The Year of Three Oceans

I love to teach geography. I want students to recognize the shapes of continents, to imagine how the oceans flow in and out of each other as one ocean. I want my students to love maps and yearn to travel.

Growing up I didn’t travel very far from home. My family took short forays north, to see historical Philly, and south to visit beaches, hugging our near-by east coast. I went to college an hour down the road.  I didn’t have a passport until my 47th year.

But there was one year when, toward the end of it I realized I had dipped my feet into three oceans that year. Three oceans.

My husband and I  took a road trip to visit the city of Savannah. On the drive home we left the highway, travelled country roads arched over with old oaks draped in Spanish moss, and detoured to Tybee Island off the Georgia coast. We ate our lunch at a picnic table looking over the dock to the water. That was the Atlantic.

We visited Honduras where my daughter was living, flew into Tegucigalpa. We took a small local taxi-boat to the island of Amapala where we ate fried fish on the beach and watched wild cats come out to eat the sting ray carcass stripped, then left behind by fisherman in bright painted boats. That was the Pacific.

We travelled many hours in the air to get to Thailand, where our other daughter lived with her husband and our little grandson. From the big city Bangkok we travelled by van then by speedboat to the island of Ko Samed, to walk the white beaches and wade in clear aqua water (though with plastic trash drifting by our ankles.) That was the Gulf of Thailand, filled with water from the Indian Ocean.

This Covid year I haven’t travelled farther than an hour down the road. I long to travel, to visit family I’ve been missing, to wade in water. But I can be patient if I must. I did have that spectacular year, my year of three oceans.

How many oceans are there? Maybe only one.

6 thoughts on “The Year of Three Oceans

  1. Your last question is fascinating! How many oceans are there? Maybe only one. Wow! Like you, I never get over the travel bug. I still have the urge to do a house swap with someone in Europe and leave a list of all the things to do near where we live. I hope Covid moves on into the rear view mirror so we can set our sights on the roads ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You remind me that there used to be a site where teachers all over the world could exchange homes for vacations. Does that still exist, I wonder? It predated all the air b&b’s
      I hope you get to fulfill your European trip wish, and more! And I love your idea of leaving a list of all the wonderful places to visit around YOUR home.

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  2. What a neat way to thread your travels and your writing by thinking of the geography of the oceans. You covered so much beautiful terrain! I loved your food descriptions, the image of the wild cat, and the brightly painted boats. It sounds like your daughters learned what you always hope to impart to your students!

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  3. I love how you structured this around your 3 trips to very different places, yet all allowed you to touch a different ocean. I also find it so interesting that you didn’t have a passport until age 47. Yet your two daughters’ lives are so different. I do hope we ALL can travel again soon!

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