Companion or Complainer?
Whether to travel with a partner or not
We recently released our Complete Workaway Guidebook which was written for anyone interested in either becoming a host or using workaway.info as a way of travelling and seeing the world. There’s tons of useful information in there and loads of great pictures taken by hosts and Workawayers.
Chapter Nine in the book talks about the merits and pitfalls of having a travel partner. It’s definitely something that requires some serious thought before agreeing to as there are clear benefits but also potential drawbacks depending on the relationship between the travellers.
The book weighs up the pros and cons:
“First time travellers tend to be more apprehensive as they have no idea of what to expect. Probably their biggest fear is to be stranded and alone, a long way from anyone or anything familiar. The solution is simple, isn’t it? Take a friend with you… Think it through carefully, because the wrong choice of companion can easily ruin your trip, and perhaps what had previously been a good relationship too.”
The considerations prior to agreeing to travel with one person are quite intricate so contemplating taking a trip with a few people brings group dynamics into play leading to even more complex relationship questions!
Strength in Numbers versus Possible Missed Opportunities
It’s certainly true that being with others whilst on the move in an unfamiliar place can ease some of the worries and fears that can sometimes arise, but part of travelling for many people is the opportunity to face difficulties and overcome them. By being with someone else and not having to deal with tricky situations by yourself it’s possible that opportunities are missed to learn more or meet new people. These are the type of questions dealt with in this chapter of the book.
Included are a very useful set of questions that can really help when deciding if someone is a suitable travel partner. They take the form of a questionnaire which touches on many compatibility issues including lifestyle choices, budgets and travel philosophies. Being able to discuss delicate matters with a potential companion before embarking on a trip is essential as these sorts of subjects will inevitably arise at some point.
This part of the guidebook is definitely a thought provoking read and asks some essential questions that should be pondered when considering going away with someone else.
There are always good and bad aspects which are touched upon. A well matched travel partner will definitely make a trip easier, with the potential for money saving by sharing certain costs and having someone to rely on. They will also know when to make themselves scarce so that you both have time alone to enjoy the benefits of that type of travel.
Workaway understands the attraction of travelling with a partner and offers a ‘couple’ profile to volunteers who always travel together. There are many examples of people with varying skillsets such as for example an IT expert travelling with a gardener or builder on a tour with someone good with children. Often these sorts of couples will find it easy to discover suitable hosts, there’s many cases where hosts are looking for more than one type of person or help.
The chapter concludes that it’s always worth considering the options before leaving to go away and of course reminding us that just because you set out on your own doesn’t mean that you will not meet people along the way that can provide companionship and new friendships.