One Wild Journey, One Crazy Couple, One Life to Live
To believe that we can plan our route from my computer in Kabul and will be in a position to stick to it, is indeed, naive. We do know that we will have to make alterations along the way and we expect things to go wrong (or right) that will take us off our planned path, but for now, this is our dreamer’s guide to “Kabul to Cork”. If you noticed, we like water. One thing I have learned about myself over the last five years in Afghanistan, is that I am a water-baby. I grew up on a lake and water feeds my soul. Afghanistan certainly lacks water. For this reason, we are choosing many water-hugging roads. I think it has the added benefit that if we are ever stranded along the way, we won’t be thirsty!
Where there is still a question in our minds is between Italy and Germany. Here is the story: My mother, who is the most fabulous woman in the world, has a bucket list (and I forgive her for this). On her bucket list are things such as a family portrait. This may sound easy enough, but not so easy when your daughter lives half-way around the world. We got through the family portrait and to be honest, it’s a lovely photo. Next however, was a family trip. I do not know how families bigger than four ever organize these things! There were eight of us involved in the planning. That was seven people too many. Everyone has a different opinion of an ideal vacation (especially when kids are involved), and the matriarch was unwilling to take the reins and make an executive decision. Finally, after a year of “planning”, Italy was the final decision. Mom has always wanted to go to Italy and my brother-in-law, the genius of little-known-web-gems, found WhaiWhai tour books for Italy that have been described as part “Amazing Race’, and part treasure hunt, with a bit of DaVinci code-style storytelling mixed in. We were all excited about that (you need to look these up if you like these kinds of things – they have them throughout Italy, but now have one for NYC. For all my NYC friends, I totally recommend you pick it up)!
An unfortunate series of events forced my mother and her husband to stay home. My sister and I were relentless about wanting to cancel the trip, but this was the one instance in which the matriarch decided to put her foot down. The trip was wonderful for my husband and I and my sister and her family, but there was a gaping hole in the passenger manifest. We were teary when gazing at the Colosseum; not because of its incredible beauty but because of a bucket list unchecked.
When driving through this area of the world, my husband and I thought it would be great to meet my mother in Italy to try to semi-check the bucket list. The whole family would not be there, but at least she could see the Colosseum with two of us. On the other hand, Germany is where Humpty the VW Bug is from. Driving back through Germany would be re-tracing its steps. The original owner drove it from Germany to Kabul; it only seems remiss to pass up the opportunity for a full circle. We could always meet mom in Germany – maybe even for Oktoberfest!
What do you think?