I read a lot of books, fiction and non, that are from a female perspective. I need to branch out more and when I needed a memoir for the summer reading challenge, I knew I wanted to read this book. One, it had been on my list for awhile and two, male protagonist! It only took me about 20 pages to realize why I avoid the male perspective of things. I just don’t have much in common with it. Especially not Franz Wisner. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure he’s a great guy and my respect for him grew by leaps and bounds as he and his brother kept their “honeymoon” going for two years. But let’s face it. This ultra-liberal East Coast girl was never going to see quite eye to eye with a former Republican lobbyist from California. But that is OK, stepping beyond one’s comfort zone is a good thing and I ultimately came to enjoy the adventures of the two brothers as they made their way around the world. I think my jealously grew by leaps and bounds as well.
Because, seriously, can I have their lives? OK, sure, one of them had to be left at the alter before they started this journey of a lifetime, a two year trek through Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America and Africa. But still. Sign me up as soon as I can find a way to financially swing it. And as soon as I have the guts to hop on planes without a plan and see what happens next. The planner in me is having a slight panic attack just thinking about it. I admire people who can do it. Of course, as much fun as their journey sounds, I kept thinking in the back of my mind, is this a journey I could do? They seem to hitch rides with people they just met a lot, haggle down prices constantly, seemingly handled a two day bus ride in the middle of nowhere Africa without a complaint. I think I would have started to complain around the third time their bus had to stop. Because a bird flew into and shattered the bus’s windshield. I’m not sure I am quite that adventurous.
Though maybe I am. One thing I learned reading this book is you never know what you can handle until you’re staring it in the face and you learn constantly, the more you travel and meet people. If nothing else, this book showed great growth in its leading men, both of whom seemed like jackasses in the beginning, if you pardon the language. It was only as we approached the end that I realized I’d come to like them and wanted to know what ridiculous situation they’d get themselves into next. I’ve never traveled beyond the safe borders of Western Europe – the most “excitement” of those trips was being chased by a drunken German in the Red District of Amsterdam that we’d accidentally taken a wrong turn into late our first night in town. I can’t imagine how I’d react in Africa amongst the poorest, and some of the most optimistic according to Wisner, people in the world. But is is interesting to think about, to wonder, and to do some internet searches to find out who I’d have to sell my soul to in order to afford a ticket to really find out. So, if you’re in the mood for a fun world jaunt and can make it past the emotional upheaval of the failed wedding before all the fun traveling starts, I would recommend Honeymoon with My Brother. If for nothing else, you have to read the story Wisner ends with because I am telling you now, it’s worth it for the laughs that story brings alone.