Traveling with Family, for Family

My brother Mark and me with our cousin Julia. She reminds me of Strawberry Shortcake, si?

My brother Mark and me with our cousin Julia. She reminds me of Strawberry Shortcake, si?

For a month this summer, I am traveling in the Dominican Republic. I grew up coming to this country every few years. These experiences contributed immensely to my appreciation and passion for traveling and experiencing local people and cultures wherever I go. Once again, I am in this country that has many relatives of mine still living here. My mother is visiting for the summer from Spain and my two younger brothers came to visit as well from the US. This means that we’re all traveling together, enjoying this time and experience with the priority of being with each other as a family. I’m convinced that traveling together as a family and for family, does great good and is an amazing gift…if we choose for it to be :) 

The four of us, my mom Angie, my middle brother Mark, and the youngest of us three, Brendan, have spent a lot of time in the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo. There we have visited with our uncle and aunt and an endless number of cousins. Then we enjoyed the luxurious experiences of staying right on the beach of Coson in an area called Samana. On our last night, we had the spontaneous opportunity to stay a private marina, Puerto Bahia, that is right on the Samana Bay and close to the main village of Samana. You can enjoy these stories by reading my other blog posts, A Sailor’s Haven in Puerto Bahia, Dominican Republic and True Paradise in Samana, Dominican Republic.

Ordering drinks and food can always be a chaotic, but funny experience...

Ordering drinks and food can always be a chaotic, but funny experience…

When traveling, there can be trying times and happy times. Doesn’t this sound like family all the time anyways? Add in the adventure of travel, with all its essence of change and the unknown, you have the makings for getting annoyed with each other and outrageously silly together. The tendency to erupt into boisterous laughter, to let loose and laugh, can evolve into the natural way of responding and handling one’s self and situations. Patience grows as we wait on each other and on new people and ways of life that we are in the midst of. Before we realize it, we can learn to listen powerfully and see the opportunity to transcend different languages and differences. Then we realize, we can apply this to better understanding and accepting ourselves and our family…those closest to us.

How many brothers can you fit into a hammock?

How many brothers can you fit into a hammock?

During this trip, I have also visited with my great-grandfather, who a couple of weeks ago (this July 2013), turned 104 years old! He still lives with the family of one of his sons, just across the street from the same house he has lived in his whole life. As long as you speak loudly into his ear, he can hear you just fine, and he still holds great conversations. All this and his memory is as sharp as ever. When I visited him today, he asked where my younger brothers were, remembering that they were in town and visited him recently.

Visiting my great-grandfather.

Visiting my great-grandfather.

It puts a smile on my face and I feel the laughter start to rise up from inside of me, when I think back over our travels together as a family. We tend to travel to visit other family and I’m glad that we get to incorporate that into our lives. While some people have the joys of family close together in the same geographical location, my family is spread out in different countries. No wonder I was made to travel!

Me with my mom Angie and younger brothers, Brendan and Mark

Me with my mom Angie and younger brothers, Brendan and Mark