Did you get lonely? I mean, it was five weeks at sea.

HALL: No. there was always something to do. There was always something for me to be writing about, 'cause it was very inspirational, a trip like that. I never missed a sunset with the chief officer on his watch. In fact, I joined him on his watch from four to eight. And I used to play table tennis a lot. My sparring partner was the cook. So, we used to practice that. So, there was always something to do.

MARTIN: I understand you also may have done a little bit of karaoke onboard. Is that right?

HALL: Yes. I neglected to mention that, yes.


MARTIN: There was some photographic evidence apparently.

HALL: Yes. The senior crew were of European origin and the other crew were Filipinos. And the Filipinos really like their karaoke. And this current captain had purchased a karaoke machine for them. I refused to sing any love songs. So, I picked up a couple of Journey or Guns n Roses songs I tried to sing; was trying to get it livened up a bit.

MARTIN: How do you think this journey has changed you, if at all? Did you learn anything about yourself or traveling that you didn't know?

HALL: This may sound strange, but because we didn't have Internet, it really taught me to how get used to my own company again and get used to enjoying the company of others without relying on something like Facebook or using the Internet or email all the time. So, it taught me to be very patient and not always be constantly thinking, oh my God, what's going to happen tomorrow because tomorrow, actually, was just going to be the same as today.

MARTIN: So, you've set the bar so high for unusual trips. Do you have any idea what your next adventure might be?

HALL: I would like to be able to maybe this time fly out to the Far East and then travel down as far as Australia. So, maybe I'd do this trip from the Far East down to Australia. I wouldn't do the whole trip in one go from, say, Europe to Australia. I think that would be too much. But, yeah, I would definitely go to sea again.

MARTIN: Well, we might check in with you again then, Rebecca.

HALL: I hope so.

MARTIN: Rebecca Hall joined me from Athens, Greece. Thank you so much, Rebecca.

HALL: Thanks for hosting me.


MARTIN: Hey, we want to hear from you. Write in the comments on WEEKEND EDITION's Facebook page about your latest adventure, or you can find me on Twitter: @Rachelnpr. Happy traveling.


MARTIN: And you are listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.