The Journey Always Ends Too Soon

Online travel communities are nothing if not filled with teachers. Fellow travelers teach us how to maximize the value of miles and points. To find the best travel deals. To get the most enjoyment from our vacation time, and our travel time.

chesterh, who posts over on the Cruise Critic forums, is one such teacher. His particular niche is cruising. He posts entertaining and informative trip reports that help others understand what cruising is all about and how they can get the most out of a cruise. He even wrote a popular book on the subject: What Time Is the Midnight Buffet?: Tales from the Cruise Adventure of a Lifetime

Starting with a post from August 11 of last year, chesterh is employing his great wit and engaging writing style to teach us some even more important lessons. Namely, how to fight, how to appreciate every moment you have, and very possibly, how to die with dignity.

There’s no sense dancing around the plain facts. I am a fertile breeding ground for cancer. It’s growing in my body like Kudzu grows in Georgia. Yes, I’ll battle for control, but the outcome is certain – and it will probably be swift.

I would like to celebrate the time that’s left by remembering the past and considering the future with my friends. I can already tell that it won’t be easy as my faculties are compromised, but one must make the best of a given situation. Perhaps I can manage to share some useful tips along the way. I dearly want to do whatever I can to ease the transition for the love of my life, Kris, and hope that those who can help will do what they can.

Now for some good news, according to this article published in the New Hampshire Union Leader, chesterh (aka Chester Holleran) is currently winning his battle with cancer. And he’s still writing and sharing his experience – mostly on his blog at In the article, his wife Kris offers some incredible words of wisdom:

We’ve already had more time than we thought we would. We’re thrilled about it. It’s not a curable disease. But any gift of time, and feeling better, is just that: a gift.

Frankly, I have never met Chester or his wife Kris. I’m not sure I had ever even read one of his posts before yesterday. But it’s a strange thing – and I’m sure a lot of you probably feel the same way – that when you stand to lose someone who contributes so much of their time and energy to sharing their knowledge and experiences via one or more of the online travel communities, well, it feels like you are losing a dear friend.

If you have a moment, and if you feel so inclined, I encourage you to read his blog, buy his book, post on the Cruise Critic thread and just generally let Chester know how much he is appreciated.

Hang in there Chester, we’re all rooting for you.

Appian Caribbean Cruise” by Philip Larson. CC BY-SA 2.0.


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