Then there’s Aaron. I’ve known him since he was born; he’s my brother. He and I are close, so my opinion of him may be biased, but he’s the best brother in town…my town\your town\any town. He is funny, thoughtful, giving, and adventurous.
He went to college at UCF and he takes school spirit to an entirely different level. Since graduating, he attends all football home games, and goes to as many basketball and baseball games that he can. He often flies to away games as well. Last year when UCF went to the Fiesta Bowl, he flew to Arizona by himself to experience the game. His blood isn’t red, people; he bleeds black and gold.
CAPTION: AARON AT THE GRAND CANYON DURING HIS TRIP TO ARIZONA TO SEE UCF PLAY - AND WIN! - THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
To my surprise and delight, Heather and Aaron have become good friends since I’ve moved away. To my brother’s adventure-seeking and UCF-loving glee, UCF has a football game in Ireland. Hence, the adventure that Heather now finds herself taking. They will be in London for a couple of days before they take off to Ireland. So today I’m writing to you based on my knowledge of both Heather and her travel companion, but I’m also writing to you based on my knowledge of married life and what it does to the travel-seeking soul.
CAPTION: AARON AND HEATHER at WHERE ELSE, BUT A UCF GAME.
My brother and I are alike in the adventure-seeking department. Especially when it comes to travel. There are so many places both of us want to see, cultures we want to experience, so many things we want to do. There’s a whole world out there, why not see it? Many people shake their heads at Aaron when he talks about where he’s been, where he’s going, where he hopes to go. But to Aaron I give the preverbal fist bump in the air every time he talks about traveling because I find myself living vicariously through him.
Before I was married, I was crazy blessed with an incredible trip around Europe. Over the course of two weeks I got to see Rome, Florence, Paris, and London. Experiencing the sights and sounds of different cultures was good for me. Seeing things I’d always read about or seen on TV and in movies with my own eyes was life-changing.
I didn’t realize at the time that my travel experience would change so much of me, but it did. It gave me a zest to experience life at the absolute fullest; it gave me the itch to see more. Now that I am married, I long to go back to those places, wanting to experience them with my love. And I’m sure after I experience these places with him, I’ll want to experience them with my son. I didn’t realize when I traveled to those places the first time that the next opportunity I would have for out-of-country travel would come 10+ years into the future. I thought for sure I’d find myself overseas again more times than 0.
Here’s why: Once you are married - and then especially when the babies come - the ability to just get up and go is hindered. There are more people than yourself that you have to think about. My husband and I took a vacation this summer to Maine. It was the first vacation we have taken sans child in over 4 years.
CAPTION: MY HUSBAND AND I HIKING IN MAINE. HADN’T BEEN THAT RELAXED IN OVER 4 YEARS - SINCE BEFORE BABY!
The planning that it took, the saving that it took, and the headache that it created at times, is HUGE in comparison to my single friend and single brother. They don’t have to pack extra bags, save money for more than one person, or figure out childcare. Heather and Aaron saved money enough for themselves, are only packing for themselves, and are spared the headache of arranging and packing for a child while they are gone. (Let’s not even get into the mind game that goes on while you are far far away from your child.)
So, to you single people out there reading this, live it up! Take as many chances and opportunities as you can! Go explore the world! See great things! Soak up different cultures! I know that you might long for the day that you find your one true love and can live happily ever after. But I also know that a few years into marriage, you’ll long for the days you could just travel without hesitation.
To Heather and Aaron: You are living it up! I can’t wait to hear your stories and see your pictures. I hope you guys are soaking in every minute. Love, your living vicariously through you friend and sister, Chandra.