Going on Trips With My Brother Is Fun
I have been going on vacations with my older brother who happens to be gay since my husband moved out in 2015. It has been a way to make the best of a bad situation as I was unwilling to stop traveling because I was crippled and alone.
My attorney was instrumental in factoring in a budget for trips for a family of 4 in my separation agreement because that was what we had been spending on vacations in the years leading up to the separation. So my estranged husband was now on the hook for my trips as well as for a necessary travel companion because of my disability.
For my first trip without my husband and our sons, I chose a spa hotel in Switzerland because, why not? I always wanted to see Switzerland and the alps. My broken body is always in need of a trip to the spa. So I searched on Google and found a spectacular property in Pontresina, Switzerland.
Travel can be a bit dicey when you have a mobility impairment. My brother was willing and able to deal with it for the chance to have a free vacation. He knows what my limitations are and can automatically figure out how to adapt.
My brother was single until this past summer. With the legalization of gay marriage combined with meeting someone suitable, he got married in September.
Until he met his husband, he prowled the dating apps while we traveled. The trip to Pontresina was the first time I traveled without being married. Because my brother and I look like a couple, he goes out of his way to make people understand we are brother and sister just in case anyone is interested in either one of us.
We both are man watchers when we are on tours. When we see someone attractive, we try to figure out which team they are on. Is he for me or you?
There was a handsome concierge at the hotel in Pontresina who appeared to be smitten with me. My brother made it very clear to him he was not my husband, and went on to explain to him that my husband had left me.
The concierge couldn’t believe it. He said, “What kind of asshole would leave a beautiful woman like that?” He was embarrassed to use foul language at the front desk of a fancy Swiss hotel. When he heard my husband was paying for everything, he arranged a nice trip up the mountain in St. Moritz with lunch at the top for us.
We made spa appointments and enjoyed luxurious massages and swam in the pool in the atrium with a view of the Swiss Alps. We borrowed the hotel’s BMW convertible and drove over the mountains into Italy for some flea market shopping.
The food and service at the hotel was beyond compare. One morning at breakfast, my brother opened the hotel’s app on his phone and saw there was a horse show that day in St. Moritz. There were world class equestrians competing at that show which we got to see that day. I couldn’t believe I was there.
We had so much fun and worked out the challenges of getting me around safely that we were excited to plan our next adventure when we got home. For all of the fun, I missed being with a romantic partner.
I became involved with a man after that trip and started to plan to take him on my next vacation. I was planning a Rhine River Cruise, and was going to go with my boyfriend. My brother was disappointed, but understood.
After I booked the reservation, my boyfriend relapsed out of sobriety and I told him I couldn’t bring him to Europe if he was drinking. I checked with the cruise company to see if I could re book with a different companion due to illness. So I did. I was sad my boyfriend was so sick he couldn't go with me.
Luckily, my brother was free to go on the dates I had reserved for my boyfriend and me.
We made friends on the ship. We made it clear to everyone we were brother and sister. Everyone thought it was so wonderful that we travel together.
We cruised from Basel to Amsterdam where we had a two day extension. My brother encouraged me to change my location on OKCupid to my current location as we traveled so I could chat with men about meeting them. This was a new learning experience for me. I sort of didn’t see the point. I had never been promiscuous or had a one night stand in my life.
Cruising down the river didn’t make it possible to meet anyone as we were never in one place for long. Until we were in Amsterdam for two full days and nights.
It was there I was emboldened to go on a date at a restaurant with one man, and met another, younger man at our hotel bar and proceeded to hook up with him for my first and only one night stand. I had a false sense of security doing this because my brother was around looking out for me.
For our next trip, I took advantage of a special tour through the alumni association of NYU. We toured the beautiful Amalfi coast in Italy. It was particularly challenging because of my disability in the ancient cobblestone streets. It was well worth the effort. We didn’t miss much.
This year we tackled the Canadian Rockies, including two days aboard the Rocky Mountaineer Train. We even did some horseback riding in Lake Louise and Jasper National Park.
I would have been unable to go on these trips by myself. I think I might prefer to travel with a romantic partner, but who knows? Maybe I would ruin a romance by dragging someone around the world with me letting them see me at my most challenged. I am grateful my brother and I get along so well and can spend time traveling together.
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