After spending two weeks in Europe with a grouch, I’ve decided to travel on my own from now on, but that wont stop me from occasionally having someone tag along with me. My requirements for a travel partner have changed considerably after having a frustrating time on what should’ve been the best trip of my life.
- Ignorance isn’t bliss. If you don’t know where Italy is on a map and think Egypt is in Europe, then you cannot go anywhere with me. I also will not accept people who make fun of other cultures because they can’t understand what’s happening around them. You don’t have to know the language of each country, but try to learn the basics so you don’t look like an idiot when someone says “merci.”
- Pack light. A two-week trip does not require you to check a bag, unless you’re bringing something special with you. Two weeks worth of clothes when you’re traveling should only be equivalent to one weeks worth of clothing because you can recycle outfits and live with minimal items. Many objects can be purchased upon arrival and life shouldn’t be so reliant on the material things, as cliché as that sounds.
- Have some photographic talent. The only thing that sucks about solo travel is the lack of pictures of yourself, so if I have a travel partner, they need to be able to take photos and when you ask me to photograph you in front of the Eiffel Tower, I expect you to return the favor and take one of me that isn’t blurry, is framed well, and in which I look fabulous.
- Research, research, research. I like to research the locations I’m going to so I know what I should see, where I should eat, etc. I like being spontaneous, but I still want to know the basics about a place before I go. If you haven’t put in at least a few hours making sure you’re up to speed with me, then please stay home.
- A happy outlook. If you are going to complain and have something bad to say about everywhere we go, then please give yourself an attitude adjustment and learn to love every aspect of travel. Not everything is going to be perfect. You might lose your luggage, you may miss a train, someone might steal your passport, but you need to be able to adapt and accept the situation and be optimistic.
If you can make yourself fit all these requests, then you would make a great travel partner, not only for me, but also for anyone who has wanderlust. Although journeying alone is an amazing experience, some people just can’t handle being alone and traveling with someone is just as beneficial. Sharing the adventure with someone can give you lasting memories actually involving another person.