In the morning, M and I slept in, ate a late breakfast, and packed up the last of our gear; the final few things that had spent the night drying on the balcony.
This has been a special trip for me. Many of us reach a point in our lives when we and our siblings go our own ways. We have our own interests and responsibilities, our own hobbies and families. Even when those activities intersect, they don’t often allow us to spend the time together that we did as kids.
It seems, however, as I look around and think about others I have met, such as L and B last year, that this isn’t always the case. Life seems to runs in phases, and there are times during which the demands of our own existences pull us of necessity apart. If we are lucky, however, we just might find time in another phase for another trajectory, in which our lives come closer together and we can share things that we couldn’t before. M and I don’t agree on everything but we get along pretty well. I don’t know what the future holds, but I wonder if we may be entering just such a phase.
This has been a funny trip in some regards. M let me do all of the driving, as the truck required knowledge of driving a stick shift, which is clearly my domain. I find it somewhat interesting, as the younger child, to have my older brother defer to me in that way. And another one of my specialties is travel, so he yielded to me on this as well, which has been especially rewarding for me, as this has been my first real opportunity to share this passion with one of my siblings. This gave me a chance to book nice seats for cheap and use my airline status for as much benefit as I could.
Finally, when making preparations, I mostly know the things to consider for a trip abroad, and I think about things others may not consider, such as traveling with antibiotics for travelers diarrhea (yes – M needed them).
Beyond all of this, however there are the things about a journey like this that aren’t even obvious ahead of time. If you are lucky enough to do something like this, you might discover that your brother wakes up the same way he did when you were kids, with his pillow wrapped protectively around his head, shielding his eyes from the light. And that in some ways neither of you has really changed that much.
We are going home now, taking our tans, a couple of t-shirts, some photos, and some amazing memories with us back to a snowstorm and a mother who is anxiously awaiting us.
And I truly am lucky.