Honeymoon with My Brother - by: Frank Wisner
Listed for $12.95
Franz Wisner, poor guy, was dumped by his fiancee just days before their wedding. Of course guests were already on their way to the wedding location & everything prepaid, Franz (withsome urging from family & friends) decided to have his wedding anyways - just without a Bride! He then decided to take his brother Kurt on his honeymoon to Costa Rica (you knew Costa Rica had to make it's way into this for me!). Two weeks in Costa Rica opened Franz's eyes, to his life, his expectations, his happiness (or lack thereof) and a plan was born.
Franz & his brother Kurt decided to extend their honeymoon - to two years! They went back home, Kurt sold his house, quit his job. Franz waited until bonus time at his company ($77,000! I want that kind of bonus!), then promptly quit & started the wonderful vacation of a lifetime wiith Kurt.
Europe was first on the list. Kurt ordered a brand new Saab from Sweden & they drove that car all through Europe, Italy, Russia, Germany, Poland & more - before shipping the car home, to wait until they returned.
It took awhile for them to find their traveling groove. That groove that 2 people have to find in order to travel well with each other, especially for a long period of time. As brothers, they were not very close. Franz wasn't really there for Kurt after his divorce...and Franz had a hard time even broaching the subject...but once he did, he felt much more comfortable with his younger bro.
Asia was their destination after Europe. Visiting such beautiful places as Vietnam, Singapore, Bangkok, Hue, Bali & more. Witnessing cock fights in a back street - that was their introduction to Bali - one they could have done without! All in all, Bali was too touristy for them & they moved on to Gili Island which ended up being the flipside of rustic~ The boat filing with water, bailng it out - they did make it to Gili Island, a very rural island.
Making a point to spend time with locals, as well as expats & other tourists, the combination allowed them to find many out the the way jewels while traveling, and where to not waste their time....not that they always took the advice of course!
North & South America was next. Brazil, Argentina, Punta Arenas, Ecuador, Columbia...and many other locales. Rio de Janerio was their favorite & they had a hard time leaving there. Told that Rio was better in years past, Franz & Kurt still loved "their Rio".
Once they headed to Trinidad to celebrate Carnival - their good traveling luck ended. Stuck in a bad neighborhood, with the worlds worst (and Trinidad's last available) taxi driver. They tried to bust in on a party at the Hilton Hotel - but the guards tossed them out. Trinidad showed them that not every place was great to visit - especially without reservations during a busy Celebration~
Africa was the last place on the list. Four months were reserved for the big continent, and at the end they felt like they cheated Africa with so little time there. Kenya, Tanzania, Malawu, Zimbabwe, South Africa - ending the trip 2 years to the day that they had planned out & executed. Planning to be home for Grandma LaRue's 100th birthday celebration.
They were told that Africa was the hardest place to visit, that you should be a seasoned traveler before attempting Africa. If travel was a drug, they were told, Africa is heroin. Here Franz & Kurt were introduced to medical tourism. A very large field of tourism. Women & men as well, travel to an exotic local, have surgery & while healing....a little Safari as well~ While the brothers were not interested in this, they could see the lure in that field. Africa, and the raw poverty, but happiness still prevelant.....made Franz cry. He just broke down & cried to see the joy of children running with him on a dirt road in rural South Africa, and it all hit him. The way that so many can be happy with so little.
Franz reflected on how in most places he visited, people don't get upset with the car breaks down, the village loses power. Most won't refuse an offering of food, even if some had been eaten. Poverty doesn't automatically equate to unhappiness. Some of the biggest smiles they saw have been in area's where people have the least.
They made it home for LaRue's 100th, but LaRue was fading fast. She knew they were there & had trekked their entire trip at her nursing home. Franz & Kurt were living the dream of many. LaRue's final gift to them, stock chips, may be fueling whatever their next plans are......
If you like to read, if you enjoy travel, or even like memoirs - please take the time to read this book. It was well written with just enough travel & reflection in the book to keep you hooked. - One of my favorites.