It was 6:30 am on Friday in Milan, Italy, and we were headed to Malpensa International Airport. We were flying back to the United States having just completed an eight-day motorcycle ride from Milan to Pisa to Assisi to Bologna and back to Milan. We traveled 908 miles according to my odometer and covered some of the most beautiful countrysides in the world, especially Tuscany and Umbria.
Seven Months Ago
Seven months ago, I was on a motorcycle ride in the North Georgia mountains with my self-proclaimed Rabbi of Fun, David Nour. David pinged me on a Wednesday in October and told me to meet him at 7:30 am on Saturday so we could ride together. We stopped for lunch, and David told me about the trip to Italy.
“You should come. It is in May. It will not only be beautiful in Italy, but it will also be an adventure for you,” he said.
“In May, Kathy and I will be celebrating our fortieth wedding anniversary. I can’t go on a motorcycle trip,” I explained while asking myself, Why is my first reaction to fun always “No?”
“Ask Kathy. Bring her. She’ll love it,” he said.
It all sounded a little too adventurous. I didn’t want to go. I was thinking of maybe taking a first class cruise and tours. That evening I told Kathy about motorcycling in Italy. She said without a moment’s hesitation, “Let’s go!”
I texted David that we were in. He wrote back, “I love Kathy.” David obviously discovered Kathy is his partner in the Rabbi of Fun business. Kathy has always encouraged adventure in our lives.
And it was an adventure of a lifetime. I will always remember the beauty of Italy. The fear of getting lost in a place where I don’t speak the language. The concern of falling while riding a too-tall-for-me rented BMW GS800 with Kathy on the back.
11 of Us
Despite all my fears, most of all I’ll remember the people. There were 11 of us on the trip. The only people I knew before we arrived in Italy were Kathy and David. Kathy I have known for over 40 years. David and I met at one of my Bible studies in the late nineties when he first came to Atlanta. Since that time, David and I have been in and out of each other’s lives. We were friends but not really close friends. Now I was about to spend 10 days with him.
I learned there is no better way to learn about and appreciate people than by sharing an adventure. There is no better way to fall in love with people than to spend a week with them.
Gossiping about each other.
Making decisions together.
And finally, accepting each other for who we are and loving each other for it.
But none of it would have happened without David and Kathy. David and I are now closer friends. We know each other a lot better. You get to know a man when you spend day and night with him for over a week. He can’t help but share what he is thinking and feeling.
Two weeks ago, I didn’t know any of these people. Now I’m missing them.
About David Nour
David Nour, Nour Group, just published his tenth book Co-Create: How Your Business Will Profit from Innovative and Strategic Collaboration (Amazon). In addition to being my Rabbi of Fun, David is the guru of Relationship Economics. This is a term he coined over 20 years ago, and he memorialized it in a book worth your reading. David is a professional keynote speaker, facilitator, management consultant, and executive coach. He is a man of immense talent whose life is focused on promoting authentic relationships. I am fortunate to call him my friend.
Also published on Medium.