Whilst traveling with another person, a close bond is very quickly formed. Sharing in an adventure can create a solid partnership, an unspoken pact between the two of you, whether you started your travels together or met on the road, whether you’re friends, family or lovers, whether you’re the same gender, generation or nationality, it is truly a unique alliance.
Like a wedding vow, a loyal travel companion will (or should) always be there for you.
For richer, for poorer…
There will be times when your card stops working or you’re out of cash and the closest ATM is miles away. It’s not just your problem. It’s your travel buddy’s problem too. If they’re in the position to loan you the money, it’s no bother. If you’re the one to loan the money, a good travel mate will pay you back as soon as possible. It’s also convenient to split accommodation costs or share food on occasion.
In sickness and in health… (I could write a whole post about this.)
Traveling in Europe, you may get the occasional flu. At Oktoberfest my travel pal, Nate, took me to the first aid tent when I cut my finger on a broken beer stein, although that’s about the extent of it.
Asia, on the other hand, you’re very likely going to get food poisoning at one point or another. You’re susceptible to motorbike accidents, lice, pink eye, dengue fever and many more ailments. When you do contract something, your travel companion will be your Saviour.
Thank you to Aly for learning to ride my motorbike when I was heaving my guts up in Bali and to Josh for taking my dead body weight on the back of his motorbike, stopping every twenty minutes so I could purge some more, then putting me to bed with liquids and medicine.
Thank you to everyone who picked the thousands of nits out of my hair, but especially Guy and Laura in Flores, who had the brunt of it. On another occasion, Guy read stories to me from The Brothers Grimm when I was laid up in bed on antibiotics in the Philippines.
It’s a horrible thing to be sick or in need of medical attention when traveling alone. Your travel buddy will be your best friend.
In joy as well as in sorrow…
You will see the best in your travel sidekick as well as the worst. It’s important to be there for each other, whatever you may be going through. A devoted travel pal will make you laugh when you think all you can do is cry.
When you do find someone you love to travel with, cherish the time you have, because unless you have actually taken a wedding vow, there’s always going to be a bus or a train or a plane going in a different direction, and the time you spent together will be a fleeting memory. (Cheesy, but true.)