Are good travel mates hard to find? They can be, but William D. Chalmers, writing for the Huffington Post, reminds us that good travel mates are also good to find.
Not every person is a desirable travel companion and it’s advised that a good litmus test for the longevity of any love interest is to take a trip together. It may be best to start with baby steps; a weekend away could be just enough time to get a glimpse into the compatibility of travel mates. Longer vacations will, however, give you a better opportunity to observe how you both react to and overcome cultural differences, language barriers, exotic and unusual food, and using a map to orientate yourselves in unfamiliar locations.
This litmus test also applies to friendships. Your best travel mate friend is going to be the person who will share a cheap and cheerful bowl of bún bò with you in a hole-in-the-wall Hanoi eatery, who will travel all night on a crowded bus in order to reach the next destination, who will spend an entire afternoon along the Bosphorus in Istanbul drinking çay, and who will wander through congested markets in search of the perfect photo opportunity.
There are always differences to overcome and adjust to when finding the right travel mate. Are you early birds or night owls? Are you meticulous planners or whimsical wanderers? How will you come to a consensus when you have polar opposite opinions? Can you spend 24 hours a day together or do you need to get away for some ‘me’ time?
Once you’ve found the answers to those questions and more, and you’ve sourced the best travel mate, hold on to that person. You’re going to have great adventures with them in the future.