Why Traveling With Strangers Can Be Better Than With Loved OnesMay 21, 2021
Traveling with strangers? It can actually be a better experience than going with the people you love. If you have yet to experience the magic of small-group travel, hang on. As someone who has spent years working and living in group travel, I want to tell you why it's such an adventure.
When you travel with your significant other, you are traveling ‘as a girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife’. That’s part of the deal. If you are traveling with that person then the emotional and psychological dynamic of your relationship comes with you. Bringing the people you are most attached to can prevent you from using your trip as a catalyst for change. The reason being, if that person is along with you, you are within that dynamic and cannot look objectively upon it.
Traveling with your partner can be a beautiful and rewarding experience. It can strengthen and build your relationship in ways you didn’t know possible. My boyfriend and I have spent over 18 months traveling together and grew closer and stronger in our relationship. But, I will say that it was difficult to look objectively at the relationship because we were on this journey ‘together’. I’ve also spent a week with someone who was on one of my trips and she ended up becoming one of my best friends in the world. In that single week we learned so much about each other at our truest essence. Plus, having shared such an exciting adventure brought us instantly close.
Now think of that gut feeling you get when you know it's time to travel. Your feet are itching, you start googling pictures of places, and start to get a hankering to leave. Take this moment to introspect and examine why it is that you want to travel. Every time you travel, there is an underlying motivation: Know yours before you book!
If your motivation for travel is to gain more clarity, recalibrate your life, or move past a difficult chapter you need to do it solo (great), or with a small group (absolute magic). Instead of being the wife, father, best friend, or even adult child, you can come in as just you. You can be anyone. Your baggage is all in your head now, you left it at the doorstep when you left for this trip. The magic of that. The clarity, the lightness it gives you is addictive.
When you are apart from the people that make up your social circle you can take an objective look at the relationships and see if they need some changing! Instead of organizing your day according to how your friends like to travel, you get to be absolutely selfish in creating your day. You can live for you.
One of the reasons I opted to live for travel is because I have the honor of meeting people who are at the precipice of change. I’ve seen it countless times. An event has taken place and someone is looking to retreat from the situation and explore elsewhere.
When you go with a small group, everyone is in the same stage of change or similar situation. The bonding you will feel is expedited beyond measure. People always say ‘this friend I met while traveling’, and that friend is still in their lives. When you bond with someone on a voyage to another place, where you are both stripped of the stresses that we carry in our everyday lives, that connection is indefatigable. That is the magic sauce behind why people who ‘only spent a week together’ can become friends for life.
Making friends as a grown-up is hard. It was made nearly impossible during Covid (unless you tried a few zoom happy hours). Millions of us are feeling off kilter, a little shaken, and in need of good community. Small group travel is the key to develop strong and healthy adult friendships. Your travel crew will know you at your core. They really ‘get’ you.
As we emerge into this new world post-covid, starting off with a ‘bang’ is the way to go. Yes, you do deserve to have a transformative experience! Especially after what you’ve been through (I don’t know what it is, but everyone has something). You are at a precipice this moment. Between who you were before, and who you are after. Figure out who that person is through travel. It is not only the most rewarding and powerful thing for you to do, but it will set you up for community and clarity that you will so need.