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What travelling with friends can teach you

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What travelling with friends can teach you

story by: Anna Sarjeant

Travelling with a friend won’t solely make you proficient in division; notably how to split everything by two, it’ll teach you a whole new bag of wisdoms.

No man is an island
The huntsman crawls from beneath the door handle like he’s been antici­pating your arrival for days, but before he gets chance to tip his hat and step aside, you’ve run screaming, crying (and possibly excreting) in a backwards direction. Cue travel companion with zero fear of eight-legged insects, who gently swats the treacherous animal away. Danger averted, it becomes pain­fully clear that no man (or woman) is an island; everyone relies on another. And for every spider they remove for you, the gesture is repaid when you ease them of their own jitters and trepidations.


Do things differently
Like the first time you see someone stacking the dishwasher differently to yourself and it BLOWS. YOUR. MIND. Travelling with others can really open your eyes. From the food court lover who discovers al fresco simply because his mate bought a baguette and found a bench, to the anti-historian who gets dragged to Rijksmuseum and then dragged back out… Six hours later and crying for more. Following the path of others, and doing something different in the process, is often enlightening.


Don’t be afraid to say yes
It’s one of those rare occasions when FOMO proves beneficial; your part­ner in travel is an adrenaline-junkie, or shark enthusiast, or die-hard vegan with Thai ancestry. Next minute you’re skydiving from 15,000 feet, swim­ming amidst great whites or gorging on bean curd with Buddhist monks. Would you have picked any one of these activities yourself? Perhaps not. But your friend did and when they asked if you’d tag along, you found your­self saying yes.


Patience is a virtue
You, my friend, are irritating. But fear not because we all are. And that includes your BFF too. Whether they snore, slurp or sigh too much; laugh too loudly, talk too quietly or stop every second for a selfie, travel with anyone other than yourself and you’ll even find their breathing an aggra­vation. The key is to remain patient, ignore their bad habits and focus on the positives, because your companion is likely finding you irksome too.


A problem shared is a problem halved
Lost tickets, missed planes and forgotten luggage, problems are solved in twice the time when you have two heads mulling it over. And when faced with unfamiliar surroundings it’s always reassuring to know someone has your back, someone you can completely trust. Travel’s funniest (dare we say fondest memories) are often a result of a holiday mishap. Because when the chips are down and all you have is one another, laughing at the absur­dity is really the only solution.

Travelling with Friends Survival Guide – The 6 Big ‘Cs’ 

1. Pre-travel considerations
Only travel with someone you consistently like in a variety of situations. Just because you both watch GOT doesn’t mean you’re compatible. If they scream beach, and you sigh boring, pick another companion.

2. Be considerate
Acknowledge your worst personality trait and find a fix. Perpetual snorers should pack a family-sized bag of ear-plugs and distribute nightly.  

3. Compromise
You’re a self-confessed night owl; the last time you ate breakfast was sometime in the nighties, but your buddy has a penchant for a sunrise. Well, compadre, sometimes you’ve just got to suck it up and compromise, so set the alarm. 

4. Caring is sharing
You are no longer a single entity, you’re a duo. If they have a cold, you will too, if they’re short on funds, yours are halved. Learn the motto ‘what’s mine is yours and yours is mine’. Recite and repeat.

5. Censor
Travelling magnifies irritations. Fact. But sometimes it pays to bite your tongue. Yes they slurp when they drink, yes it’s unbearable, but will mentioning it really achieve anything? Unlikely. Keep schtum. 

6. Communicate
You’re an art gallery aficionado but you’re yet to tell your co-traveller. Keeping quiet and getting annoyed that they don’t suggest The Louvre is beyond futile. Speak up.

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