If you write a letter of resignation or something with an agenda, you're simply using a pen to record what you have thought out. In a poem, the pen is more like a flashlight, a Geiger counter, or one of those metal detectors that people walk around beaches with.
The first trip I remember taking was on the train from Virginia up to New York City, watching the summertime countryside rolling past the window. They used white linen tablecloths in the dining car in those days, and real silver. I love trains to this day. Maybe that was the beginning of my fixation with leisurely modes of travel.
On land, you can walk away from people, from unpleasant situations. But when you're on a ship for 14 months with 49 other people, if you don't resolve your issues it literally could mean - and this would be an extreme circumstance - the sinking of the ship. You learn a lot about other people. You learn a lot about yourself.