Traveling with Siblings

My brother and I have survived our summer trip this year, putting over 3300 miles on his Prius and we are still speaking.  What have I learned from this trip?  Well, here are some things.

Lessons Learned:

1.  You are bound to have some blow-ups when traveling with a sibling.  We had our moments.  The “Marinette Meltdown” comes to mind.  Boy, would I love to have been a fly on the wall for THAT one.  However, when you know that these tiffs will happen, you can also know that the storm clouds will blow over and soon things will be back on an even keel.

2.  Eating regular meals helps keep stress to a minimum.  I’m hypoglycemic and my temper flares when I go too long without eating.  It’s good to take the time to stop and stretch your legs and eat something.  My brother was really good about stopping to let us walk when we drove those long stretches.

3.  Don’t expect each other to have the same energy levels or want to do things exactly like you do.  I’m not much of an outdoorsy person.  My brother is much more outdoorsy.  He doesn’t like to sit for long periods of time.  I can sit for hours at a time just happily knitting away or reading.  It’s ok to have differences in this way.  You just have to respect that sometimes you might have to go a bit out of your comfort zone and vice versa.  You also have to respect the fact that your sibling might have a different way of doing things and that is ok, FOR THEM.  It doesn’t mean that either of you have to change. If my brother wanted to go for a walk on the beach, I was more than happy to let him while I relaxed at the motel.  He had to realize that I might not want to trek around and needed more down time.  “Respecting differences” is the key.

4.  Keep daily travel to short chunks, allowing time to decompress.  We had some days that were real corkers, with long distances traveled.  It was wearing.  In hindsight, we’d not go such a distance again without more time spent just relaxing.

5.  Keep your sense of humor.  Siblings are wonderful to travel with.  You have shared experiences and memories.  Sometimes you have to just not take things too seriously and then anticipate all the great experiences you will have to laugh over when your trip is finished.  We had a lot of fun on this trip and are already laughing over some of our antics.  Yes, we had our moments but we had our moments growing up together, too.  When all is said and done, my brother and I are the only immediate family we have and we love each other, quirks and all.  Yes, I’m a drama queen and yes, he’s a control freak but we both love to laugh at ourselves and to eat and to clown around and to honor our roots and our parents by making our treks to the old stomping grounds.

6.  Family is golden.  At the end of the day, family is who you can rely on and who you treasure.  I know there are many out there who have not had great family experiences.  For them, I feel sad.  For those of you who DO have great family memories, go out and make new ones.  Try a sibling trip.  You just might find yourself doing it again and again…and surviving the experience with a chuckle.

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