Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My brother from another mother

Traveling has always been a passion of mine. I have seen some of the most beautiful landscapes, photographed the most captivating architectures, and enjoyed the most delectable dishes and foods from around the world. The people I have met, however, are what have made my adventures more meaningful and satisfying. They have given me a chance to connect with and learn about other cultures, that I may have never experienced otherwise. They have given life to my worldly trips and have put joy into my heart.

The most interesting person I have ever met while traveling is a young man named Paul. We met while traveling through Europe and the connection was instant. We were like family. Why? Well, interestingly enough, he looked almost identical to my youngest brother, and was about the same age. He even had a personality like my brother's and his sense of humor was strangely similar as well. I shared that with him, and from that day forth, he called me "sis".

Brother Paul (as I called him, "BP" for short) and I traveled to 7 countries together, along with the rest of our groups, and we were inseparable until the day we parted ways in Paris, France. We laughed so much and shared so much about our "real" families, that we started to really feel a strong bond and we knew that we would be friends forever.

I was delighted to be able to give him guidance and influence him as a real big sister would, and I thought it was so sweet that he looked after me like any brother would. I loved him for that, loved him like a brother.

I had tears in my eyes that day in Paris. BP was heading back to his hometown in Australia, and I was continuing my travels in Spain. We hugged each other so tight and welcomed each other to our homes in our respective countries. I found a shirt that said "My Sister Went to Spain and All I Got Was This Stinkin' T-Shirt" and mailed it to his home as a souvenir. He was so surprised and grateful. I just wanted him to know he was special.

Since that trip, Brother Paul has not made it to the US and I have not been able to travel to Australia, but we keep in touch via Facebook and we have many memories and pictures to keep us connected. I hope to one day soon surprise him and pay him a visit. I can't wait to see him again and catch up. I'm sure it will feel like it was only yesterday we were drinking Prosecco on a gondola in Venice and toasting to "family" with our pints of beer in Munich. Ahh the good old days.

This post is an entry in the "Win a Trip to TBEX Contest" sponsored by WeHostels, Webjet, and TBEX.

Wish me luck!


  1. Great story Paola! It must have felt so nice to have a since of family while you were traveling! I hope you get to visit BP very soon :) Thanks for entering our TBEX contest and good luck!

  2. Also Paolo! When we announce the winner of the contest next week we will need a contact email! I noticed that you don't have an email address on your site. Could you please send one to me at jenna(dot)tinney(at)webjet(dot)com? Just in case :) Best of luck

  3. This story made me tear up! So nice to make those deep.connections with people. He really looks like Mario! Aww! Thank you for sharing this. It was.so heartfelt that I felt it! :)

  4. Hi Paola,

    Can you send me (fred AT wehostels DOT COM) your email address? I'd like to send you a runner-up prize.