From finding the best travel partner-in-crime to building new friendships on the road, I’ve learned a lot about relationships through my travels.
1. The best way to start a relationship is with candor
There are few things worse than finding out you are in a relationship with someone who is not the person they pretended to be, amiright? …Disagree? Just spend a weekend reading Gone Girl before you come back to speak with me.
Now what does this have to do with travel? Most people I’ve met on the road have been completely open. Is it because the nomadic types are generally candid or that being away from their element opens them up? Who knows. The point is that relationships develop more easily, and in the direction of a better place, when you are honest from the beginning.
2. A bit of mutual interest goes a long way
Perhaps the most beautiful part of travel is not the vast landscapes or colorful locales but discovering human commonalities amongst a sea of cultural differences. These similarities and shared interests become the foundation for learning from each other and appreciating the differences.
3. The same could be said for group bonding
It’s kind of like that “one time, at band camp…” We’ve all had moments like this growing up. Whether it was swim team or band camp, there are certain life experiences that forge a deep and lasting bond between people. They also allow us to instantly bond with strangers who have shared similar experiences.
When I returned from study abroad, my roommate got so sick of me going on and on about it that she set me up on a date with this guy she knew who studied abroad, and to no ones surprise we had plenty to talk about. It’s just one of those experiences. So when I travel and meet people it’s generally in passing but if a connection is made it forms fast and will be there just as long as the memories of that “one time, in Thailand…”
4. When it comes to relationships lasting, it’s all about compromise
While some travel solo, many others travel with groups or a friend. The only way this is sustainable is compromise. I don’t care how much you have in common, sooner or later the time will come to decide whether to take the overnight train or fly, scuba dive or lay on the beach, hit the full moon party or rest at a resort.. And then sometimes agreeing to disagree is the way to go. Don’t be afraid to split up for a little or take turns doing what the other wants.
5. None of this is possible without good communication
You have to be open and honest about what you want. It’s much easier to make plans or compromise if all interest are made clear. Otherwise you could spend precious hours or even days of travel time wasted on indecision.
Have you had similar experiences through travel?