Traveling is an activity that brings immense joy to people's lives. For individuals who are fortunate enough to see different parts of the world, travel destinations can serve as experiences of a lifetime. In my short 20 years of living, I have been able to travel to some of the major cities in my home country, the United States. If you're familiar with me and my website, you'll know that I've spent a good majority of time between my home state of Southern California and New York City documenting every step of my experiences.
I recently had the opportunity to travel again. During this trip, I discovered that I'd have the opportunity to bring one of my best friends along as he traveled through the East Coast looking for a potential graduate school. Before this trip began, I had serious thoughts about travelign with close friends due to multiple bad experiences. I've always been are that being with close friends in a home setting like an easy task. Seeing that we chose to spend time with each other, I never factored in how leaving that home setting could affect a friendship. My past travel experiences led me to analyze my travel habits. I realized that I needed to apply three key factors both before and during my trip. Those factors were - Willingness, Selflessness, and Positivity. While all three key factors seem general, I've broken them down in order to explain why each can either make or break a trip.
1. Willingness - The idea of willingness attributes to being flexible. When traveling with friends, it is important to share time. Since you're traveling as a unit, being flexible regarding activities is something that is needed in order to ensure that things will go smoothly. Being willing to explore something your friend is interested in also shows that you're willing to compromise. For example, I found it helpful to set goals with each other. Plan out your days with enough room in your schedule to achieve both or the multiple goals you and your friends would like to meet. Being able to be open-minded on vacation calls for happiness amongst every party and can prevent the idea of neglect within the relationship.
2. Selflessness - Selflessness ties into the idea of Willingness. In order to be selfless, one would have to remove themselves out of every single equation in order to comply with an idea that the other may have regarding the time that is being used together. Being selfless is also realizing that the other person(s) on the trip may have envisioned their trip being different. Selflessness is a great way to ensure that time is spent both wisely and efficiently. Side note: It also involves doing things that aren't extremely important to you but may be important to your friend.
3. Last but certainly not least - Positivity. For those who know me personally, you know my attitude towards situations can be a bit extreme at bad times (I admit it). My largest recommendation of all is to ALWAYS, I repeat, ALWAYS, REMAIN POSITIVE while on vacation especially, if you're traveling with one other person. While some situations cannot be controlled, I've found that one of the biggest things that could ruin a vacation or even a friendship is having a negative attitude. My best advice is to remain calm, look at the bright side - you're traveling! And of course - remain positive and remember the fact that your travel experience is something that most people don't have the luxury of doing.
*** Before writing this article, I had only traveled with a few of my friends. While every situation has worked itself out, I can say that some of my friends and I did't perform the same tasks when it came to traveling. While most people may be good friends, the reality is that - not everyone you call your friend is good to travel with, no matter how close you are. If you are thinking about embarking on a journey with a close friend I say follow these key rules & no matter the outcome of your trip, you'll remain close friends with the person you took it with :)