Around the World in 180 Days

March 6, 2024

“We could talk about our adventures all day,” says Sieglinde (Sigi) Fretz, a Frederick Living resident since August 2016.

Sigi and her husband, Barry, booked their cruise in December 2020. They were itching for an adventure post-COVID. When they received the brochure from Oceania inviting them to a Cruise Around the World, they looked at each other and said, “We could do this.”

A couple of weeks later they made their first deposit and began to look forward to January 15, 2023—the date they would embark on their trip around the world. They boarded Oceania’s Insignia in San Francisco and set off on the journey of a lifetime that let them set foot on five of the earth’s seven continents.

“On an extended trip like this, the cruise ship becomes your new neighborhood,” Sigi reflects. The floating luxury hotel included three restaurants and catered to an adult clientele.

“The service at the restaurants was slow,” Barry says, “but it was good, because it helped us to revive the art of conversation. We met a lot of people. Many were accomplished, retired professionals who lived all around the world. We met people from across the United States as well as Australia and Great Britain and made lasting friendships.”


Throughout their “endless summer” cruising through the tropics, Barry and Sigi experienced the extremes of the world—from wealth to poverty and from kingdoms to democracies. “It was incredibly eye-opening. We learned about different governments, like Thailand’s unbroken dynasty, and what happens when rich countries pull out of poor nations,” Barry says.

Sigi echoes, “We learned so much about how the world lives. It was a major education in governments, culture and lifestyle.”

As Barry and Sigi recount their adventures, they cite lemurs in Madagascar, temples in Vietnam and Thailand, pristine streets in Japan, glimpses of Mount Everest as they flew along the Himalayas, the iconic Christ statue in Rio de Janeiro, lions and wildebeests in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, Brunei’s benevolent dictator, penguins in Antarctica, impoverished villages in West Africa and more.

“We took more than 4,000 pictures,” Sigi admits. The couple shared stories from their adventure through a presentation for the Frederick Living community. They encourage their neighbors to consider an adventure like they experienced. “Travel while you can,” Barry says.


The lock-and-leave lifestyle at Frederick Living makes it easy to travel. Barry and Sigi enjoyed traveling prior to their move to Frederick Living but often came home to an unwanted mess like broken pipes and fallen trees. Today, they just lock and leave their home in The Meadows neighborhood and the Frederick Living team worries about the pipes and trees.

Barry and Sigi look forward to a cruise to Iceland, Greenland and Germany in July 2024, followed by a cruise from Rome to Miami via the Canary Islands in the fall.

After traveling—whether on a road trip or a cruise—Barry and Sigi return with photos, memories and magnets. A metal wall in their sunroom displays their collection of magnets they’ve gathered from around the world.

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