Flash back to 1995. It was my first (and only) opportunity to experience a quintessential spring break in Florida, on Sannibel Island. I had all of the bases covered:
Group of friends to party with - x
Plenty of fruity cocktail recipes - x
No school work hanging over me - x
We had the bases covered; until we arrived at the hotel and discovered that construction on the pool would begin every day at 7:30 a.m. So, not only was the pool out of service, a bunch of grad students ready to sleep in every morning were awakened instead by the thunder of bulldozers breaking up cement.
. . . Good Journeys Gone Bad: Not just a clever movie title.
So, why is it then that the edges of tough times often soften and end up becoming the key to the whole journey? I am sure there were many other parts of that holiday that didn’t go quite as expected for each of us individually (I vaguely remember being asked at a bar if I was there chaperoning some kids). But it was the shared trial of the construction work that pervades the memories now so many years later.
The language of journeys is distinct from that of trips. It highlights the idea that, while trips can take us to some marvelous places, journeys can take us into ourselves. And often, like getting lost, or meeting a foreigner, it is the unexpected that transforms what would otherwise be a trip, into a journey.
We spent our time, that spring break so long ago, lying on the beach instead of by the pool. We probably didn’t drink nearly as much as we would have without the construction because trekking back for supplies was too big a pain. Instead, we rode bikes around the Island and kayaked through mangroves.
Not every trip turns out to be a journey I believe. But the ones that do linger long after the digital pictures are lost in the scrapbook of our hard drives.
Do you have a quintessential spring break story to share? I’d love to hear all about it. And, as always,
Many Happy Journeys Inspired by Love!