Woman explains how a double mastectomy inspired her to take a 9-month cruise around the world
Upworthy has covered quite a few stories about people who have abandoned dry land to live their best life at sea. Usually these cruise enthusiasts are older, retired couples looking for cost effective adventures during their golden years, but for 37-year-old Angela Linderman, different motivations were at play.
Linderman tragically lost both of her parents to cancer at the age of 65 to cancer. Then, she learned that she inherited the BRCA2 gene mutation, which increases her risk of developing breast, ovarian and skin cancer.
To offset some of the risks of being diagnosed, Linderman underwent a preventative double mastectomy, removing all breast tissue and nipples before having implants.
Dealing with the death of both her parents, along with her own mortality, gave Linderman a hard won epiphany: waiting is overrated.
@angielinderman Ultimate World Cruise Q&A or really FAQ since i dont know how to do a Q&A on here. Help! I tried to andwer as many as I could that I know a lot of people have, but let me kniw what else you want to know about what its like on @Royal Caribbean’s Ultiamte World Cruise. #RoyalCaribbean #crusing #explore #solotravler #worldCruise #UltimateWorldCruise #UWC #SerenadeOfTheSeas #cruise #travel #solofemaletraveler #cruiseship #cruisetok ♬ original sound – Angie
“To me there is no thought of retirement,” Linderman said in a now-viral TikTok clip. “There is no way I’m waiting to do sh*t til I retire. That’s not promised to any of us, and my family’s genetics aren’t lining up to let me have a terribly long life so ‘doing all the things now’ is kind of my motto.”
And this is why, at the age of 37, not 65, Linderman chose to embark upon the much talked about Royal Caribbean’s Ultimate World cruise, a 274-night journey to every continent across the globe. Her dream was made possible by the life insurance money her parents left behind.
In some ways, regular life goes on. Though Linderman took a step back from client management at her job, she still works as a part-time social media freelancer when not taking in the views. Above all though her main focus is creating joyful memories.
On various social media platforms, Linderman has shared several of those memories, from a hike to Mexico’s Chichén Itzá to the gorgeous beaches of Aruba to simply knitting and binging Netflix during canceled port days.
@angielinderman Day 4; Chichén Itzá it was a long hot day, but completly worth it. We had an 11 hour excursaion and 7 of those were travel. This is our first of the World Wonder stops and it was a great way to start!!! #RoyalCaribbean #crusing #explore #solotravler #worldCruise #UltimateWorldCruise #UWC #SerenadeOfTheSeas #cruise #travel @Royal Caribbean ♬ original sound – Angie
@angielinderman Day 15: (12/24/23) Sushi Making Class A few of us were invited to join in on a Sushi-making class and even though seafood and rice are not my favorites I said yes. This trip is about trying new things and enjoying all the experiences along the way and all the new people I am getting to know and spend time with! #RoyalCaribbean #crusing #explore #solotravler #worldCruise #UltimateWorldCruise #UWC #SerenadeOfTheSeas #cruise #travel #9monthworldcruise #9monthcruise @Brandee Lake, @Shannon Marie, @Madison Schwetje, @Brooklyn Schwetje, @Little Rat Brain, @Andrew & Ale Kenney, @drjennytravels, and @Amike Oosthuizen ♬ original sound – Angie
Royal Caribbean’s website boasts a tour that includes 11 Wonder of the World, 60+ countries, and a visit to all seven continents—though passengers will not touch down in Antarctica. Prices for tickets start at around $59,999 per person and go upwards of around $117,599 per person.
But even if you can’t afford a round-the-world cruise, there is still valuable wisdom to be had from Linderman’s story. Long term plans serve a great purpose, but so does remembering that the future is not guaranteed. What we do know is that people tend to leave this world regretting all the ways they didn’t truly live—working too hard, not expressing themselves, or not allowing themselves happiness.
So maybe not every gratification needs to be delayed. Maybe there are a few bucket list items, big or small, that can and should be enjoyed now, rather than being put off. If for nothing else, to simply feel like one’s precious life really is theirs to create.
Go carpe that diem.
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