Traveling can be an incredible experience. Sharing the experience of travel with a friend can take your friendship to a whole new level. Planning together.Experiencing new places. Creating memories. Sharing stories. Taking pictures. And many years of recounting adventures.
Sometimes traveling with friends can unravel and become messy, creating tension in the friendship hopefully not in a way that ends the friendship…but certainly this can place much stress on the relationship. And, depending on the friendship, travelling together can be a great opportunity for growth and deepening the connection or it can lead to a chasm…one that might just be too big for either person to cross.
My Dad has always said there are three parts to a travel experience: the anticipation, the being there and the reminiscing. Each of these parts can be greatly enhanced by sharing travel with friends especially if everyone involved is as intentional as possible, thinking about priorities and being clear with each other about expectations, wants and needs. And respecting differences.
“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson
I have been incredibly fortunate to travel with friends and family through the years. I have travelled with friend and to visit friends? I have had many different experiences, most positive a few stressful and challenging.
We all have different reasons for traveling. We all have a different connection to travel: different interests, different travel styles, and different attitudes about learning about other cultures and their histories and customs. Because of this, it is really important to be clear about what you want and expect from your travel experience with friends.
I have found that when I’ve felt frustrated or let down by an experience of traveling with a friend, it is usually because I was not clear about what I wanted, with myself or with my friend. Or else I didn’t address issues directly when they came up and so things *festered* and I would end up frustrated with myself. If I didn’t say something then how can I expect things to change? No one can read my mind.
“Before setting out, remind yourself of the purpose of your journey.” ~ Phil Cousineau
To make travelling with friends more amazing than challenging it can be quite helpful and important to manage expectations. Yours and theirs.
Here are a few tips for managing expectations:
- Get clear about what you want to experience on your trip
- Get clear what you need to be happy and/or healthy during your trip, for example, seeing art, getting enough sleep, having alone time, being spontaneous, drinking coffee/beer/wine, etc…
- Set aside time to share your hopes and dreams with your friend(s) and to discover theirs.
- Check-in with each other while you are traveling and see how things are going for each other, with each other.
- It can be hard to see things from both sides…and very good for your friendship! Say more about this one, it’s not clear yet.
- Discuss each of your must-have’s and must-do’s – specific travel destinations, experiences, etc…
These tips are easier said than done…and, I know that if you have a plan and can be flexible, then travelling with friends can be amazing!
What tips would you share about traveling with friends?
“Take only memories, leave only footprints.” – Chief Seattle