A suggestion from my wise older brother several years ago resulted in spending a few days traveling with our other siblings. On the second day of our travels, it occurred to me that this was the longest space of time I had spent with several sisters and brothers since my late teens.
There are many reasons sibling relationships vary. In families where there are large age gaps between children, older siblings may have grown up when you were still a toddler.
In any case, brothers and sisters move into adulthood, develop different interests, move to distant locations, build families and careers. Then, the children are raised, you’ve retired from that demanding job and have the time and opportunity to revisit those relationships.
The suggestion from my brother was a visit to an aunt who lived several states away. The purpose was to help her celebrate a 90th birthday.
Beyond a visit with a wonderful aunt, there was a rebuilding and re-bonding of relationships with sisters and brothers. At this new stage in life, we were able to share some of those blank spots when we were out of touch. It was a good opportunity to get to know each other again.
We’ve done several “sibling road trips” since that initial one. They are remembered as precious time and hold many dear memories. I’d recommend a joint excursion among senior siblings and have five suggestions to help with your planning.
Do you have a purpose for your get-together? Are you traveling to a special family event or visiting a national park? A selected agreed-to destination and interest by all will help the plan move forward. Sometimes having a purpose for the trip can give it a special meaning and focus.
Trains and planes are quicker, but a vehicle will place all of you in a close conversation area for those catch-up discussions. In our case, we rented a very comfortable van, changed drivers frequently, and spontaneously made some pull-overs at interesting sights.
Beyond the ultimate purpose of your destination, have some stops planned along the way that are fun and brief. We’ve gone a few miles out of the way to try out a restaurant recently reviewed to have the best burger in the Midwest.
It’s seldom that each of your senior siblings will have the same level of flexibility and mobility. Plan so that comfort and interest works for all. Make the trip accessible for all. Plan for stops, respect mobility issues and make the trip a pleasant experience for everyone, regardless of their physical situation.
For those of you who are an only child, or because of circumstances have become one, create your own sibling circle from friends of many years past, cousins, whatever makeup works for you.
Have you had experiences rekindling sibling relationships? Have you traveled as a pack? I’d like to know how it worked for you so do share in the comments below!