PICTURE this: You make travel plans with your close mates, and you are very sure that you will have the time of your life. However, when you finally get to the destination, all you want to do is strangle each other by the necks. A friend recently ranted about how her trip turned out to be a big flop. This was because her travel partner dominated the entire holiday, thus causing her plans to backfire and not able to do what she wanted during the trip. It immediately brought me back to my own experience. This was the trip where I returned home with a less-than-great friendship than I started out with.
There are tonnes of articles talking about how travelling can improve relationships, but personal experiences has taught me that choices of travel buddies and/or poor planning can also be detrimental to relationships.
The closest friends may have a lot in common and get along very well. However, when you put them in a foreign country, each will have a different agenda in mind: one wants to go shopping, another wants to go on a local food binge while others may just want to do simple sightseeing.
Travelling with an incompatible companion can be a nerve-wracking experience for your holiday and friendship. On many occasions, these things happen because of lack of communication. Our reluctance to voice out anything negative to our travel companion/s may cost us our enjoyment of the trip. If you don't say anything, they will assume that you are having fun, just as they are.
Travelling partners are just like your relationship partners. You have to be able to communicate with each other, good or bad issues, if you are going to have a good time abroad. That way, you calmly talk to each other if any problems arise during the trip (instead of wishing you had never gone on the trip with them, and return home with bad feelings about them).
It's a Bruneian habit to leave things to the last minute, but in this case, it's best to do some early homework before you hop on the plane. You don't want to be left with nothing to do, or not getting to do what you want, especially when you have limited time to explore a new country.
The best and "obvious" solution is to make a thorough plan of your trip before you leave. Planning is not "work", it is just as fun as you decide what activities to do as you anticipate your trip. Sit down with your travel buddies and make a day-by-day itinerary. People make common mistakes when they just vaguely say where they want to go but do not set a time when to do them. (Been there and done that, it was not a good experience at all).
Do some research on what activities can be done at your destination and compromise with your partners to make sure each of you get to do what you want. If you don't say anything, it's unlikely your travel partners will know you are not having a good time with them. Not only will you understand each other better, you will also be exposed to a new world that you never knew you enjoyed. (And that's how I discovered my love for diving). The Brunei Times
Sunday, April 8, 2012
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