The Adventurer’s Club

We were pretty much broke when the three of us left Iowa for Massachusetts. I had accepted my first college-level teaching job in August 1994 and Julie and Jake joined me the following January. We lived in a large townhouse-style apartment with a postage stamp sized yard. However, within one hour’s drive we had parks, a mountain, and the ocean to explore. We were the three musketeers and every activity became an adventure. We took to calling ourselves The Adventurer’s Club, even making buttons we’d wear on our outings (yes, Jake, we became one of THOSE families very early on).

It’s been more than 20 years since we started our travels and we’re still finding new challenges. The most recent trip was to Norway, where I presented at an academic conference. Traveling abroad is often an overwhelming experience. The sensory overload of meeting new people, deciphering foreign languages, navigating different customs and seeing so much surprising beauty can exhaust you. The best thing to do is to sit back and let the kaleidoscope swirl.

The train trip from Oslo to Bergen is known as one of the most beautiful rides in the world. Thanks to a screw up stateside, we had paid tickets but no assigned seats. We decided to board in Oslo anyway, hoping we wouldn’t be thrown off at the first stop. Passing through first class we noticed that the family car had open space and flip down jump seats, a perfect place for the three of us to hide out. It didn’t take long to spot other renegades-the guy from Canada and the couple from the US who had Eurorail passes but no seat assignments. With seven hours ahead of us, the conductor, who grudgingly took pity on everyone, let us stay. As it turned out, we ended up with the best seats on the train. The Adventurer’s Club wins again.

My son Jake created this video that perfectly captures the beauty of Norway and the excitement of travel.

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