By Liane Kupferberg Carter
“I’m kidnapping you to Italy and this time I’m not taking no for an answer,” my college roommate Pat announces.
Pat bought a vacation house in Umbria, Italy eight years ago, but my husband Marc and I have never visited. We aren’t able to travel together much because we have a developmentally disabled son. “You should go with Pat,” Marc says. “It’s the trip of a lifetime.”
Still, travel is a mixed bag. There’s the pleasure of it, of course. But there is always an undercurrent of longing and sadness too. I so wish Marc and I could travel together. And I feel guilty. Doesn’t he deserve some respite too? Why should I be the one who gets to go gallivanting?
“What can I bring you?” I ask him. “Gloves? A wallet? Wine?”
“An ancient Etruscan artifact,” he says.
“Right,” I say. “I’ll go digging up Pat’s back yard.”
Pat has invited three of her closest friends. None of us knows each other well. “What if we don’t get along? What if the others don’t like me?” I ask Pat.
“Lynne and Eve said the same thing!” she says. “Do you think I would have put us together if I thought we wouldn’t click?”
So I pack, in my usual anxious way, for every contingency. A first aid kit. A four inch folding umbrella. An Italian phrase book. I’m the kind of girl who always remembers to bring the toothpaste. Continue Reading…