“Never go on trips with whom you do not love.” — Ernest Hemingway
I love taking trips — the feeling of getting in an unknown land, tempting my taste buds, taking lots of pictures and being in even more, walking aimlessly without the pressure of staying on time, and bunking up in hotel rooms… I look forward to it all. Going to Europe and taking trips once every month has worked wonders for my approach towards life, the people around me, and my inner self. I always wind up making lots of friends in the endeavor, some good, some okay, and some, well, just forgettable.
I have reached to a simple conclusion after all these experiences. Travel with a person and you will learn all about his life in the journey. The bittersweet experiences that you have when you bunk beds, visit monuments, take pictures, eat, and get wasted together make you laud or loath your pals, eventually bringing you closer or drawing you apart.
1. The always-late friend
These ones can’t seem to get ready early in the morning. You are all set to begin the day and do away with the sightseeing as early as possible to have a relaxing evening but then you are met with a sleepy voice over the phone, or someone who is still taking a shower when you are done with your breakfast. Now since you all came in a group together, you can’t seem to leave them to roam off alone. You need to wait, and so do the others!
2. The adventure freak
There is a particular set of friends you have who need to feel an adrenaline rush in all their trips. And you might be a little less daring, but somehow they always drag you in with them. The bungee jumps, the scuba dives, the parasailing, the river rafting, and the scary roller coasters. They don’t spare anyone in the quest for this crazy love of theirs. So much for relaxing.
3. The friend who thinks the world is a shopping mall
These are the friends who look at everything as an excuse to shop. This isn’t limited only to girls but even guys are culprits nowadays. You thought four days was more than enough to see London, but you realize that you were wrong when you see your friend shopping recklessly for two of those four days. Whether it is funny artifacts, junk jewelry, roadside shopping, or branded showrooms, they need to buy it all.
4. The drink-now-while-we’re-still-alive friend
The drink-it-all ones. The ones who are always in trance. Go to a trip with these ones and they start and end their days with drinking. Their alcohol capacity is amazing and you can’t help but notice how you are still on your first drink when they are done with three. They drink beer and not water. They swear by cocktails to cool them down rather than coconut water.
5. The shutter-bugger
Every bird needs to be photographed and every flower needs to be captured. These friends come in all categories. There are some who love the nature so they spend their time photographing the leaves, trees, mountains, wild animals, flowers, and all scenic beauty. Others love the monuments: every church, museum, painting, and road have to be covered. There are some who hate being in photos themselves, but take untold snapshots of friends, small babies, and even strangers. Remember trudging alongside the crazy photography-lovers and waiting impatiently while they finish their job? Ever wondered what they actually do with the thousands and thousands of photos?
6. The “I love being photographed” friend
Any flower, pose, monument, or location is incomplete without them having a picture of themselves taken. They arguably are the hyper-active picture fanatics, and upload every phot to Facebook and Instagram. God save the friend who goes with them and suddenly becomes the photographer, and also the others who just stand and stare at the poses and unending photo sessions.
7. The friend who is hooked on the free WiFi
These are the friends who think their phone is their life. They go to any public place, restaurant, or park and try to see if they can get online. They are more interested in what is happening on the other side of the world than the lovely sights outside. (And they always seem to have achieved a feat when they get free WiFi at public places, restaurants, or airports.
8. The beach animal
They love the water. You can’t keep them away from the beaches or playing beach handball. They love soaking up the sun and prefer summer holidays to the ones that contain history and architecture.They love the feeling of a beer in their hands and watching the sun set or rise from the corners of the sea.
9. The friend who is just looking to hook up
“Let’s go to this place, I hear there are lots of hot girls come here,” is something you usually hear these friends say. Night pubs, beaches, parks are some common stops. These friends love to watch the girls and maybe hit on them too. Whether or not they actually get numbers, a glare, or just plain ignored depends on the friend and the location, but that doesn’t stop them from trying, does it?
10. The money-is-not-to-be-spent friend
The “free” rules friends. Go to a museum and they wouldn’t want to shed a few bucks as it bores them. Eat lunch in a traditional place and they prefer the simple burger at McDonald’s. They skip the drinks at bars and prefer drinking it at the hotel by getting it cheap. No public transport or car rentals for them as they prefer walking. No matter what you do, the money factor crops in and for the sake of not rebuffing the other person, you give in to their whims and fancies.
11. The ones who spend the whole time hating the weather
It rains and they dread it. It doesn’t, they want it to. It is sunny and it’s scorching for them. It is not, and they frown. It is windy and they complain; and if it is not, they say it’s too warm and dry. These friends don’t like any weather when they visit a place. They can’t walk when the sun is up nor when it’s little cold outside. Some people forget that some things like weather can’t be predicted and we need to make the most out of our trips for the time that we are there.
12. The ones who are allergic to maps
The roamers. The ones who don’t remember directions or even the half of it. They are the dreamers. Whether or not they’re bad with maps, they don’t remember the address of your hotels, the name of the airport, or even how to reach a particular place. They are in their own worlds when they go on vacation and are usually heavily dependent on others for directions and planning.
13. Traveling with friends: The forgetful friend
The careless ones. They lose or almost lose everything: tickets, travel passes, passports, visas, cameras, scarves, hats, money, and purses. For them, trips mean forgetting about all of their belongings in random places. They usually are the ones the others don’t entrust any major responsibilities of tickets and bookings. Who knows what would they forget this time?
The wild ones. The senile ones. The quiet ones. The self-conscious ones. The why-did-we-ever-bring-him along one and he-is-a-savior one. Funny though it may seem, we have been one of these traveling companions or have traveled with one of these souls in our lifetime. They make your trips crazy, sober, hilarious, and frugal at times.
That one trip would have seemed so long if your talkative friend did not come with you. Or you would have never tried scuba diving if the crazy one had not probed you. Nor would you have the courage to ask your current girlfriend out if your friend had not urged you to ask for her number. And how would you have managed to save up for the next trip if you had not taken your extra frugal friend with you? Traveling is the essence of life; you grow wiser and yet remain a child when you do so. And these moments become even more lovely with these friends.