#19 Go on an adventure with my sister

The great thing about families is that even when you haven’t seen each other for ages and ages as soon as you meet up again it’s like you’ve never been apart. Within five minutes of seeing me at the airport in Bangkok for the first time in six months, my sister had complimented me on my new “Buddha Belly” (thanks to my travelling diet) and we were instantly back to the way we always are.

My sister and I are very close, but very different. While I love to be off exploring new places, she’s much more of a homebird and likes to have a nice holiday where you don’t have to haul your life around with you in a backpack. I’ve always thought it would be really fun to go on a trip together though so when my friend Kate said she could come as my plus one to her wedding I jumped at the chance to invite her.

I’ve met many great people on my trip and have been fortunate enough to travel with some of them along the way, which has been brilliant. But after a long time on the road it was so nice to be travelling with someone I know. Someone that gets my sense of humour; understands that it takes me hours to decide whether or not to buy a new handbag and someone I don’t ever have to explain myself to if I’m having a bad day.

I love many things about my sister. I love that because I’ve been to Thailand before she thinks I am the oracle about everything from monks to ladyboys; I love that she laughs at her own jokes so much that in the end you can’t help laughing along (even when they’re not funny); I love that she loves people watching like me and that we can spend an entire dinner just spying on the people around us. My sister is the only person I know who can make me sit for hours in front of a waxwork model at a temple because she won’t believe he’s not real.

Real or not real? That is the question.

The great thing about doing this trip with her as well was seeing all of the brilliant things about travelling through someone else’s eyes for the first time. I think sometimes when you’ve been on a trip for a long time or when you’ve been to a place before you don’t always stop to appreciate how crazy something is and how different it is to life at home. It was so much fun to see my sister’s expression as we squeezed onto river boats with the locals; got tough with our bartering in the markets and clung on to each other as we were driven across town by a boy-racer tuk-tuk driver.

During the three weeks she was here we had so many fantastic experiences together. We had an amazing time getting soaked in the Songkran Festival; we cooked up a storm at our Thai cooking class; we burnt our bums together snorkelling (actually that was more of a painful experience…).

We laughed so much after Sarz’s first experience of a Thai massage (when she said she thought she was “going to vom” because it was so hard) and we helped each other through the traumatic day with the elephants.

There were so many times when I said to her “I’m so glad I’m not doing this by myself”. And, unlike, when I am travelling by myself, there were no bad days, no times when I felt lonely, because I always had my favourite person to talk to.

Takeaway: Thai style.
Dinner is served on the overnight train.
A spot of pampering before heading home.

And now that she’s gone I miss her a lot. There’s no one to point out every cute baby I see to and no one to have pointless conversations with like “Who’s your favourite person we’ve met so far? Smiley Waiter Man or Boy Who Bought Us Disgusting Sweets On The Bus?”

I even miss hearing her tell me she’s “hotter than the sun” on an hourly basis. And I know that’s she’ll be reading this and rolling her eyes saying “cheese monster sis” and that’s why I love her.

Couldn’t have asked for a better way to complete #19.