Who are we without the relationships and connections we build? Through everyday life, these relationships and connections allow us to live meaningful lives and the same goes for travel!In my last blog post, I discussed how trusting others and using the experiences and advice of others can help us in more ways than we realize. Those others, include our friends and family. These individuals not only accompany us through life, but can join us on our travel adventures.
Whether you travel with your significant other, best friend, friend(s) or family member(s), often when you travel with others you can be focused on making sure they have a ‘good time’ and not focus on your experience together. When I first began traveling with people other than my immediate family, in the back of my mind, I was concerned with, “are they having fun?” rather being present and ensuring that I too am having fun.
I think this applies especially when you first travel with someone you have never travelled with before – you are not only enjoying the life experience together, but you are learning about each other in ways that you might not have in ordinary life. This type of thinking happens all the time in our ordinary lives: “I know I like hiking, but will they?” or “my friend isn’t talking too much, I wonder if they are having a good time?”. Unlike ordinary life, when these types of thoughts enter your mind you know you are ‘stuck’ with that person for the rest of the trip! Ensuring a fun, compatible, and open-minded travel partner, therefore, becomes that much more important.
In essence, travel shines a light on your relationships. It can either strengthen your relationships or show you that maybe this individual is not someone you want to continue to experience life with.
I recently, went on a trip to Montréal, Québec, Canada with my best friend. This was the first time we travelled together somewhere not within an hour’s drive. Just her and I for an extended period of time in a place neither of us were familiar with and nothing to rely on, but ourselves and our Airbnb we booked months in advance (we saved a lot of money by booking so far in advance because a month later they increased their rate by 25%).
At first, we really had to get a sense of each other because we weren’t use to being together 24/7 for 4 days straight (I should note, we live about 1.5 hour drive apart so we don’t get to see each other as often as we would want). Travelling allows you to peak into each other’s lives and learn about each other’s little quirks in a way everyday life might not bring to light.
We had our disagreements at times (who doesn’t) about places to eat or where or what we should do next. Unfortunately, mother nature was not on our side and it rained for most of our trip, but we didn’t let that rain on our parade. Yes, it might have brought us some additional challenges (who likes being wet all day), but along the way we learned to rely on each other in different ways and see the world through each other’s eyes. I think the best part of it all was that we did it together and this was an experience we will be able to look back on together and laugh about. In life, it’s not always sunshine and roses, it can be stressful and quite frankly, life happens! It is these experiences that bring upon us a stronger bond and allows us to weed out relationships that need weeding if needed (not needed here).
Here are some highlights from our trip in Montréal that I highly recommend:
- If you live in Canada and don’t feel like taking a flight to Paris, France check out our own historic Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal – they also have free entry times during service, otherwise it’s $6.00 Canadian per person (well worth it!).
- Near by the Notre-Dame, walk up and down Saint-Paul street, which is the oldest street in Montréal beautifully laid with cobblestone pavement. While here, go into Marché Bonsecours which houses some trendy local boutiques!
- Make a reservation at Modavie – it’s a jazz bar that plays live music every night. It has delicious food and drinks as well as top notch service! It’s also a good value at about $50.00 Canadian (an alcoholic drink, appetizer to share, main, a dessert).
- Enjoy one of Montréal’s many specialties, Montréal bagels at either Fairmount Bagel or St. Viateur Bagel! We went to both just to compare – personally I liked Fairmount bagels better, but you be the judge!
- Climb up the jewel of Montréal’s city parks, Mount Royal to take in the beautiful skyline. Be sure to walk along the escarpment while you are up there.
Travel companionship will forever change your relationship with your travel partner. In my case, I can honestly say, that it has changed my relationship with my best friend for the better (not that it needed it)! Not to mention how we now have irreplaceable memories together, photos, including countless selfies to look back on and isn’t that better than collecting things?
Travel has the power to further diversify through adding dimensions to your relationships and develop it in a way you didn’t think was possible. Like experiences that arise in ordinary daily life that strengthen bonds, travel has tremendous power to strengthen our relationships with others.
While I have focused this post on travel companionship,don’t be afraid to travel alone! Travelling alone can teach you new things about yourself, allow for self-reflection, and force you take the initiative to meet others and gain the most from your travels. You never know what surprise learnings you will take away.
Do you have a travel companion you always travel with or do you have a travel experience you would like to share? Don’t forget to like, comment, and share if you found this post helpful – I post a new blog post every Sunday!
Ciao for now,