Freedom travel isn’t about always travelling solo. If you always “have to” to be alone to feel free that doesn’t seem much like freedom to me. Here are some tips for feeling free, when you’re sharing travel planning and activities with others.
1. Get cell phones.
It’s much easier to not worry about losing each other etc if you have an easy method of communication. Don’t skimp on cell phones or you’ll find yourself super stressed about losing each other and not being able to get back in touch. Being able to easily txt back and forth makes all the difference in you feeling like it doesn’t matter if one of you inadvertently wanders off, or if you each want to do your own thing for a while .
2. Know the signs you’re getting on each other’s nerves and need some alone time.
Alone time can be as simple as heading to a gallery but wandering around separately and agreeing to meet up in an hour. When you meet up again, why not plan to take each other on a tour of your favorite things that you found.
3. Bring other people into the mix.
It’s easy to get sick of one person if you’re travelling together and not spending time with other people. Hanging out with more people can change the dynamic between the two of you, even if you’re still hanging out together.
Try not to hang out with others in a way that makes your travel companion feel like a third wheel or left out. For example, if they’re not big into drinking then don’t go on drunken benders and expect them to be cool with that. Always be respectful of the other person and their comfort. Travelling somewhere unfamiliar induces vulnerability in us and it’s always important to remember this and take care of whoever we’re travelling with, even if we are getting on each other’s nerves.
4. Be open.
Be open to trying things your travelling companion suggests, even if they’re not what you would’ve picked. Virtually the worst type of travelling companion is someone who doesn’t express any of their own preferences and is just negative about the things you suggest. When someone else is coming up with ideas that is a good thing.
5. Pick your travelling companion carefully.
From the outset, try and pick a companion with the same level of travel experience as you, who will be comfortable with you splitting up and doing your own thing from time to time. If less experienced people want to travel with you, that’s cool, but expect you’ll be doing a bit of tour guiding. Your first trip with a novice travelling companion should be for only a few days rather than a long trip.
6. Travel with people for some of the trip rather than the whole time.
Travelling for a few days with folks you meet while travelling can be a lot more fun than travelling with someone from home for the entire trip. It also gives you a ton of flexibility, and can lead to you checking out things you normally wouldn’t. You’re also less likely to get grumpy and impatient with someone you don’t know well than with someone you’re very close to.
Photo: Central Californian Coast