The Art of Finding the Perfect Travel Companion
Usually when I travel, I travel alone. I like solo travel. You get to go where you want, when you want. You can eat at the restaurant you have been wanting to try and it is really easy to meet new people at a hostel when you are on your own.
There is no one to rely on, or rather use as a crutch, when it comes to meeting new people and going on outings with them. Some of my favorite travel memories have included venturing out with people I've met at a hostel and having a blast. Or even just having a quiet "zen" moment to myself, with myself and the whole world out ahead of me.
But, I will be the first one to admit that solo travel isn't all there is in the travel world. Sometimes you get lucky and find yourself a wonderful travel companion who brings out the best in your travel adventures. Maybe you have similar travel styles and interests, or in my case, my favorite travel companions have brought me on adventures I never would have gone on otherwise.
One of these examples comes from traveling with not just one travel companion, but seven.
In 2010, after a wonderful experience in AmeriCorps NCCC, I took a road trip with 6 of the most amazing people from the program -- okay, you are all amazing, but these six people agreed to a post-service road trip.
We said goodbye to our home base in Perry Point, MD and headed up to New England for the Thanksgiving holiday and then we were westward bound. Our whole trip took about a month, but it was glorious. We hopped from state to state, staying at friend's and family's houses; sleeping on their floors and gratefully accepting any meals they chose to provide us.
Once we hit Wisconsin, we traveled South and picked up our eighth traveler in Colorado. These seven wonderful people forced me to do things I may not otherwise have done. We ventured to gawk at buffalo in Denver, hiked a big mountain with windy, narrow paths in Boulder and went to see the Zoo Lights in Phoenix, AZ. I slept on beds, carpets and hardwood floors.
I even shared a pillow and blanket with one of my fellow travelers for a night, sleeping on a thin carpet covering a hardwood floor in Lincoln, NE.
We wound our way to the Grand Canyon, then up the California coast; ending in Portland, OR. We were stopped by border patrol, watched elephant seals at dusk and even visited the Mystery Spot. This amazing trip was made that much more grand by these seven beautiful human beings.
Who knew being trapped in a car with a group of people for so long would bring about adventure and happiness?
So, in looking forward to upcoming adventures, I have to wonder if I should find a travel companion to enjoy the journey with.
I'm planning on taking a trip to celebrate my graduation and attainment of a Master's degree post-May commencement. Although I am unsure where this trip may take me just yet (or when it will happen), perhaps I should start looking for a travel companion now.
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