Past experiences have taught me to be nervous about travelling with people I don’t have a close bond with.
Travelling with acquaintances who piggyback on your trip can be exhausting, frustrating and it can taint the entire experience. I know, I have experienced it, not once or twice. This is how travelling solo became my thing. It was out of necessity for my sanity and also a way of observing self care as I travel to different places. Travelling with others who aren’t bosom buddies ain’t for me and hasn’t been for around 10 years.
Travelling with Mere Acquaintances May Not be Worth the Savings
Yes, it’s true that things like hotels and local tours among other things, may be cheaper with someone or a group with whom to split the costs. However, if the people you are travelling with do not truly know you and vice versa, it can be a pain more than anything else.
From prior experiences, the people who have joined in on my trips, did this because I had shared passionately about plans, I had already made and they were keen to tag along. Looking back, the alarm bells should have been going off like crazy when they asked to join me. On one occasion, I became the pseudo travel guide, which was really annoying. By the end of the trip the relationship was severely strained and we have lost touch over the years.
On another occasion, I ended up amending my trip to compromise and was really miserable. We ended up doing a packaged tour, where we were taken to so many shops, so that we lost valuable time to explore other places in the city. This is why I have an aversion to packaged tours.
I compare these experiences, to the three weeks I spent travelling, with a close friend around South East Asia. Of course we had our differences but we were able to speak frankly to each other and work out things in a way that made both of us satisfied. There was no pouting and ‘cold shouldering’. This is because of the fact that, we knew each other well and had spent valuable time over a few years getting to know each and our quirks.
Travelling with others requires Fortitude
It sure does, but travelling with the people who get you and who you get means some amazing experiences. I enjoy travelling solo but I do look forward to the times when I travel with my people as well. I learn how to be more unselfish, more open-minded, more adventurous and more spontaneous among other things.
Yes, it requires fortitude but that’s not a bad thing. I mean one big plus is having someone to take my pictures LOL! But seriously, it’s great to have someone to experience all the newness with, to co-manage all the small irritating things, like someone trying to scam you and just to chat over the day with at nights when we retire. There is a richness to those experiences that meeting other travellers and hanging with them on the trip may not yield. I believe it is worth any head-butting that comes along in the process. I am looking forward to travelling with my spouse when the time comes. It’s a different kind of experience that will enrich my travels in its own way I anticipate.
Some Things to Consider Before Travelling with Others
- Is the kind of relationship you have with your future travel partner/s, one that can withstand different trying situations? Have you gone through situations together where your problem solving skills have been tested and the outcome was good?
- Do you need to have different itineraries on different days to meet individual needs?
- Do you need to get different rooms if either of you are someone who enjoys having his or her own space?
- Do you share similar interests?
- What tasks/responsibilities will be assigned to whom while travelling?
- How much of the planning are you going to do together?
Travelling with others can be very thrilling and fulfilling, though it can also make for some harrowing experiences. Travelling with those you know well works wonders and I hope I can enjoy doing this more in the future.