It was an incredible trip and one none of us have ever forgotten. And I'm so pleased that I've been able to take two more Europe adventures (2004 & 2009) and I'm already gearing up for a return in 2013.
And so when it was time for me to think about another Europe trip over 20 years later I had no clue if parents would go for the idea of "no itinerary" or not. But they did. Because I no longer had all summer free, the trip had to be shorter...but before I knew it we were heading back to Europe in 2004 for an 18 day trip. Things were easier with email and a fairly-standard currency and an easy way to get cash...but we still went with no reservations and no itinerary except for the first two and last two days. Again, it was an amazing experience.
Fast forward to 2009 when we went again. This time Ray Thompson (who has been on several MTA trips recently) was with us along with Craig Jolly, a colleague. Again...a great time...and at that point I knew I would have to go again.
Back in 2009 I asked Jay Jalenak, now a lawyer with two kids of his own in Baton Rouge, to send me a few thoughts about his 1981 trip. Here's what he said.
My trip to Europe was one of the greatest adventures of my life. Almost every day was a new city or country. It was an education in history and different cultures. But, most of all, it was an unparalleled education in living and traveling with a group. Our group worked together to chart our travel and plan our activities. No other travel experience allows the participants to have such input; that is the difference between a "tour" and an "adventure." It is the one trip which I still talk about all the time. There were so many experiences that 27 years later I am always recalling stories from that summer to tell my kids.
So boys and parents...the trip might be 21 months away...but now's the time to be thinking about it. Check out the page on this website with more info. Official info will be available here (and via snail mail) in less than three months. Picture yourself in Europe for 20 days having the time of your life in 2013.