In a moment of weakness (you know, when there’s a lull in a conversation where you tend to blurt out whatever that flits through your mind at that moment), I asked my 18 year old brother if he’d like to come with me to travel in Asia.
He was quiet for a beat, then ‘Sure.’
Already regretting having asked him at this point, I pointed to the gadgets surrounding a typical middle-class Indonesian teenager: laptop (with Facebook on the screen, of course), Ipod, comic books…
“You can’t take any of those, you know that, right?”
Quiet. Longer this time.
Then, “No problem.”
Did I just offer to baby-sit my teen brother for 2 months all over South East Asia?
This makes traveling solo in Ethiopia a mild concern by comparison.
Don’t get me wrong. My brother is a nice kid and we get along just fine. But my brother, for all intents and purposes, is a stranger to me. Ever since I moved to the States 10 years ago, I see him about 2 weeks out of the year. If even that.
We’re very different persons. At close to 6 ft, he towers over my 5 ft tall frame. His idea of a fun weekend is staying home watching The Big Bang Theory reruns (err, ok – maybe we’re not that different in this one, geekiness runs in our family), his idea of an exercise is throwing his dirty clothes into the hamper, and he’s never been out of the country by himself before.
He’s also the most generous and most patient person I know. The closest thing to zen while I’m… well, much less so.
The list goes on.
(On the other hand the similarities that we do share include: fear of the ocean, a paralyzing fear of T-rexes when we were 3, and we both wear glasses).
Meet my new traveling buddy, the backpacking virgin (and his new, shiny backpack):
I’m a little apprehensive. Jack is already back in California and I can’t say that I’ve gotten the hang of this whole traveling by myself thing, last time I did this it ended in a fiasco.
Now I have be responsible for taking care of my little brother?
But, this could turn out to be fun, right? The shopping part so far has been fun.
This trip with my brother has a potential to be one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ thingies. As in, nobody can pay me enough to do it again.
Or it could be a golden opportunity to get to know this stranger I share DNA with.
Either way, this should be an interesting experience.
Where are we going?
We have our flights booked to Bangkok, Thailand for the 18th. Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam are all possibilities.
In reality? We don’t know yet.