Lessons Learned: Travel Companions / by Jessica Ballerstein

Like I stated in my previous blog post I love to travel. I've gone on numerous trips in the past couple years and the best ones were when: I was either alone or with the right people. I would like to give an emphasis on both "alone" and "right"people.

By default, I'm a loner. Sometimes I'm amazed at my ability to make friends. I'm the typical introvert that much rather stays home, burns incense, and enjoy my own company. I'm rarely doing anything of substance, usually reading a book, wasting time on Instagram etc. Either way, I just love the ability to do whatever the f*** I want on my OWN terms. This trait of mine mirrors when it comes to traveling I love the freedom I have when I travel alone. I don't need to please anybody BUT myself. I've had experiences where I spend hard earned money to travel somewhere and the trip is damn near ruined because of our incompatibility as travel partners. 

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Each time there was a turmoil on a trip it was a lesson learned for both the person and I. We realized weren't travel compatible. It's really that simple. The same way we have a specific friend that we do specific things with! Such as the friends you drink with, the friends you can get emotional with, the friends you can/can't swear around etc. I also believe that also applies when it comes to traveling. Having different expectations is one of the major causes of arguments and tension during a trip. I am more of an explorer, hiker, culture and art seeker willing to sleep on someone's couch. Back in 2013, I went on a trip with someone who was a partier, looking for dates, preferred fine dining, and staying in really nice (expensive) hotels is not the ideal travel buddy for me. Not saying anything is wrong with any of that, but that wasn't what I expected nor wanted. It sucks that we had to realize it during the trip but hindsight is 2020.

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Traveling is one of my forms of therapy. I travel to free myself from stress and anxiety I have back home.  I want to be able to have a great time with great energy and great vibes, not the opposite. Although I prefer traveling solo dolo the only people I have no problems traveling with are my close friend Dash (hey girl!), and my boyfriend Jake. Dassit! (so far) 

The reason the trip with Dash and I worked was because we expressed each other's expectations prior to the trip. We were pretty much on the same page about almost everything. We spoke about things that interested us and came to an agreeable conclusion like mature adults. If Dash wanted to do something but I wasn't with it (or vice versa)we spoke about it and negotiated. It was her trip just as much as it was mine. Same deal with Jake plus the perks of him being my boyfriend lol. 

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In the end, this all may not even matter to you. It's all about perspective what you think is a good time. Some people aren't phased by tension and/or not bothered by catering to the other person's itinerary. They are content as long as they are in a new place! More power to you! But if this is your time to explore, learn, see different things,  make friends, find a sense of peace, meditate, etc. Set expectations, talk, negotiate and discuss plans prior. If there are disagreements, you should probably reconsider or risk your trip being rocky. Your call.