Travelling solo or with a buddy?

Every time I plan a trip I have the same conundrum, should I travel alone or should I look for a travel buddy.  Travelling in the manner that I do, is such a thrill, that I would like to share the experience.  They say travel makes us more interesting, I’m not sure if this is the case, but I believe it develops us, it exposes us to different cultures, people, food and values.  And thus, it helps us become more tolerant and accepting of others.

But it’s not always quite that simple.  How many people could cope with the unknown, unplanned, haphazard approach in which I meander across Europe.  I only book ferry crossings, I go where the open road and my fancy takes me.  I usually don’t know where I am going, until I arrive and then I seldom know what I will be presented with, be it a Traveller’s camp, a dodgy looking car park, or a campsite that resembles the set of a horror B-movie.

I have to conserve my resources, don’t always know when I can fill up with water, or empty the  grey and black waste water (I’ll let you work out what those are).  Batteries on my devices are always a struggle to keep charged. I walk for hours, looking to exploit every opportunity to take in every sight, every sound, every smell.  I’m forever searching for my next “WOW” moment, I only eat when I’m hungry, or stop when I’m tired.  I don’t want to sit on a beach or by a pool for two weeks, there’s nothing wrong with that.  But I like to experience new things and a pool or beach holiday is not conducive to this.

Could I travel with someone that couldn’t keep pace, didn’t have the same approach to travel, didn’t want to embrace the local culture or attempt to speak the language?  I don’t think so, and this is the conclusion I reach every time.  I don’t mind my trips venturing into the unknown, but not knowing how a travel buddy may react to my approach to travel, that’s usually too much of a risk for me.

Does this mean my tolerance and acceptance of people only extends to those that I don’t have to share a small space with?  Maybe it’s time to put this theory to the test…

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