A sparrow tattoo or swallow, is a tattoo sailors earned for traveling 5,000 nautical miles. Another at 10,000; Anchor at 50,000 and a 'tall ship' around 100,000. I could be a little off but I'm sure that this is roughly the correct chart for each tattoo.
Eitherway, I've always wanted to spend time on a ship at sea. Its always seemed appealing in some regard.
A few months ago I stumbled upon a company (freighter world) where you can do just that. You can pay to ride on a freighter for really as much as you can afford.
As ridiculous as it seems, this is something I'd like to try. If I'm successful at landing a job in the far east, I would like my voyage back to be by this form of transportation. Its not cheap; around $100 per day and its not as luxurious as a cruise but what it is, is adventure.
This is how people traveled not so long ago. If you wanted to go to Japan back in the 1950's, this is most likely how it would have been done. Of course you would be on a cruise ship but you would still spend a two weeks journey across the Pacific. If you wanted to go to Europe, same thing (luckily, there still are cruises that leave to Europe from the US).
But think of it, what would be my rush to get back to the US? I'd be done teaching, why not enjoy my time off? If I were in Japan or Taiwan, I could fly to Korea, spend my remaining weeks there; take a train to Pusan and board a ship for my two week journey back to the States.