In the last few months, Lifeworks has spent a good amount of social media space discussing our recent trip to Denmark. We have a “Lifeworks Goes to Denmark” blog, numerous Facebook entries, Tweets, website announcements, and just about every digital communication paradigm you can think of. Just announcing the trip has been exciting, not to mention the actual trip itself. If you want all the details you can check them out at our blog. All that stuff is worth an eyeball but, I thought that in this blog entry, I could be a little more personal. A little more reflective. I would like to talk about the day Jeff Perlman and I stayed back from the rest of the group and had a Danish Sunday at home.
Just a little history first. In October of 2009, a group of 26 people traveled to Denmark from Lifeworks. We had 15 Lifeworks clients, one Lifeworks client’s roommate, six Lifeworks staff, one personal attendant, one assistant band director, one service innovation director, and one Lifeworks president. Say that seven times really fast, it would take all day. We spent seven glorious days traveling overseas and touring a beautiful country. We saw legendary sites such as Hamlet’s castle. We toured many program locations that serve adults with developmental disabilities just like Lifeworks. We saw a Battle of the Bands, and we had the time of our lives. Again for greater detail, check out the blog.
Now, on to the personal reflection. One gentleman that was rooming with me was Jeff Pearlman. You may have heard of him. He was awarded a personal achievement award from Lifeworks in 2008, he has run numerous marathons, he works independently at Whole Foods through Lifeworks, and he is an all around great guy. He is a little bit of a Lifeworks legend. Check out a video of him on our YouTube page if you like.
Anyhow, Jeff caught something called Mysterious Travel Abroad Sickness. It happens to the best of us, and is assured to happen to at least one unsuspecting traveler in any group. This is when someone who is traveling to a distant country gets mysteriously ill for no apparent reason and just as mysteriously better in about 24-36 hours. On this trip Jeff was the victim. It manifested in the middle of the night with great vigor and much clamor. I won’t go into any unnecessary details, but there was no doubt as to the fact that the Mysterious Travel Abroad Sickness had struck.
The next morning, the group was getting set for one of the trip’s grand adventures. Going to Kornberg castle and Sweden! Jeff was a true trooper, and he and I decided to stay back for the day. Jeff was worried about getting other people sick and possibly getting sick on various artifacts in the castle. So, the gang was off without us. We were initially bummed, and it did turn out to be many travelers’ favorite day (check the other blog), but we also ended up having a wonderful day as well. Maybe it was the best day for Jeff and me.
When I returned to the states, I was wondering what made the day so special. I was pretty sure it was not the professional badminton we watched on TV, but that was pretty cool. I don’t think it was the “Mere Smag” Pâté we had extra portions of. I am not sure if it was even our journey down to the scenic North Sea, even though I will never forget the sight. I think, in the end, it was all of those things put together. We were able to experience something that most people never get to experience. We got to have a typical Danish Sunday. I mean, we did what probably a lot of Danes did that day. We slept in. We watched the local team trounce the rival at an esteemed sporting event. We watched football (soccer) highlights. We ate leftovers. We went for a stroll in the neighborhood. We had weighty conversations about life. We did all those little things that add up to magic. It was like Mysterious Travel Abroad Sickness was sent to us on purpose. It gave us a true blessing. Since Jeff went through all the trials of being sick he might have a different opinion. You will have to ask him.