If you have siblings you understand that there is a very special bond there that is different than any other. No matter how much you fought as kids, your relationship remained in tact (for most of us at least). You depend on each other through hard times and celebrate the good times together. You share all your secrets with each other and expect the other to lie for you to your parents if needed. As you get older, your bond gets stronger and there is less fighting. You become friends as a adults. You know more about each other than anyone else. So, why not take an adult trip together?
I have a younger sister named Mandie and we fought relentlessly as kids. I could not stand how much she had to copy me or poke me until I was thoroughly annoyed. She looked up to me and thought I would enjoy having her follow me around. I asked my parents for a baby over and over, until I received Mandie, but I wasn’t pleased.
Mandie, although younger, was always tougher than me. As a big, bald baby she would pull me down by my hair and crawl on top of my scrawny body and drool on my face. My mom would find me in the living room screaming for help. Mandie was also stubborn. She had to have her way. If we had colored plates, she would insist on having the color I wanted until she won. She had to have the last word on everything and if she didn’t she would do a little dance, we called the “no, no dance,” where she would rock back and forth on her feet saying, “no, no, no.” She was a force to be reckoned with.
We also had a closeness that only sisters have. We shared our deepest darkest secrets with each other. We confided in one another for advice. I tried to advice her on topics as she grew up. On long car rides as kids, I would sing her lullabies to help her sleep. We looked out for each other. Only we could pick on one another. We were the only ones that could be brutally honest with one another, unlike friends or mothers who always tell you that you look great. We knew when to tell each other when something was a bad idea. When I moved away to college in Boston, we talked more on the phone and missed one another. We spent 7 years living a part, but grew even closer. So, when we decided that we should go on an epic adventure together, there was no question in our minds that it would work.
We decided to go to Australia to work and then travel around the country then on to Bali, Singapore, Cambodia, and Thailand. We took off during the fall following Mandie graduating college and me finishing a year of AmeriCorps. Although we still fought plenty on the trip, it brought us so much closer after years of living apart. We will have this memory for the rest of our lives and I am so grateful for that. Here is why:
- Traveling with your sibling makes your relationship ten times stronger. While on the road together, you have to be able to rely on one another. You build trust in each other, because you must protect one another from danger and rely on your best judgments to get by. You create long lasting memories together that will never be forgotten. My sister and I experienced a rough time in the Australian Outback working for horrible employers that treated us both poorly. We really looked out for each other while we were there and helped each other through the situation. We are so much stronger for it and our relationship is very solid.
- No matter how much you fight, you will still love each other. When you are traveling with friends, it is tough to express when something is bothering you because you don’t want to ruin the friendship. So, as a result you hold all of these feelings inside, which causes you to either resent your friend or blow up in their face. Either way this is unhealthy and can end a friendship. With a sibling you are used to fighting and making up without it ending your relationship. My sister and I fought relentlessly on our trip, but we would call timeout to make sure the other one wasn’t hungry or in need of something, because we still cared. You don’t have to hold in the things that bother you with your sibling, you just air your grievances and move on. It makes your relationship even healthier and less stressful.
- You learn more about each other than you ever thought you would. My sister and I spent 7 years living far a part from each other that it felt like we barely knew one another. Taking this trip together taught me so much more about her character as a person. I got to see her in action as an adult. She wasn’t the little annoying sister, I remembered her to be. She was a mature, grown woman with hopes and dreams of her own. I really felt like I got to know her so much better, because you don’t spend every day together as adults like you do as kids. This way we learned more about each other and loved each other more for it.
- You may never get this chance again. There is a short time period between when you are kids living in your parents house, and you are adults married with your own family. In your 20s, you are young enough to be free, but old enough to travel without your parents. So, why not seize that time and go on a trip with your sibling. It doesn’t have to be 7 months long like ours was. Go for two weeks or a month, because you may never get that chance to travel just the two of you again.
- No matter what happens you will always have those memories of the time you shared together and that is special. When you are both old and living in the retirement home, you can look back on that adventure you took together and laugh about it. You can share those memories with your kids and grand kids. If something god-forbid ever happens to one of you, you will always have that experience to draw back on for stories and happiness.
If you haven’t talked to your sibling in a while, give them a call. Tell them you want to take a trip together, and see what they say. I will never regret hitting the road with my sister. We may still live miles apart, but she is my best friend. We still talk about the trip and think back fondly on our adventure together.