“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” — Martin Buber
Melissa Anacker and I believed our destinations were France
But what did we know?
It was early summer 2002. Our daughters had just graduated from Rangeview High School
in Aurora, and we decided to join them—and 70-plus other students and parents—for a celebratory European experience. We knew each other reasonably well, living in the same subdivision and co-coaching our kids in Odyssey of the Mind
. So when we were asked to choose roommates for the 28-day journey, we selected each other.
Nine years later, she and I can still break each other up recalling the sublime, the ridiculous and the relatively little between. It happened again, just last week, when the mention of Spanish karaoke entered an email exchange.
But that’s the end of the story.
The beginning is all about sightseeing in Paris
, then riding the Metro miles upon miles back to the distant suburb where our tiny, bunk-bedded room awaited. It’s about pulling a Ferris Bueller
and escaping the seemingly endless castle tours near Tours to discover a delightful city with delicious food. (Although Kate couldn’t distinguish cheese from potatoes 😉 .) It’s about declaring a snow day in 100-degree Madrid
, guiding some other road-weary moms and kids on an alternative adventure. It’s about celebrating my birthday with decadent chocolate cake at the Hard Rock Café
. And it’s about agreeing to pay an extra night’s lodging so some 20 beach-sweaty kids could shower before boarding buses for a long drive south.
Traveling with anyone for four weeks is a test.
Melissa and I passed with flying colors.
As we demonstrated at our final stop, a laid-back resort in Costa del Sol.
When our daughters and their friends entered the teen-accommodating nightspot next to our hotel and found their mamas singing backup karaoke for a nice Scottish guy wailing Mustang Sally—and we were fueled only by seltzer and lime—I think we all entered a new territory of personal possibility.
A secret destination two roomies never saw coming.