12 Reasons Why My Sister is the Best Travel Partner
By TCS Content Contributor, Dani Dominguez
1. We already know what we love (and hate) about each other
I have known Ana my entire life. She has seen me glowing at my best and snarling at my worst. We have been through so much together that there is not too much left that could surprise either of us.
Traveling is a demanding process, a lot of sleepless nights and obstacles to overcome. It comes in handy to know each others' strengths and weaknesses. There are no unpleasant surprises when you already know how the other person reacts.
2. We have an intricate system of communication
Ana could say something as vague as “Remember that girl with the shoes?” and it will send us both into a fit of uproarious laughter.
Over the years, we have developed a shorthand way of talking that makes it easier to communicate a lot in a few short words. She also knows how to read my facial expressions and body language, and often can sense when something is not right before I say anything.
3. We bring out the best (and worst) of each other
Ana and I are such different individuals that our parents were (understandably) concerned about us traveling together for such a long time. Like most sisters, our differences usually lead to fights.
But there is a beautiful silver lining there: our differences encourage us to see life from a new perspective and to get out of our own comfort zones.
4. We know when we need some space, or when we need a cuddle buddy
If I need time to be alone, I know Ana won't be offended if I ask for some space. Similarly, when I want company, she is right there with me. We never fear asking for what we need because we know offense won't be taken.
5. We can be (brutally) honest with each other
Ana and I have a very open communication with one another, something that can be a double edged sword at times. However, it is nice to have someone who will tell you frankly if you look like you haven't slept in weeks or that you have food stuck in your teeth.
She will also tell me when I am behaving irrationally or if maybe I need a little bit more mascara. She might be brutal in her delivery, but her intentions are always benevolent.
We need not worry about breaking social taboos with what we say to each other because we have heard it all.
6. We look out for each other
When traveling far away from home, it is important to find ways to maintain safety of yourself and your things.
As in many cases, two heads are better than one. I know Ana always has my best interest at heart, as I do hers. For instance, she knows I am notorious for forgetting to pack essentials like shampoo or chargers for electronics, so she usually prepares for these things (by bringing extras for me).
It's also nice to have someone to watch your bags at the train station while you run to the restroom, or another pair of eyes to look out for oncoming cars (I have a tendency to run into traffic).
7. We balance each other out
Since Ana and I are so different in our personalities and ways of thinking, it is kind of like covering all the bases at once. I'm sweet, she is spicy. I'm slightly more introverted, she is more outgoing.
Sometimes I would prefer to stay in, but she convinces me to go out and we manage to have a wonderful time. Other times she may feel obligated to go out and explore when I suggest we listen to our bodies and take some time to rest.
It would be exhausting for either of us to be with someone who is either constantly sleeping or constantly running around, so we have a great system of give and take between us. She knows when to pull me out of my head and I know when to bring her down to earth.
8. We have an endless inventory of inside jokes (that only keeps growing)
Ana and I still have some quotes and jokes that we say to each other from when we were kids. If you asked us the origin story we would have absolutely no idea where they came from.
We make silly faces and talk in accents and dialects that make us giggle. We have the freedom to be ridiculous and uncensored which makes long train rides way more fun.
9. We don't hold grudges when either of us is hangry (or hungover)
I know my sister well enough to know when her blood sugar is low or when she needs a tall glass of water. Much like children, she and I get very testy when we are hungry, sleepy, need to use the restroom, or feel like we desperately need to shower.
I know when she isn't feeling like herself and at least try not to hold anything she says or does against her later. Personally, I am worthless in the morning until I have been awake for a while, and she knows this so she doesn't ask too much of me fresh off the alarm.
10. We get to learn a lot about ourselves and each other
There have been so many experiences that I have had with Ana that would not have been possible with anyone else in the world. My sister has this magical power to attract adventure and fun wherever she goes, and it is a pleasure to come along for the ride.
Ana is constantly encouraging me to step outside and live life fully (*L!V3*LaUgH*LuV*) and it forces me to grow as an individual.
11. We can switch from fighting to laughing in seconds
There was one hilarious fight on our way back to Florence from a day trip to the beach that neither of us will ever forget. What was originally just an elaborate misunderstanding turned into a loud physical and verbal altercation.
We stood in a gas station parking lot yelling and screaming at each other until finally one of us shouted “WHAT ARE WE EVEN FIGHTING ABOUT?!” to which the other responded “I DON'T KNOW!” Our red scowls quickly turned into smiles and we laughed hysterically at how stupid we both had been.
I can only imagine the onlookers who must have thought we were absolutely insane. Sister fights: nothing in the world quite like them.
12. We love each other unconditionally
Not many people can see me sleeping on a plane with my mouth gaped open and tongue hanging out and still think “she's so beautiful”. My public transportation sleeping face is one that only a mother—or sister—could love.
We have proven time and again that there is nothing that could ever break our bond, not even threats of leaving each other stranded in a foreign country. Through all the tears and fights there are far more smiles and lovely memories that bind our love for ages to come.