Inspired by Betty Londergan's What Gives 365 and the Bible (not necessarily in that order!), I'm giving away $250 a week in 2011.

This is where I'm recording that journey, and I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Vicarious Backpacking

I love planning vacations. Even when they’re not mine. Lately, I’ve been helping my brother and his girlfriend finalize their itinerary for a backpacking trip in Europe (which has made me green with envy, by the way. They’ll be green for real, as one month from today they will be in Ireland recovering from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations!)

I was telling a friend about their trip recently, and that quickly transitioned into singing their praises for having come so far. It occurred to me in that moment that I am truly inspired by my brother, and I’m excited for this week’s individual donation to go towards his upcoming travel adventure. He’s earned it!

My brother is 15 years younger than me. We didn’t grow up in the same household. We share a father, and my weaker parent was in many ways his stronger one. He wasn’t raised with nearly the same level of support and resources that I was privileged to receive. He went through some significant trauma as a pre-teen that could have thrown him off the rails, but not only did he recover, but he took the initiative, as a teenager, to rebuild a relationship with the person who threw him that curveball. When he headed off to university (university!!) three hours from his home, he had never before been on public transit. He went on his very first airplane ride in 2008, in his mid-twenties, when we took our dad to New York City. With very little outside help and few strong role models, he found a way to put himself through school. He’s maintained a long term, solid relationship with a great girl (who deserves a lot of the credit); he has a full-time job in his field; he keeps in touch with his big sister and he remembers to send my kids cards on their birthdays. And here he is, jetting off to Europe for six weeks.
I’m impressed. And jealous.

So as my brother and his girlfriend get to Greece just before we do later this spring, I hope they gaze out over that gorgeous Aegean sunset and raise a glass in their own honour. They deserve it.

1 comment:

  1. Quick update:

    Jamie and Aly are currently in Europe. They celebrated St. Patrick's Day in Ireland and are now enjoying time in various gorgeous parts of Spain, wishing they'd taken Spanish after all.