Travelling to me is more than just visiting a new destination. It is all about an experience that starts with the journey going all the way till the day I pack my bags to head back to base. And one of the things I have always believed that when you travel with someone is when you see their true colours.. You see sides to them you did not know existed, left right up down wherever.. But you get the drift, right?
While most of my trips have been solo, there have been a few with people I know.. rather I thought I knew.. but boom, I was in for a surprise and not a pleasant one at that. But then on the other hand, there are folks who have made the trip memorable with who I had a good time.. So, you win some and lose some..
Travelling with someone you know means,
- You need to be open to conflict of ideas.
- You should be willing to adjust and do things you normally wouldn’t do
- You should learn to stay silent at certain times [ when blowing up a fuse might only make it unpleasant or turn nasty]
- You should be ok with twists and turns [ the times when your companion suddenly decides they want to sleep in, or go shopping while you want to get an early start and visit some of the cultural sights or take a tour of few hours]
- You should be willing to accommodate their whims and fancies
- You should be prepared for hours of ranting and venting [instead of spending a few quiet minutes before calling it a day]
- You should be ready to hand hold and guide them around, instead of just doing something on your own/at your own pace
- You should learn to control your emotions and not let it ruin your holiday
- You should be willing to have them get mad at you for being honest, but move ahead
- You should accept that they are gonna do what they are gonna do and just tune out
- You should sometimes cut chord and decide to go your separate ways and meet before flying out back to base.
- You should let them indulge and take photographs of you and you need to click them as well.. :D
And then there is the other spectrum -Group travel, where many a times you know none- maybe the organizers or you have a friend travelling with you. For ex, I did Leh Ladakh with a group I connected through a duo who organized trips [ most of them are treks ex delhi- JustWravel].. These days with technology what it is, instantly a whatsapp group is created with those travelling on those dates and messages fly to & fro, including important information about the trip. Surprisingly for the Leh trip, a group was formed only when there was a crisis and all were needed to find an alternative solution. The group then continued to remain where we shared links to photographs and blog links.. I then got out of it, cos it did not make sense to just have a group where I had nothing to share..
Part of the group at Sanchi Stupa.... :-)
In such group trips, the ballgame is entirely different from travelling with just a friend/colleague/partner. Things you need to take note of,
1. Group Dynamics- not everyone is the same. The needs, lifestyle and personalities are varied and so there are bound to be clashes, arguments. It is all about how you choose to handle things.
Some in the group might not be as fit as others and so take longer to complete a task, or a hike. Similarly, some will sleep in late, causing a delay in the entire schedule. At times, you might have people whine and crib about things like accommodation, food etc and so will demand things being done differently for them. Sometimes the organizers will bend over, but in most cases things are all preset and so nothing can be done.
2. Adjust and accommodate – There are times things could go wrong and one needs to be prepared for it. This applies to all aspects of life. One cannot huff & puff saying it was meant to be a certain but things aren’t what they were promised. During Leh trip, many a times we got delayed on the road because of roadblocks. These are elements beyond the organizers’ control right? So, all we could do was be patient, have some fun while waiting and move on… One needs to also adjust when there is someone who is battling with motion sickness or needs to use the restroom urgently, etc. There are always things that will crop up, and these cannot all be pre-informed/planned
3. Be polite, be civil and survive the trip – There will be times when you are ready to lose it, yell or just go on a debate you know aint gonna end well. But time to pause, think about why you are where you are and regain focus. It then becomes easy to deal with people who are different from you J