Wild Child Lessons From The Road: Part 1 - Choosing a Great Travel Companion
This past summer, I hopped in a car with my best friend and we spent 22 days on the road. Traveling, camping, visiting friends, and having the times of our lives. It worked out well, and we only got in one or two small arguments, so all things considered that was pretty great. Twenty-twenty hindsight, a lot of things could have gone wrong. A few days into the trip it occurred to me that I had definitely chosen the right travel partner, or rather, the right one had said yes. I've decided to come up with a list of questions to ask yourself and things to consider before traveling with someone. Having the right travel companion is key, as it can really make or break your trip!
Some things to ask yourself before traveling together:
Could I sleep in a tent with this person?
Could I be comfortable around this person even if I haven't showered in 4 or 5 or 6 days? Girls, that also means "Could I be comfortable around this person even if I haven't shaved my legs in 6 days?" Gross, I know. But that's road trip reality.
Do we think the same things are fun/will we want to stop at similar pit stops?
Am I able to voice my honest opinion around them? Will they voice theirs? - You'll want to make decisions quickly, not waste time trying to figure out what the other is thinking.
Is this person normally positive or negative when plans change?
Is this person easy to compromise with? - You will compromise a lot while traveling. Where to eat, where to camp, what time to leave, etc.
Do we have the same skill sets? Or different? - One of you should be comfortable talking to strangers, another may know how to change a flat, etc. Make sure you have your bases covered.
Do we know how to make a campfire?
Does at least one of us know how to use the camping cooking equipment?
Am I comfortable with this person driving my car/Am I comfortable driving this person's car?
Are we both financially stable?
Do we have a clear timeline? Does that even matter?
Have we traded emergency contacts?
Do I know how to make this person smile when they are in a bad mood?
Does this person know how to make me smile when I'm in a bad mood?
Have we gotten on each other's nerves when we have spent a long period of time together?
Do we value the same things? Is it okay if we don't? - like healthy food or the gym
Do we want to party on this trip? If so, how much is too much?
Can this person handle it? Can I handle it? - Let's be real. Life on the road isn't for everyone. Don't pick a diva as your travel companion.
It will be less-than-ideal at times, but you have to keep the "it's all worth it" mindset.
Pro Tip: Be clear on your goals for the trip. Before we left, we both shared our top 3 things we hoped to do on the trip. It helped us prioritize and know what was truly important to the other.