It has been a while since I’ve hung out with my brother. We’ve technically only lived together for one year of our lives when I was 16 and he was 6. That is pretty much a lifetime ago, maybe even feels like two. We hang out on all the major holidays, and now even more that he is out of college and he can break away from the Lubbock bubble. Hook’em.
It has also been a while since I’ve hung out with a 22 year old. Pair that with a male, and you get a lot of raised toilet seats and smelly shoes.
I wouldn’t trade the last two weeks for seats down and roses and lavender fragrance. I had so much fun exploring the old sites of Greece and Italy with him. It was his first trip to Europe, and I am so thankful he chose to meet me for a leg of my sabbatical!
I was a bit worried about his arrival. I had just landed from my week in Egypt, which wouldn’t be complete according to Beckie without a case of the “Cairo worm.” She told me before I arrived that everyone gets it. Well, we got it, and it landed her in the hospital in Cairo with an IV and me in a doctor’s office in Athens.
This pitiful circumstance is what BJ arrived to in Greece. Par-tay.
He was awesome though, and I wouldn’t expect anything else from him. He has always seemed to care a lot about those close to him, even if he doesn’t overtly show it. While I cannot be sure, I think he has a select few that he keeps close to him, so it makes it even more special.
He let me sleep as much as I needed, and he gave me the entire bed while he slept on the couch that was about 3 feet too short for him. I think the first two days we saw almost nothing, and we were home and in bed by 9pm. He was also patient with my requests for eating vegan & green things. As it turns out, these fresh veggies and fruits were exacerbating my “issues.” In the end, the foods of Italy were exactly what the doctor literally ordered: plain pasta and carbs, no raw veg. Ha! Thanks for being patient, Bro. You’re the best.
In Greece, we explored Athens and three smaller islands just off the coast. From Athens we flew into Rome and headed south to the Amalfi Coast visiting Praiano, Positano, and Sorrento.
Soon, my brother will be off to military bootcamp. I am bursting with pride, and I know there are big things ahead for him. As if this isn’t amazing and honorable enough on its own, the path in which he got to this decision makes me beam even more.
You see, he dropped out of grad school to pursue something that matters to him.
He had an excellent job with a big fat paycheck (especially so for someone right out of undergrad) lined up. He was checking all the ‘right’ boxes to kick off his career in geology & oil and gas.
He gave it up.
He followed his heart and gut, and it wasn’t without initial resistance from the people who care about him the most.
Sounds like someone I know.
During our trip, we joked that our dad probably never imaged he’d have two vagabond, jobless, homeless kids. That’s exactly what we are at the moment.
And we are so happy.
I have endless pictures of this part of my trip. Here are just a few of my favorite ones.
I love you, Bro. Thank you for coming to visit me. I am so proud of you!
Cairo bug, BJ’s arrival, Acropolis, Parthenon, Agora, Olympian Zeus temple, Cairo worm, doctor visit, Island tour of Aegina, Poros, & Hydra.
Rome, Capo di Fori, Forum, Coliseum, Pantheon, Spanish steps, Praiano, Open Gate Hotel, drinking wine, Positano, Hike of the Gods, riding a bus on the crazy cliffside roads, colorful beaches, turquoise water, black beaches, Sorrento, giant lemons.