I have been lucky enough to embark on grand adventures both solo and with some awesome travel buddies. I enjoy the thrill of independence that traveling solo gives me, but it seems I inevitably find myself wishing someone was there with me at some point. As a young(ish) female, there are also places in this world where it’s just not wise for me to travel alone. So for those places and those lonely moments, I find myself eternally grateful for my travel buddies. November’s Travel Tuesday theme is relationships, so today I write in honor of one of my favorite tried and true travel buddies, my brother.
My brother (we’ll just call him Brother going forward) and I are blessed with a close relationship despite the fact that he’s almost 8 years older than I am, lives across the country, and is my polar opposite in so many ways. We just get along. It’s like that opposites attract thing only not as creepy as that statement may imply. We do have a similar sense of humor and a great respect for one another – two key valuables in our relationship. Brother is also unmarried and financially secure enough to be able to indulge me in whatever random adventure I come up with (smile). I get a great travel buddy and he gets a great trip planner – win/win all around!
As a child my family generally stayed close to home when planning vacations. Living in Alabama, we’d usually end up at the beach in Florida or the mountains in Tennessee. There is nothing wrong with either of those destinations, but they aren’t exactly far reaching either. When my mom passed away, my dad got it in his head that we, as a family trio, should make up for lost time and “see the sites.” My very first trip to Vegas was with my dad and my brother, and I was not and am not the least bit embarrassed to admit that. We covered the Ohio valley into Pittsburgh up to Niagara Falls and partially through southern Canada (usually) in my dad’s gold Buick. I split my spring breaks between these family adventures and beach trips with my friends. I even somehow convinced both my dad and my brother to procure passports and plane tickets to meet me in England at the end of one of my study abroad trips for a grand European road trip. From London to Venice we certainly made a lot of memories (smile)!! I never once complained about going anywhere with my two favorite guys. And you know what? It’s amazing how much closer we are because of those trips.
A lot of life events have happened since that last grand adventure and my dad hasn’t been able to join us as much. But Brother and I have carried on regardless. We’ve covered D.C., NYC, Miami, pretty much all of Arizona, and parts of Utah. The best part of traveling with Brother is that he’s pretty much game for finding adventure wherever we go. New York? Sure, let’s go. Small ghost town in southern Arizona? Bring it. In that we are perfectly attuned and so we have great fun wherever we end up.
In just under two weeks (12 days to be exact) we are off to Scotland for the ultimate road trip. I get to take an absurd amount of pictures and Brother has at least a dozen distilleries mapped out (smile). The thing that precipitated this trip (other than my general obsession with the country) is actually a gift I received last year. For my birthday, Brother purchased a little piece of land in Scotland in my name. The program is part of a conservation effort that sells “souvenir plots” to people all over the world with the idea being that no developer would ever be able to acquire enough of the rights to do anything with the land. So you can say you own a piece of land in Scotland and help preserve/reforest the area. Another win/win and hands down the best birthday present I have ever received. We’ve been to Scotland together once before on a different sort of trip. The fact that Brother recognized, remembered, and respected my love of the country enough to find and procure something like that still astounds me. So this year, in honor of my big 3-0, we’re going to see my little piece of land. It’s going to be a bit nippy to camp out on it, but we can scope it out and I can put my little marker on the site. And the best part of all of it is that I get to see and share that experience with the person that made it all possible (smile).
I hope that someday my brother goes the way of my previous travel buddies with the whole marriage and children deal. I know that’s one of his dreams in life. I will definitely miss him if/when that happens, but I would be happy just to see him happy. In the meantime, I intend to take full advantage of his willingness to go along with my random adventures and to create as many unforgettable memories as we possibly can (smile).