Traveling with friends is always a little hairy. First off, you’re together constantly which can get old in and of itself. Second, you likely will have different ideas as to what you’ll do on your trip. For my Europe trip (now referred to as Wonderlust 2013), I did some planning and research on Berlin last night. Berlin is so rich in history so the major tourist attractions are memorials and museums. I’m not a big history buff. I have an appreciation for history, but it doesn’t exactly get me giddy. So when listing out possible activities, I didn’t list too many of the history heavy spots that populated the pages of my tour guide. What I do find fascinating, however, is how the wars and history affected the landscape of the city. Streets and squares were demolished during the war and the falling of the Berlin Wall and are still working to get back to their original glory. East and West Berlin have switched personalities completely. It just reminds you that all this extreme violence wasn’t too long ago.
Here’s the thing though. What if someone I am traveling with is a die hard history nerd and wants to see every museum with a gun or flag in it? Instead of a constant struggle throughout the trip that could end with me going crazy in a museum, a friend feeling they wasted their trip or someone’s feelings getting hurt, I think it’s important to establish these kinds of things before we even step on a plane. That way, we can establish expectations now and even plan on splitting up if need be. So I’ve sent all my research to my two travel buddies to get their feedback and to start that conversation of “what do you want to get out of this trip?” Granted, it’s a tricky question. But I think everyone should stick up for what they really want to see (a life of regrets is no fun) but also be flexible. You also shouldn’t ruin the trip by having a bad attitude because you didn’t get to see the one statute you came to see. Instead, be up front about what you want to tour that way you can establish early that you might take a solo mission to accomplish your trip goals.
And then sometimes, you’ll see a photo from Tuula Vintage on Instagram in Prague and message your friend and say “OH MY GOD I HAVE TO SEE THIS BRIDGE OR I’LL DIE” in the overly dramatic way that only she can understand, and then she, in her cool Spain, best friend kind of way, will say “Babes, our hostel is on the bridge. You’re welcome.” Can’t wait to see my best friend in just a short few weeks!