Chang Mai, Thailand: Top 10 Reasons Why Traveling With A Sibling Is . . . Amazing

Dear Lunch Table,

Cal and I have two new friends! Yipee! There is another traveling family from the States who we got to know via facebook and their blog ( So after about seven months of chatting back and forth about our crazy world experiences we finally ended up in the same city . . . Chang Mai. We decided to go to a delicious Thai restaurant (ribs count as Thai food, right?). Wilder and Peyton are also traveling teenage siblings. Cal and I had a blast singing songs and venting about how hard it was to get schoolwork done when we had the world to explore. In short, we had a wonderful time. As a result of this experience, and in honor of all future and current traveling siblings, here’s my top 10 list about why traveling with Cal is worth the trouble:

That was so much fun!

1) Inside Jokes: Laughter is inevitable especially on an unusual trip like ours. Laughter brings people together. Cal and I have shared so many glances and giggles over the past few months. Not necessarily on purpose. It just happens. Our parents will get dressed up in goofy bright colors on an island in Peru, and we’ll both share a smile brought on by embarrassment. We’ll both fall over trying to do Yoga at an ashram, and once again, laughter occurs.

2) Secret Handshakes: Every cool on-screen brother and sister team have secret handshakes. So, living 24/7 with Cal, made it necessary to try and create our own cool, covert fist pump like handshake. We failed. Our hand-eye coordination isn’t exactly up to speed with most normal teens, but the Pullens succeeded. My guess is that many other siblings will triumph as well.

3) Well . . . At Least It’s Not Just Me: When running around the world with a rather large backpack, you’re bound to stumble a few times. But traveling with a sibling also means that your brother or sister is bound to fall down as well. Cal and I have so many embarrassing stories to tell, and these experiences have brought us closer together.

But for the most part, it’s just Cal who has the embarrassing photos. (Click on the photo to enlarge. It’s worth it.)

4) Two All Beef Patties, Special Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Pickles, Onions on a Sesame Seed Bun (Oh wait . . . That’s McDonalds): Sometimes, after chomping down on ‘local’ food for months, thoughts about pizza and pasta become delicious, re-occurring dreams. Being able to have two people advocating for a Footlong Subway Sandwich is always better than a single whiny voice. In other words, your similar passions become stronger when you stand up together.

5) Flunking Succeeding School . . . Together: In life there are ups and downs. We’re in such close proximity to one another, that our successes and failures are similar as well. Cal and I both have had quite a difficult time keeping up with the many hours required of us to complete school while there is a whole world waiting for us to jump into. But we’re both in this together. Being able to use each other for support made it easier to accomplish the readings and apply ourselves to the awaiting adventures. I’m happy to say we are now excelling in our world curriculum.

Hehe – I’m taller. Aaahhh . . . how symbolic?

6) Pillow Fights: This sounds bad. I know. It’s not that I enjoy hitting Cal in the face with a pillow . . . Okay, sometimes I do, but it’s that we have so much time together that we’re going to fight and have our disagreements. But then we have so much time to forgive and be forgiven. I may hit Cal in the head with a pillow, and he may be upset because he doesn’t have enough strength to hit me back. It’s okay. One day when I’m not looking, he’ll figure out a way to sack me with a pillow. See, all is forgiven.

7) You get stuck with the other person . . . forever: There are experiences that only the two of us will share. These moments will always be special to us. I will never forget the time Cal created a ninja yoga move that left the class in tears, the week when we took hip-hop classes that were instructed in Spanish, or the afternoon when we got our tea leaves read amidst the llama embryos in Bolivia. The list keeps growing.

8 ) Partner in Crime: Sometimes traveling with adults, in a world full of adults (most of the time kids are in school), can be a little intimidating. We’re doing grownup things and talking to adults when we really want to be coloring outside the lines on the kids’ menus. But when I’m traveling with Cal we have a blast making up our own fun games to keep us intrigued in grownup conversations.

Do these oversized sunglasses make us look older?

9) Blue 42 . . . Set . . . HIKE (at 2:30 in the morning): All siblings have at least one thing in common (even if it’s buried under piles and piles of dirt . . .), and one thing Cal and I share is our love for sports. There is one problem with loving American sports (both North and South) from halfway across the world. We have to get up at odd hours in the morning to be able to follow our teams. The cool thing is that it brings Cal and I closer together as we both grumble our way to the computer to listen to the radio broadcast of football and fĂștbol games. All is good. All is good.

10) You Can Write About Your Sibling In a Blog: Cal and I are a team. A world traveling team. We have created so many memorable tales. Some of these experiences I’ve documented in my blog. I can only write the adventures that won’t taint my reputation (I can’t let anyone know that I’m genetically connected to a really, really strange person). So the other stories I have kept to myself and will always cherish them. Well, at least until I grow old and my memory starts fading.

Cal: I love you so much! Let’s travel the world again when we are older.

I miss you guys,


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About KJ

I, KJ Davidson-Turner, have willingly given up the trauma and drama of Junior year and my lovely friends at the lunch table (I'm going to miss you guys!) to travel to unknown areas of the world and experience the cultures of these unfamiliar places.

3 Responses to “Chang Mai, Thailand: Top 10 Reasons Why Traveling With A Sibling Is . . . Amazing”

  1. Hi There! Your descriptions and storytelling is awesome.

  2. Hey KJ,

    great blog! It’s so nice to see that you and Cal are close as ever, you have been through so much together, and now you both share this RWT with your parents, what FUN!!!! I really look forward to your blogs, so I hope you will continue to communicate through this medium. It does not have to be about traveling, you can just blog about your life experiences, every one would still read along. Your new friend Peyton sure has a whole lot of hair, she is sooooo lucky! I’m glad you all were able to meet up with your new blog friends.

    i really enjoy all the pictures you have taken, makes me feel as if I were there, especially the Vietnam pix. Oh wait, I was there! That was such a fun week, even the biking, it was the trip of a lifetime for me, so glad that I got to see you and Cal! Enjoy the rest of your trip, you’ll be back in Sarasota before you know it, then you’ll want to be on another journey as soon as possible. Senior year next year, WHEW-HOO!

    Hey, KJ, I especially like the pants you are wearing (I think under pix #8), I would sooooo wear those, they are so tres chic–kinda just like you…….. You and Cal had lots of bonding experiences over the last nine months, so I hope to hear all about secrets and adventures the ext time I come to Sarasota! Oh, and please, have tons of pictures of places I have not seen…….

    KJ you rock and you’re a terrific blogger! So envious of all your talents.


  3. Hey KJ – we were all talking about you guys recently. We miss your posts and are wondering if you are back stateside. I imagine you might be applying to colleges? Be sure to let us know if you are ever in Los Angeles!

    Mark, Carrie, Wilder and Peyton

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