Active + Adventure

Around the World in 80 Days (and 32 Pictures)

by Mark Schatzker

THE FINAL STRETCH

Over the past 75 days, I have slept on a communal bed in rural China, witnessed the slaughter and butchering of a sheep in Mongolia, and danced with a 76-year-old grandmother to bawdy songs in the hills of Cilento, Italy. These are events we would consider far from the mainstream, and yet, at the time, they didn't feel strange or out of the ordinary. In each case, I was struck by the fact that I had never done any of these things before. As it turns out, getting back onboard a cruise ship for my trip back to New York—with nothing but buffet lines, karaoke, and endless hours of Parcheesi—is a return to the surreal.

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