Cousin Love

The Hub and I took advantage of the recent long Easter weekend in the U.K. to meet up with my cousin and his wife in Vienna. Although they live in the U.S., they were on a visit to Europe and stopped by Vienna because her brother and his family live there.

At one of Vienna's Easter markets
Not only is Vienna a beautiful and interesting city to visit, we had a really amazing time catching up with my cousins and meeting her family too. And it reminded me how happy it has made me to get to know all my cousins again as an adult.

I have a relatively big extended family, as my mom is one of seven kids and my dad one of four. Taking into account that my parents' generation had considerably smaller families than their parents', this resulted in nine cousins on one side and eight on the other.

Keeping in touch is never easy as we're spread all over the place, from Bali to London to New York, Connecticut, Colorado, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Georgia and California. The technological revolution has made it just that bit easier to at least keep tabs on what we're all up to. This has made me even more keen to see everyone in person -- one of the reasons I really wanted to make a trip to Wisconsin last summer, which resulted in a big cousin reunion on my mom's side of the family. And we had a blast.

There's something about a cousin. You've usually got some fun shared childhood memories (and hopefully not too much shared family angst), and at least in my case I never got to see them enough as we were always either a long car trip or a flight away. So getting to know them again as adults is just really fun and full of surprises. I recently found out one of my cousins is a really good writer and I didn't even know we shared that interest until now.

Also, we're usually surrounded in life by people who are very similar to ourselves due to location and lifestyle. The Hub and I live in a big city. A lot of our friends work in journalism or finance, because those are the industries we work in. My cousins, who we saw in Vienna, live in a town in the mountains with a population of 500. And they work in entirely different industries. It was so interesting hearing their perspectives on things.

Strolling through the vineyards at the Heuringer
I came back from Vienna delighted to have seen the Schoenberg palace, gone to the Spanish Riding School and eaten some strudel. It was also great to do some local things, like eating and drinking at a Heuriger in the suburbs of Vienna -- a family-style restaurant located in the winery itself. But what really made me happy was the people I got to spend time with.

If you don't have any cousins, see if you can borrow some. I've loved getting to know the Hub's as well since we got married -- he's got a whole set of really nice cousins doing really interesting things, who have welcomed me into the family.

But if you have cousins you haven't seen or spoken to in a while, or don't really even know at all, don't hesitate to reach out. You might just be surprised that you gain a new interesting friend.

P.S. In honor of my cousin, a link to his favorite Mind, Body & Scroll blog post on the Hub's reaction to my childhood dolls.

No comments

Back to Top