When Sharon Lane heard about a once in a lifetime trip offered by a cruising company for a three-year voyage around the world, she began dreaming of her life on board.

The 75-year-old cruising fanatic, a retired teacher from California, is no stranger to all-or-nothing travel experiences.

She has frequented Europe with her students, taught foreign languages, and in the 1990s, she up and left to spend two years in South Africa.

While looking for her next adventure, Sharon discovered an incredible voyage with Life at Sea Cruises.

The company is selling places on board the MV Gemini, which sets sail from Istanbul on November 1st 2023 on an epic three-year global journey that will take in most of the planet’s prime cruising destinations.

The MV Gemini will stop at 375 ports over its three-year voyage, with 208 of these including overnight stays. The ship will stop everywhere from India to China to the Maldives to Australia, with some multi-night stopovers.

A recent convert to the world of cruising as she has gotten older, Lane said one of her favourite sensations is the calming feeling of being adrift at sea.

“I actually prefer the ocean days, when we’re just sailing through or powering through the oceans, it just thrills me,” Lane tells CNN Travel.

After hearing about the voyage from a friend, Sharon immediately started her planning and budgeting.

“By midnight that night, I had done enough research that I booked a room,” she says.

The cheapest rooms on the MV Gemini cost around $US30,000 ($45,000) per year, including a discount for solo travellers.

Since booking her ticket, Lane is busy working out the details before her embankment date in November.

She is selling most of her possessions, giving up her rental lease and preparing for a long stint at sea.

“The logistics are crazy,” says Lane. “It’s a leap of faith, but I know there will be a place here when I get back. Or maybe I’ll end up living in another country. I don’t know, the sky’s the limit.”

While she is getting rid of most of her belongings, she is determined to bring along a few family photos for the journey, particularly a favourite picture of her now-adult grandsons back when they were kids and she took them on a whale-watching trip.

“I have that laminated and I’ll take magnets and I’ll stick it to my door for two reasons,” says Lane. “One, I get to see their faces every time I go in, which is always fun, and the other reason is it makes it really easy to know which door is yours, because you’ve got your grandsons smiling back.”

Lane hopes her epic journey might inspire others to take a risk and push themselves out of their comfort zone, as she still regrets the years she spent in midlife putting off travelling and doesn’t want others to hold the same regrets.

“I think I was always waiting for the perfect time to go when everything is right in life, when money is right, when appointments are right, when other people want to go,” she says.

“Don’t stay home,” she encourages. “Home may be where the heart is, home may be where you hang your hat – hang your hat, and then get on the boat, get on the plane, get in the car, go somewhere.”

Image credits: CNN Travel 

This article first appeared on Over60.