My recent adventures have taught me that travelling with someone you care about is a make or break situation. Whether it’s your partner, your sibling or (in my case) a friend, you’re either going to a) love them even more or b) question your life decisions. After a solid three weeks spent travelling and living in close proximity with one of my closest gal pals Sam, I’m happy to say it’s the former.
Even if your friends feel like family, they (unlike your actual family) aren’t necessarily obliged to love you still after the traumas of travelling. But, I think if you can be just as close after a trip, especially one packed with unexpected situations like ours to the Seychelles, it’s safe to assume you’ll be a big part of each other’s lives forever.
All in the spirit of sharing the love this month, here are 6 reasons travelling with a best mate is just the best experience:
1.They’re the ultimate Instagram husband material because best friends don’t let best friends look crappy or embarrassing in photos, right? Well, most of the time, at least.
2. Since you’re going to be spending so much together, you’ll be doing a whole lot of learning – about your bestie, about yourself and about some important life survival skills you might not otherwise have picked up. For example, I learnt about the wonders of a “slop table”. This arrangement is the result of balancing your slip-slop/flip-flip – whatever ya wanna call it – on the sand and placing upon it your water/can of cool drink/cellphone/camera/wallet/anything you don’t want to get ultra sandy. Genius, right? It’s especially handy if you end up on a spontaneous beach mission. From my side, I like to think I shared the #1 rule of survival in the jungle i.e. you will not die if you get sand in your shoes while hiking. Astonishing, right?
3. You can let your freak flag fly – REAL HIGH – without fear of rejection or loneliness because you know your friend has your back. And, when you’re together, each of you is one half of a whole weirdo anyway. The best thing is that, because you’re being your true wonderful self, you’re even more likely to make other amazing friends during your trip. You might even befriend a giant tortoise or two.
4. You can guarantee an endless supply of compliments that’ll leave you feeling hotter than your chargrilled skin after too much time in the Seychellois sun. After the first two weeks of eating an endless supply of noodles and chocolate, both of us were complaining about feeling “fluffy” around the edges. But, to every “Ugh my shorts feel tight” there was an even more assertive rebuttal: “OMG SHUTUP YOU LOOK GORGEOUS AND GOLDEN BROWN AND FABULOUS”. Once thoroughly convinced, we’d throw on some waterproof mascara and celebrate ourselves with fancy cocktails.
5. Your best friend knows you like nobody else and you’re probably each other’s #1 fans. So, when you travel together, your bestie is always there to egg on your decisions – including the bad ones. And by “bad ones” I’m referring to those overpriced matching toe rings (because #fashun) bought from the curio shop and not to saucy island behaviour. Obviously.
6. When you travel solo, you have to be your own hero. From personal experience, I know this can be scary, but it’s also great for character-building and the making of an independent human bean. At the same time, during my trip with Sam, it was a relief knowing I had someone there to make me feel somewhat safer when faced with perilous situations. Such “perilous” situations included facing down toe-eating centipedes on the way to the loo, outdoor showers with unreliable curtains, and swimsuit straps that snapped just when I was trying to have a carefree frolic on the beach. Instead of having to face these horrors alone, we’d creep to the bathroom together at 3am while taking turns to lookout for bugs, and similarly for onlookers when trying to shower in the day. Sam fully saved me during that swimsuit disaster, though, by gallantly holding a towel around me while I situated my situation.
That act of kindness was the literal definition of “having my back” and I’m so grateful to have such a genuine friend in my life. February might be the month of love, but I encourage you to share love with everyone that brings some special magic to your life for this month and every other month. #OkaySentimentalityImDoneWithYou
What are YOUR favourite things about traveling with a friend? Let’s chat in the comments below!