Traveling with someone is way different experience than solo travels, whether you decide to travel with your sister, boyfriend, best friend or just a colleague. Here are eight reasons why, when it comes to traveling, two is better than one.
Solo travel has certainly become a buzzword in this lifetime, and it’s easy to understand why. It gives you exhilarating freedom, a chance to explore, meet new people, and try out crazy adventures on the road. It nourishes your restless soul and takes you on a journey of self-discovery and reflection. For many people nowadays, this is the way to go. Personally, I have done this, and I can say that one of the best trips of my life happened when I traveled solo.
But I enjoy something richer and much more fulfilling—having someone along with the ride to share the experience with. Most of my memorable travels happened when I was with someone—my boyfriend, my college roommate, my high school best friend, my childhood friends, a colleague, and even my mother! Indeed, traveling is one of the most beautiful things that can be done with someone. Maybe it’s the idea of trusted companionship, of familiar comfort, of mutual happiness… Or maybe it’s just about creating amazing memories that you’ll treasure together forever. I find that two is a sweet spot as it balances the freedom from traveling solo with the sense of security and fun when traveling in a group.
8 Reasons why you should travel with someone
If you are on a limited travel budget, this could be your saving grace. Traveling with someone can be so much more economical and affordable as compared to traveling solo. You get to share the cost of cab, accommodation, activities, meals, and tours! Haggling is also much easier (vendors usually lower their prices when you buy two or more). I always eat as if there’s a feast, so it’s always good to have someone to split the bill and the calories with! During my third visit to El Nido, my college roommate and I dined in at a famous Italian place, Trattoria Altrove, where we ordered their most famous pizza and pasta dishes—all for a cost of less than Php700 which was already good for the two of us! For some, that might be too much, but for us, it’s very sulit! This was also the case when I went on a Taiwan food trip with my boyfriend. I tell you, the savings when traveling by twos can be marvelous!
2. You have someone. And that is enough to keep you happily sane.
This is perhaps the most valuable gift traveling with someone can give you—the assurance that you will always be with somebody, that you’ll never be left alone and lonely. It somehow gives you a piece of mind that in the middle of nowhere, you’re with someone you are familiar with, someone you can hold on to and run together when the going gets tough. Having company means that when you hit rock bottom, there’s someone to comfort you and make you laugh despite the lowlights. One time in El Nido, our group tour was stranded at sea for almost four hours! Good thing I was with my high school best friend. Her presence kept me in a positive vibe despite our seemingly dangerous situation. No matter where life takes you, you’ll always have the moral support who can instantly turn into swimming, boodle fight, dancing or drinking partner!
3. Two smart, thinking heads are better than one.
Most of the time, it’s quite challenging and overwhelming to do so many tasks on your own. When you are with someone, you have an extra pair of hands that can help you in planning the itinerary, booking flights and accommodations, checking transportation schedule, haggling, looking for directions, and the list goes on. You’ll never run out of ideas. Each of you has your weaknesses and strengths, and you can use it to both of your advantages. It’s also good to have a second look and opinion on things. I’m thankful for travel buddies who volunteer their skills when it’s needed. My mom is a master bargainer, and it was put to good use at the Ladies’ Market in Mongkok, Hongkong where she breezed her way to better prices.
4. One word: PHOTOS.
Tell me, would you be truly happy with photos from your travel in a terrible angle, only close-up selfies, just yourself standing by a landmark? I don’t know about you but I certainly won’t. I want the most breathtaking pictures. I want to remember happiness in all my travel photos and not annoyance having to hover over strangers and plead to them to take my photo. It’s nice to have someone who’ll take your photo and someone to take a photo with as well! Forget about tripods, timers, and selfie sticks, and you have a reliable and trustworthy travel buddy who’ll take your shots in every pose and all angles. You won’t worry about having your camera getting stolen or having to do silly poses alone. Most of my best photographs are taken during my travels, and I have my travel buddies to thank for that.
5. You are much safer than on your own.
Going to places and getting lost is not as dangerous as it sounds when you have someone to back you up in times of trouble. You’ll take comfort in knowing that you are with someone who will look out for you, knowing that you’ll do the same for him/her. You’ll take care of each other, and you’ll watch over each other’s belongings, you’ll defend each other against human or animal attackers, you’ll make sure no one will drug your drinks in a club, you’ll protect each other to death… Because you are travel buddies and that is your sacred promise.
6. You learn the art of compromise and patience.
When you are by yourself, it’s easy to ditch plans and just forget everything. It’s easy to be your boss and be a brat at the same time. You get lost in the idea of crazy adventures. But having someone during your travels keeps you grounded and balanced—it’s a selfless act where you share space, detour from your beat, and dance in harmony with your travel buddy. At some point, you both would have to sacrifice and meet halfway. You compromise to enjoy. You hold your patience to have peace. You practice humility. While it can be annoying at times, you’ll thank yourself and your travel buddy for this because out there, it’s not about you and your plans all the time—it’s about compromise and patience.
7. You nurture your relationship and take it to a whole new level.
Sure, she’s your mother since birth, or you’ve been best friends for life, or he’s your boyfriend since you were 17. You might say that you already know them, but nothing can compare to the discoveries you make of someone when traveling. When you are out there on the road, beyond your usual comfort zones, that’s when the real test sets in! You get to know their quirks, what makes them tick, and how they do things. You see everything in a new light and learn something novel about them. And no matter what, admit it, you’ll still love them anyway!
There’s nothing quite like seeing the world together. The journey is always better when you share it with someone. Be it biking around Nami Island in South Korea, watching the perfect sunset by the beach of El Nido, seeing the ruins of an old church, catching a glimpse of a whale shark for the first time, or experiencing a cultural heritage, nothing compares to the feeling of having someone close to your heart next to you, sharing that single magical travel moment. You get to share your excitement and your laughter with someone, and it would mean the world to them; more importantly, to you. You now have endless memories together, something you can look back to when the travel has ended, and it’s time to come home. Isn’t it lovely to relive the experience and have someone to say “remember when…” or “that time in…” to? Happiness is doubled, and that alone makes two better than one.
Indeed, traveling with a partner or a friend has its kinds of advantages and so does a going solo on the road. It’s for you to find out what would work best for you. But I tell you, sacrificing your alone time to share the great experiences of travel with someone is worth it. There will be lulls and lows. But mostly, there will be highs. You’ll go through so many wonderful things while traveling; you’ll build a bond so powerful that almost nothing can come between it.
Sometimes, it’s good to be independent, but most of the time, we just need someone to be there with us, right by our side, in this adventure we call life.
Tell us, what do you prefer—going solo or having someone to travel with? You’ll never know if you don’t try so what are you waiting for? The road is calling!
About the Writer
Anne Grace Apostol or Ninay is a small-town girl brimming with dreams and ambitions. She is a full-time corporate ninja and part-time traveler. Someday soon, she hopes to reverse the situation. For now, she enjoys sunsets, books, beaches, and road trips. Read more of her daydreams, travels, and proud-probinsyana adventures at www.girlchasingsunshine.com.
This article is an entry for the Bali, Indonesia Writing Competition 2015!
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