Life is a series of choices. Every day you are faced with life-altering choices. Every step you take is in the direction of your desires. Every question you ask is an answer you already know. Every person you meet is part of the journey.
Choosing a travel partner is one the most important decisions you’ll ever make.
Not even choosing a religion, a saving plan, how to raise your children or choosing who to vote for is as important as choosing the right travel partner.
Maybe I’m over exaggerating a bit, but choosing a travel partner is not just a life-altering decision; it’s one of life and death.
Every person you meet is part of the journey: you’ll either strangle that person on the road less travelled or you’ll embrace them off the beaten track.
Types of people you might want to strangle while travelling:
You know that guy who always tells you about all the countries he has been too? Or the girl with the country-, flag- and miles-she-has-flown counter on her CouchSurfing profile? And that person who starts a conversation with “If you have travelled as much as I have travelled, you’ll know that…”
Travelling is not a competition. You have the world’s permission to punch “The bragger”.
The Less OR More Whore
If you travel with “The Less OR More Whore” your vacation will either be a snooze fest or it will feel like work. Running from one place to another to see everything is like seeing nothing at all; you don’t have any time to immerse yourself into the culture and no time to even enjoy a sunset. If your travel partner wants to do nothing at all and just wants to sleep all day and every day…get up and go – pack your bag and do your own thing. Chances are good that he won’t even notice that you’re gone.
The Guidebook God
There is nothing wrong with consulting a guidebook, but use it for what it is…use it as a guide. “The Guidebook Gods” are everywhere. They carry their Lonely Planets around like Bibles under their sweaty armpits. They use phrases like “but in the book it says…”, they only stay at hostels and guesthouses listed in the guidebook, they only eat at the recommended restaurants and when things don’t go as planned they hand out negative-Tripadvisor-threats. They follow a journey of someone else and leave little room for their own discoveries.
It’s not down in any map. True places never are.
The “My Way”-guy
The world revolves around this guy. He demands to have things his way, he shows no respect to or is considerate of local cultures, he is usually extremely loud and always complaining. The “My Way”-guy is also known as the travel snob. Nothing is ever good enough.
My way or the high way…rather take the high way buddy, everyone will be better off.
This person can’t think for him/herself. You’ll be the mommy or daddy figure to this person during the trip – you’ll handle the finances, you’ll make all the decisions and when “The Child” is not happy he or she will throw a proper pull-down-the-lip-stomp-the-feet-hands-on-the-hips tantrum.
No. This is not okay.
This one refuses to pay more than $4 for accommodation and then she’ll complain that the facilities are not up to standard. They use CouchSurfing JUST because it’s free accommodation and a way score free meals. The Cheapskate loves haggling, nothing can ever be cheap enough. They’ll ‘bully’ people into giving them free accommodation at temples and churches, they are persistant and they don’t know when to stop begging.
I’m all for being cheap, but there is a fine line between a bargain and taking away a plate of food from a family that’s struggling.
Choosing a travel partner is a life-altering decision – it changes the way your experience, perceive and interact with countries, cultures and people. The right travel partner flips the coin for your journey and has the power to royally screw up a much anticipated trip or to turn it into the journey of a lifetime.
It’s difficult to find the perfect travel partner, in fact I think it is impossible…especially if you enjoy travelling solo.
Try to find someone that will give you your space, someone not too clingy, someone independent and perfectly fine with doing activities on his/her own. Try to find someone somewhat sorted.
And if you can’t find anyone…make the bold decision to go alone. Travelling solo is rewarding in so many way and it’s not so easy to screw up your own journey or strangle yourself.