Green Travel: Companions wanted
We are all essentially the same when we get excited about something – we have to share it with everyone we come across. Travel is no exception and pending travel is even more of a sharable event. There comes a though, when you have crossed the line from excited to downright annoying. When does enthusiasm become an over share?
We all have people we like to travel with and travel companions from past trips, if we enjoyed the trip and the company that is, are always at the top of the list when a new trip comes up and you want to share the news with someone. If you had a fantastic roommate on an eco trek across South America, you certainly want to see if that same roommate is interested in joining you on an eco trek across South Africa. Naturally you call that person and do your best to sell them on the idea. Under the best conditions they say yes and you travel together in peace and harmony. But then there are the times tragedy strikes and they cannot join you, despite wanting to. At that point you have two choices, alter your plans to fit their schedule or you look for a new roommate. If you do the former than you travel on in peace and harmony, albeit at a slightly different time than you originally planned. If you do the later, then you begin looking through your address book for a replacement traveling companion. But how do you choose?
There are several considerations that you need to take into account when you begin the search for an ideal travel partner. If you have already had a roommate on a like trip than you know what worked and what didn’t. You also know yourself and your friends. Take into account all the things that you need and be sure to keep your needs in focus, while still being flexible in some regards. Travel is about compromise, but you do not need to bend over backwards to completely accommodate one person without justifiably expecting the same considerations for our needs. Now, with all that in mind, consider the people that you find in your address book. Does anyone meet your criteria? Would anyone be compatible with the type of trip you plan to take? Your friend from college who refuses to do anything, even go to the gym, before she can apply the perfect face of makeup and her hair is perfect might not be the perfect choice for an eco trek through the rainforest, with humidity and limited opportunities to touch up makeup. She would be certainly be fun on a cruise along the rivers of Europe however. Nor would you take your claustrophobic friend spelunking. You get the idea. Once you have taken a critical eye to your contacts, you may have discovered that you know several people who would be perfect as travel companions so you decide to approach them all, making it a group trip. Great, assuming they would all work together too. The last thing you want to do is put together a group of people who have nothing in common except you.
If you discover that there is no one that you know who you would like to travel with, many travel agencies also have a roommate matching program and can pair you with someone who is also interested in participating on the green adventure as well. If nothing else you will have the trip and greenness in common. You might discover that you are more alike than that, but even if you don’t, it isn’t a lifetime together and you can deal with anyone for a short time, right?
It’s the not knowing anyone to travel with situation that often leads to the over sharing of enthusiasm and excitement about a trip. The reason is simple: you are scared to death of who a bunch of strangers are going to match you up with. It is totally normal and those of us who have experienced it totally understand the situation. It’s ok. Never fear. You will more than likely find that the person you are paired with is actually interesting and enough to travel with for a few weeks. By the time you could get bored with hearing about their past travels of their dog show accomplishments the trip will be over and you can forget about Westminster bread codes and point determination rules. If it gets really bad during the trip and you find you can’t deal with the person, tell your guide and accommodations will be made if possible. So never fear.
For those of you who are the victim of the over share, take the time to listen to our friend. What you are hearing is a cry for travel help. Consider the options and if it sounds good, go. You will not only make your friend love you, but you will also certainly have a great time. What can possibly be wrong with that?
Travel green. Pass it on.