When you travel with your sister

When you travel with your sister, you argue, you make up, and you come back stronger than ever.

I couldn’t imagine a better travel buddy than my sister. Although, I’m still surprised by how well we travel together. With two years between us, my sister and I have always been pretty close. Growing up, I would follow her every move, trying to be just like her — I can distinctively remember her rolling her eyes when I tried to convince her to wear a matching outfit. She has always been there for me, teaching me the ways of middle and high school, taking the brunt of responsibility, and being the person I could run to when things went wrong. Despite our different personalities, we are always there for each other.
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Our personalities perfectly balance out each other. She is a planner. She likes to know what time we’re leaving, where we’re going, how we’re getting there. I’m more impulsive. I see something interesting and its all I can keep my mind on, I just want to go… do. She is organized, and has all of our travel details written down, always available. I’m easy going and will go along with any plans that are made. I calm her down when we’re running a bit late, and she always knows what to say to cheer me up.

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We share an appreciation of experiencing a city like a local, and would rather get a coffee in a local cafe than get sucked into all of the tourist traps of a particular location. We know what each other like, and make sure that we both get what we want out of our trip. I know that she collects shot glasses, and I collect playing cards, and we have both accepted the fact that we will not leave a country until we have added to our collections.

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After traveling for two summers with my sister, I can say that we have never been closer. I understand and appreciate her more deeply that I ever have. I’ve learned to love all of the little things that used to annoy me, like how she hates going into grocery stores alone, or how silly and touchy-feely she gets with a few drinks in her. Together we’ve learned how to navigate in foreign countries, tried all sorts of local cuisine, and seen some incredible sights. These experiences, both good and bad, have pushed us together as we learned and figured things out with each other.

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Together we are a stronger travel team, and I’m so glad that I have her by my side, whether we’re rushing to catch a connecting flight, exploring a city for the first time, or shopping at the Albert Heijn in Boxtel. When you travel with your sister, you are reminded just how much you love her.

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Confessions of a Middle Child

The perks and downfalls of being in the middle

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Being a middle child has its advantages and disadvantages. You have the freedom to forge your own path, and get to learn from the mistakes of your older sibling. By the time your parents have figured out the whole parenting thing, they move on to you and let the reigns a little looser. But you also see how easy the youngest sibling has it. So, I put together a little list of advantages and disadvantages. Hopefully all middle children can relate.

Advantages
  1. You have a guide to life. You have an older sibling who will always have your back and teach you the ways of the world. Your older sibling has already faced the realities of the world, and by the time its your turn, you know what to expect. They tell you which classes to take, how to apply for college, and what to do and not do to get on the parents’ good side.
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  2. You have all the best things passed down to you. Its like having the best of both worlds bEcause you still get your own things, but you also get the gems of your siblings life. You get the old school projects, notebooks upon notebooks of class notes, and a wardrobe that all of your friends are jealous about.
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  3. Your parents were more lenient with you. Your older sibling had to wait forever to get certain things (cell phones, unlimited texting, curfews, ect.) and by the time it came to you, they didn’t care as much. I might still have been one of the last people in my grade to get a cell phone, but I was definitely younger than my sister when I got one.
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  4. You get to be the younger sibling and the older sibling all at once. You have endless knowledge passed down from your older sibling, but you also get to be the passer of knowledge to you younger sibling. You are protected by your older sibling and get to protect the baby of the family. You also know what its like to be the younger one, so you get to try to treat them the way that you were treated. But lets be honest, you tease as much as you were teased.
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  5. You have a personal chauffeur before you get your license. If you ever needed to go somewhere, the eldest was there to take you. And if they refused, you parents stood in and made them. Lets be honest, this is probably more of a perk for the parents. But walking into high school from the parking lot was a lot cooler than having your parents drop you off.
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Disadvantages
  1. You are always being compared to you siblings. Teachers hold preconceptions toward you based on your older siblings behavior in their class. You are constantly trying to live up to (or break away from) the legacy that your older sibling left behind.giphy
  2. Your younger sibling(s) could get away with murder. I will admit that the oldest probably has the hardest time with rules, but the youngest definitely gets off pretty easily. By the time your parents see past the cute baby that your younger sibling was, they are too tired to deal with the menace that (s)he has become.
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  3. There are times when you feel slightly forgotten. Whether it is being

    out-shined by your siblings slightly more exciting achievements, or actually being forgotten somewhere, we have all felt the pain. Sometimes you feel like you have to go to great lengths to be noticed. Even if that means making a fool of yourself.
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  4. You are constantly being accused of copying your older sibling. My sister hates it when I do things like her. I would be allowed to straighten my hair, or wear the same makeup just because she was doing it. Doesn’t she know that copying is the highest form of flattery.
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  5. You have been called every name that has ever been in your family (pets not excluded), except for your own. This has been going on for as long as I can remember. I try to act offended, but it doesn’t really even bother me anymore.
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All in all, its not that bad though. I have my middle child-ness to thank for my independence, my weird side, and my peacemaker abilities. I an effort to stand out from my siblings, I found things that I love and can appreciate that now. I got to experiment in life without my parents watching my every move, but always knew they would be proud of me. So maybe getting left at my own high school graduation isn’t that bad after all.