group travel

The Banes of Traveling with Others and Why Traveling Alone Can Be a Good Thing – But Only Some of the Time

I have travelled so many different ways. I have travelled with my whole extended family, with one of my teenaged children,

SOMEONE takes the worst ever pictures of me when we travel together. I think he does it to annoy me.

SOMEONE takes the worst ever pictures of me when we travel together. I think he does it to annoy me.

with all of my children, alone with my husband, with large groups of friends, with a small group of friends, with one friend, and with work colleagues. Every single one of those trips was enjoyable in their different ways. And every single one of those trips came with tremendous challenges.

You may live with people day in and day out and feel like you get along quite well generally. At home, you have your routine and each family member has space and time to do their own thing and to have some privacy. Families will do some things together and other things will be done individually. When we get upset with each other we stomp into our rooms, slam our doors, scream into our pillows, and eventually calm down and move on. It works. It’s fine. Put that same family together in very close proximity for two weeks on the same schedule and they are more than likely to exhibit mass suicidal or homicidal tendencies.

Here are some examples of problems I have had while traveling with others:

  • I am having a horrible nightmare that involves flashlights going on and off. I wake up in the middle of the night to find that my hotel room companion cannot sleep and is checking out Facebook on her mobile phone. The light, although emanating from beneath a blanket, is blinding me in my sleep. I ask her to turn it off otherwise I’ll never be able to sleep. She does so reluctantly. At 7:30 in the morning, my normal waking time, I wake up while my traveling companion is in a deep sleep. I turn on my iPad to get the address of the place I want to go visit that morning. I’ll be going alone because my travel companion has decided she needs more sleep. As soon as the iPad light comes on, I am rebuffed. “Nadia! You didn’t like it when I turned my phone on last night! Turn it off!” “That was in the middle of the night, for goodness sake!” I reply. “It doesn’t matter! I’m sleeping now!” she returns. I turn the damn iPad off, shower, dress, and leave in much less time than I normally would have taken. I want out of that room!
  • We fly into our transit airport – known for its great duty free shopping area. According to my calculations, I have at least half an hour for some serious duty free shopping before our next flight. According to my travel buddy’s calculations, we have no time at all and we need to rush to the gate otherwise we won’t catch our flight. This irritates the both of us to no end. “He always needs to get to the airport four whole hours before a flight,” I think. “She’s always shopping!” I’m sure he is thinking. (more…)