“You’re NAME is Jennifer Lopez?”

1 Apr

“You’re name is Jennifer Lopez?”

I met J-Lo in my dorm room in Lima, Peru and we ended up traveling together for a while. Now, eight months later and we’re actually still friends. We might even be meeting up in Southeast Asia this summer.

So, when is it a good idea to travel with another person or a group of people?

What should you think about before deciding to travel with other people? How do you say no or how do you get out a bad situation (I’m still working on the answer to that question)?

We were having our first pisco sours (Peru’s national drink!) in the hostel’s bar and the bartender told me about this place where I could go sandboarding. It was four hours from Lima and I only had about 5 days before I had to be at the archaeological dig site I was volunteering at. I decided I would go. J-Lo asked if she could come with me. The obvious answer, without hesitation, was “Of course!”

BUT, I definitely think that it is very important to weigh the pros and cons of traveling with another person or traveling with a group before you say yes because it can be a nightmare.

Are you compatible? Or really, are your personalities compatible? I’m not saying you need to have everything in common, but you have to make sure you won’t get on each others nerves too much.

What kind of schedules do you follow? Are you laid back when you travel? Do you like to follow a strict itinerary? Do you make plans to make plans? This is a good thing to establish before deciding to travel with other people.

Don’t be afraid to say ‘No.’ It’s your time to explore the world and you don’t want people getting in the way of experiences that you might have had otherwise.

…on the other hand, you might have the most amazing experiences with complete strangers.

I loved finding people to travel with. I liked having time on my own too, but I LOVED getting to share my experiences and create memories will other people. And what was so great about it was that these people were from all around the world. I have friends in Belgium, Australia, the U.S., etc, etc. I love feeling connected to so many different places and cultures. I’m not implying that you won’t have great memories and experiences if you don’t have any travel buddies because, regardless, you will meet people everywhere you go. I liked getting to know people over a longer period, but it was also kind of exhilarating to just meet strangers and have a great night and then never see them again.

Another reason why I love having travel buddies is that it almost seems much easier to get along with complete strangers than so many people I know back home.

J-Lo and I at 'The Pub' with locals in Huacachina, Peru!

When you’re going on a trip with another person or more than one other person, make sure you will be able to travel with them. If you’re traveling with a friend or sibling for an entire trip there will be times when you wish you were on your own. If you’re not setting a strict itinerary, then make sure everyone understands that everyone is going to be drawn toward different things. It’s probably a good idea to set some guidelines beforehand so arguments and annoyances can be avoided. Maybe even suggest something like this: If you want to do something different than I do, why don’t we just agree to go our separate ways for the day and meet up for later for dinner? You don’t want to end up resenting your travel partner or your travel group.

Traveling is a time to enjoy the world and soak up all the culture. It shouldn’t be rememberd as a time filled with animosity.

If you want to see some more pictures from Lima click here or the flickr icon on the home page!

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