People spend a great deal of time trying to figure out who they would want to travel with and why. For some, the only way they can enjoy it is if they are sharing it with another.
Those that make their way around solo, at one time or another, had that strange feeling come over them-a combo of adrenaline, anxiousness, excitement, and “I’m ready. I’m perfectly content.”
Some people need that solitude; others can’t endure one second of it. Of course, there’s the mix between both that plenty fall under too.
It’s important to know and understand what type of traveler you are. It amounts to so much of what you gain out of your experiences.
If you are completely regretting having committed to your travel buddy because every 10 minutes you turn around to see someone who is frustrated and homesick, how can you possibly focus on the beautiful cathedral in front of you that you came so far to see?
Or, you find that you are the one dragging behind because you shouldn’t have gone on that 15-day hike–2 days is good enough for you.
You knew that, but you felt like saying “yes” at the time and now your dear friend (who can spend months hiking) only hears sarcasm and shrewd remarks after four days–and counting.
Whether a situation falls on your shoulders or not, either is what can result from not knowing what kind of traveler you are. Wait? What?
Why does it fall on you at all times? Because you can never control the emotions of those around you, especially when they are heightened and sensitive, but you can always control who you are in those moments.
Ok. I have to admit it. This is a tricky one for me. My first time traveling was with someone I didn’t know very well at all! We worked together– just a few shifts, actually. I didn’t know what stressed her out; if she cared to do the things I did. It was a total toss-up.
We were told at the time that “you’re either going to come away from this hating each other, or become the best of friends.” I am so grateful all the time that we became amazing friends.
It could have gone a thousand different ways because I didn’t know her enough. But, I knew me enough…just enough actually, no more no less.
Knowing yourself at any stage of your travel experiences is what makes or breaks them. Here are some scenarios to consider. See where you fall!
There are so many reasons why you would consider traveling on your own. None better than others. All for a reason–your reason.
If you want to push yourself out of your comfort zone, try something new, or have an experience that only you can feel your way through, this way gives you all of that and more.
If you prefer the solitude and still want the chance to make friends, you will never have a hard time–there are no clicks. People abroad will not shun you for wanting to join in.
Maybe you aren’t big on compromising with your time? It’s okay. You have the freedom to see and do what you feel is important to you at all times.
Ask yourself, when it comes to new experiences, do you like to have them on your own and report back?
Just You and Me
Is there no one else that you would rather hang with than your bestie who knows you through and through? If they need to borrow your gear because their luggage was lost, would you not even hesitate before handing over the most comfortable sleep shirt you brought with you?
Are you okay with knowing you may bicker at times and have to give each other space? Think about how well you get along and if that happens anywhere you go, or if being in a comfortable environment is what helps that relationship thrive.
The same goes for couples! If it’s difficult for you and your significant other to choose a movie to watch together, can you see those types of disagreements getting in the way of making memories?
Or, are those isolated situations that don’t creep up when you’re hopping on a boat for your island adventure?–you’ve got the towels, They’ve got the sunblock, check. Deeply gazing into each other’s eyes, double-check!
I personally think that a getaway with a parent (or both of them) is an important experience to have when you’re an adult. Parents wait years and years for their children to grow into themselves so they can reach a new level of closeness.
They have spent their whole lives teaching us, and now there’s a chance to learn and grow together–you may find yourselves that much closer. If you don’t get along with your parent that well, would a trip create a chance to bond?
Are your personalities too different for you to feel like you will be able to enjoy yourself? Maybe a weekend closer to home would keep everybody more calm and relaxed.
Power in Numbers
More often, it’s those big family excursions where you see true travel colors. The feeling of being a member of a wild pack of dogs when you step into the hotel lobby. Clashing personalities, everyone off in a thousand directions. But, it’s okay because it’s your pack of wild dogs and you nestle right into all of the awesome suggestions everyone is passing around.
Girls trip! Bachelor, bachelorette trip anyone? Yeah, twist the arms for those reasons to travel. They are experiences you never want to miss. Or do you? Is it too much? Maybe the chance that things can go south is enough for you to say, “I’ll wait until the next one.”
Traveling with a group of people you don’t even know, is that an exciting idea? Or, can you just cross that one out right now? To go out of my way to travel with people I don’t know, I always thought I’d be crossing it out instead of crossing it off of my list of experiences.
But, I was in Iceland, and my host got called into work and couldn’t follow through with an itinerary we planned for the few days I was there.
As a last resort to make to most of my time, I found a couple on couchsurfing.com who listed that they had room for one person to hike and drive around the coast for the weekend.
They would provide a tent and gear if I provided my own food. I hesitated but went for it in the end. They were very nice but not very conversational. Quiet, down to business kind of people. But I kept using my inner chatterbox and they warmed up.
Before I knew it, the weekend was over, I had mounds of amazing photos, an experience that I would have missed out on if I let the oddity of it get to me, and memories of exploring that place that is burned in my mind. It ended up being the travel story that I tell most often.
Would you go with your gut in this case?
Based on what you know about yourself and what you want out of a travel experience, which scenarios leave you excited or put-off?
Make a mental note for yourself as you’re planning so that you can narrow down what kind of traveler you are and how you want to spend your time.
I have been through various stages myself. As mentioned, I started off with a friend, then solo, then some other friends, before taking an amazing honeymoon to Africa with Brandon (don’t worry, there is no chance you will miss those stories spending time on our blog).
Most recently, I went with my sister for her first time out of the country. It wasn’t until then that I realized what kind of traveler I am.
I am the traveler who is at the mercy of whatever is around me, and whoever. No matter what, I’ll adapt myself instead of saying “no, I won’t go.”
You can map out your evolution any way you choose. My best advice, test out as many scenarios as you possibly can! Everyone who you cross paths will make a great story and a memory that will mean so many things for you.
So come on! Come on! Tell us! What kind of traveler are you? Are you a Weekend Warrior? Did this post get you thinking about some things you should consider or have you got this under control and have some amazing experiences of your own to share? Let’s get this convo started!
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