This week on The Joy of Cruising Podcast, I am delighted to welcome Mark and Leanne Weston of Queensland Australia. I wrote about Mark and Leanne’s story in my first cruising book, The Joy of Cruising, in a section called “Cruisers Like You and Me...Sort Of.” This section, a reader favorite that has been retained in each book of The Joy of Cruising Trilogy, follows the theme of “ordinary” cruisers with extraordinary stories. Mark and Leanne’s cruising is anything but ordinary, but as Mark stresses in The Joy of Cruising, he and Leanne are ordinary cruisers. “Mark tells people that cruising doesn’t have to be expensive. Sure, it can be, but he and Leanne typically book much less expensive inside cabins, since they rarely spend much time in their stateroom.”
My introduction to the Weston’s was simple and kind of amusing. It was the middle of 2018. I embarked on this journey to write a book about cruising—one that focused on cruisers who were passionate and pursued their passion in ways that I thought were worthy of sharing their stories with the cruise community. I was browsing a cruise group on Facebook when a post piqued my interest. “Does anyone else have our addiction—10 cruises done for the first half of this year, 11 more before Christmas...?” Mark asked the cruise group discussion board. His query elicited over 900 responses, the most I had ever seen regarding a single post. Of course, Mark’s post captured my attention, and I was just as curious as to what the commenters would say. So, I read several hundred comments —more than half—before my eyes started to glaze over. Most reflected a mix of awe, envy, “go for it” encouragement, and a fair amount of religiosity (there were dozens of variations of “you are blessed”). Of course, this being the Internet there was also a smattering of haters and snark. “Get a life!” “Buy a boat!” There was at least one comment delivered to Mark privately. It was from me, and essentially said, “Tell me more!
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