here's the thing: as much as i love my own company, and require heavy doses of it to remain sane long-term, i don't like travelling alone. i just don't. i'm not very organised and i barely research or plan ahead, so travelling with someone who is and does those things is ideal for me. it means i can tag along on adventures that have been well thought out, that have been researched, that have been pre-determined, and i can have a great time.. all thanks to someone else.
me being a lazy traveller isn't news. what's news is how other parts of my personality change when i'm travelling with other people. and often, depending on who. last month's trip to bucharest with the girls made that point quite obvious; among a crowd of fiercely independent, strong-willed and bolshy as fuck women, my natural "loud mouth" tendencies were put to the test. for the first time in a long time, i felt myself becoming more aware of how my behaviour affects other people. and because of that, more tolerant of the other strong personalities. and finally, more willing to let others fight to get their way, so i didn't have to. because lazy.
not that there was any fighting, of course, which i'm told is rare. you're warned before you go away with a big group that there will be fighting. that your squad with go away excited and come back destroyed, but thankfully, that couldn't have been further from what happened to us. if anything, we came back stronger, knowing we could happily put up with each other at our worst - and if a 4 am coach to stansted without coffee isn't your worst, then i want whatever medication you're on because that should have been our low point. yet.. it wasn't.
i've been on trips with friends where we've run out of conversation in no time, and left with only the physical topics at hand. look at that weird sculpture. isn't that a nice bridge. shall we try this pub next? that can make for an exhausting and boring trip, and not one worth remembering. i've also been on group trips that have gone utterly tits up because the people in the group aren't totally familiar with each other and there's conflict with the "main friend" - you know, the one that binds everyone together, spending more time with one person than another. in those cases, i'm quite happy to wander off alone and do my own thing, because i can at least then make the most of an awkward situation.
i think that's probably the right amount of "solo travel" for me; breaking away from the group for some alone time, to scout out things that interest me and no-one else, to souvenir shop, to take photos of stupid windows, and to not have to actually talk to anyone. not talking is bliss, isn't it? so when the seven of us arrived in bucharest, yeah, i had my worries. who would be the first to be offended, to huff, to tell someone else off. i needn't have worried though, because each of us is a tried and tested traveller, and we know what we're doing. we know our strengths and weaknesses, and - the most important part, we're totally honest with each other. not keen on doing the thing i'm doing? don't come then. don't want to eat at that restaurant? let's go somewhere else then. not confident that's the right way to the thing we want to see? let's take a chance and if it's not, you win.
maybe it's got something to do with us all having been bloggers too. like, even if we took a wrong turn, there was always something to capture, a wall to be snapped, a dog to play with. travelling with like-minded people just make life easier, don't they? and what's funny with us is that we sort of already knew what each other wanted out of the trip, which made nothing a surprise. like, i would stare at a pretty wall and shout "i need a stride by!" and soon enough someone would be in frame, doing their thing until i had my shot. or we'd order food and sit patiently for katy to snap it from every angle before digging in. or get to a really interesting street and turn to charlie and offer to take photos of her boots for her outfit shots. intuitive. that's the best way to describe it.
i truly thought that this trip would not only test my patience, but test our friendship, but the fact that each of us has come back and immediately started planning the next one is pretty damming. they say your vibe attracts your tribe, but i tend to think it's probably more the other way around for me: my tribe has changed my vibe, and i could not be more pleased about that.. not least of all because all-girl group holidays have just become a lot more enticing to me, and these bangarang girls of mine have just solidified their place in the great hall of friendship fame. lucky them, eh? *wink*
what does your travel vibe say about you?