Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Monday, March 26, 2012

Travel Buddies

As of 3 am this morning, I’m back on the road. I’m en route to Eureka, California (which by the way takes me as long as it did to get to Rome!). It feels a little lonely after having had my cousin along for company last week. When I travel for work I pretty much always travel by myself. For business that’s good because everything is faster and I can get a lot of work done. When I travel for pleasure though, I want company! But I’ve learned that you must pick your travel companions wisely. Just because you like to spend time with someone for an hour or two once in awhile doesn’t mean that you’ll like to spent 24-7 with them for a week! On this most recent trip to Rome, I took my little (little age wise in that she’s 10 years younger, but not little height wise) cousin Lindsay. It’s always risky traveling with someone new, but I was really happy with how well it worked out. It got me thinking about what makes a good travel companion. Here is what is the most important to me.
My favorite travel buddy of all time- my Mom.
-Similar sleeping habits. For me this means they won’t mind going to bed at 10, they will appreciate getting a solid 8-9 hours of sleep, and can get up and out of bed quickly in the morning without me nagging. For this reason alone I can’t travel with my brother. He drives me nuts by keeping me up all night and I drive him nuts trying to get him up in the morning (and really he still considers 2 pm the “morning.”

-Likes to be active. You don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to work-out with me, but you can’t mind that I always will. You do however have to like walking. It is always better to explore on foot than in a vehicle. Bonus points for wanting to try other active adventures like biking, kayaking, or going into the bouncy house at a carnival. 

Friends who want to do a bike ride through the redwoods in Northern California even though it's freezing rain are awesome travel buddies!
You must be willing to try strange alcohol and food.
 -Be an adventurous eater and be fairly obsessed with food. I firmly believe in the “When in Rome,” principle. When I’m in Rome I want to eat what they eat in Rome, not what I could eat at home. Thus I shun all forms of American fast food (well I totally do that at home too, but anyway…). This doesn’t mean we always have to eat exactly the same thing, but just that you should be open to new things. Lindsay is a vegan, so I missed having a cheese eating buddy, but she did get into the spirit of Italian coffee, gelato (the non-dairy fruit flavors), and wonderful vegetable preparations.  Be willing to take the risk of eating something from a street vendor, help me steal as many nutella packets as possible from the continental breakfast, and be willing to splurge on an awesome, expensive meal every once in awhile.

 -Willing to explore the obscure but also be totally cheesy. The anthropologist in me likes to go beyond the surface level tourist stuff and see the real culture. But sometimes I like to be a total cheeseball and do the tacky tourist stuff too.
In Seattle? Yep you have to pose in front of the fish at the market!

-Adaptable, responsible, and fun. When I’m on vacation I don’t want to have to take care of someone else. I like knowing I can fully trust the person I’m with to take care of themselves and some of the travel plans and arrangements. And when travelling, something will inevitably go wrong. You’ve got to be able to keep a sense of humor and roll with the punches. I totally know that I will have my bitchy moments, so I need someone who can tell me to shut up and get over it and then get over it themselves.

Who do you like to travel with and why?

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