David (left) celebrates Holi by having red powdered paint thrown on his face.
David (left) celebrates Holi by having red powdered paint thrown on his face.

Those of you who read this blog with any regularity know I have an older brother.

His name is David, he turns 48 this year, he lives in Florida and works as a travel agent. We are two years apart, and while I don’t think of us as insanely tight—in a Brady Bunch sort of sense—there’s a definite bond that develops when two people share parents and childhoods and decades.

Anyhow, several years ago David decided to quit his job and backpack much of the world. That’s no exaggeration—he literally said, “Fuck this, I wanna travel.” Then traveled. The resulting blog posts were amazing, and I often felt as if I were by his side, taking in the sights and sounds. The best thing about his journeys is the 100-percent lacking of pretension or elitism. My brother eats on the cheap. My brother stays mostly in hostels. My brother doesn’t care about fancy clothes, luxury items, posh conditions. He’ll find himself in a strange city, all alone, napping on a bench, or inside a train. This sort of thing scares the living shit out of our mother—but it makes for riveting copy and inspired adventures.

Last week, my brother left another job, said “Fuck this, I wanna travel” and flew to the United Arab Emirates. He’s currently in Dubai, and the shit he’s been writing is (once again) making me laugh and laugh and laugh with pure delight. I’m jealous, but—more than anything—I’m giddy.

Here are three gems …

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And …

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And …

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As I’m sitting here at my kitchen table, aware of what tomorrow and the next day and the next day will likely involve, David is having his face painted red, is napping on buses, is visiting the world’s largest man-made island; is having a conversation with a woman who speaks no English.

It’s living, in every sense of the word.

I’m envious.

I’m proud.

I’m delighted.