There will come a point in your life when you’ll have to travel without family or friends.
Traveling itself can be very daunting since you have a number of things to worry about – from figuring out what to pack, to planning your transportation, to sorting out the details of your itinerary.
What more if you’re spending a couple of days with people you don’t know?
While the thought of traveling with a bunch of strangers can make you uncomfortable (maybe even stressful for some), the experience might open up a lot of opportunities.
Making new friends is one. But it’s a lot more than just meeting new people. Traveling with a bunch of strangers teaches you things not just about the world but also about yourself.
Here are five of them.
1. Sometimes, you should just go with the flow.
Being in a travel tour allows you to go with the flow since the activities and places that you’ll be checking out have already been planned by someone else.
Anything can happen during the tour. Even if there’s an activity listed that you don’t want to do, it might be good to just go with the flow.
Doing what you don’t want to do can make you feel good (or bad). Like when our group went to a resort that offered water activities, I was invited to try riding the “bandwagon.” But I wasn’t really in the mood that day.
But instead of just staying in the bus and waiting for these then-strangers to come back, I still went with them and tried it. The result? I didn’t know that riding the bandwagon was fun!
Getting outside your comfort zone allows you to discover new things that you’ll love… or hate. It’s important to always try something new. It opens up a lot of opportunities such as meeting new friends and finding new and exciting places that you didn’t know about. Most importantly, you’ll have no regrets of not trying.
Don’t ever think about riding the nope train. Always go for it!
2. Silence is okay.
Contrary to what others say about being talkative and outgoing during a trip, silence is completely fine. There will be times when everyone else is just not in the mood to talk. In most cases, it’s because everyone is dead tired from hours of being out and about.
If you’re traveling on a bus and just came from a long day of activities, instead of asking people about the things they liked that day, be observant and see whether people are still willing to converse. If yes, then by all means, talk as much as you want. But if not, accept the fact that not everyone is an Energizer Bunny.
Being silent when appropriate means a lesser chance of annoying people. Learn to adapt to the situation and prepare your travel playlist. Look outside the window and enjoy the scenery while listening to your favorite songs. Who knows, after a couple of songs, the person beside may have already recharged his/her batteries and is now willing to talk.
3. But don’t be too silent!
While silence is okay, it doesn’t necessarily mean you always have to listen to your songs. Talking to strangers can quickly turn into something that’s a lot more enjoyable.
One way of getting into long conversations with someone is to think of different topics to talk about. You can always start by introducing yourself and then asking questions about the current situation you both are in. You can ask if it’s her first time traveling alone or if it’s her first time joining a tour. From there, I’m pretty sure the conversation will be long enough that you both feel a bit more comfortable with each other. Attempting this is way better than sitting beside each other for hours without saying a single word.
Once both of you have tried the same activity, ask things about it. You can start asking about how easy/hard was it for her. Then from there, both of you can start sharing your thoughts about the activity or the trip.
By keeping the conversation alive between you and the person, who knows, it’s possible that she’s also passionate about baking, mountain biking, or even something interesting like Fifty Shades of Grey.
4. You get to meet interesting people.
The thing about traveling with friends is that it’s less likely you’ll meet new people. While you might say hi and hello to some strangers, for the most part, you’ll be preoccupied with your friends.
Traveling with people you don’t know gives you the chance not just to meet new friends, but get to know them pretty well. Especially if it’s a very long trip.
Being part of a media tour allowed me to meet a lot of interesting people working for different publishing companies. Some shared the same interests as me, some didn’t. But that’s not a bad thing. I began to like or appreciate things that I would’ve never known if not for the different interests among everyone in our tour.
If not for the experienced surfers that I was with, I wouldn’t have got hooked on water sports. If not for the experienced photographer that I shared my photos with. I wouldn’t have known my photos looked terrible.
Meeting new and interesting people opens opportunities for learning. In my case, I learned to love new things and will forever be grateful to the strangers I met during our tour. If not for them, I would probably be in the mountains, biking instead of planning my weekend trip to La Union to go surfing.
5. You learn the importance of being yourself.
Always remember to be yourself.
If you’re a desk jockey and hardly ever go outside, there’s no need to pretend that you know how to surf or lie that you climbed Mt. Pulag blindfolded.
But please don’t be a jerk to people if you’re really a jerk. 🙂
You can never change who you are. But you can change what you do.
Traveling with strangers will make you a better person since you’ll learn a lot of different and exciting things. It’s time to clock out, pack your things, and travel!
Start your adventure with surfing by booking with Surfista Travels. For trying your first mountain, Trail Adventoursgot your back. For different types of tours, you can get in touch with Travel Factor.