The perfect travel buddy is like a piece of cake – he/she brings you joy.
The perfect travel buddy is like a cup of coffee – he understands and gives you a boost when you need it.
The perfect travel buddy is like chocolate – he is faithful and doesn’t abandon you for other travel buddies.
The perfect travel buddy is like a dog. He/she loves you, he gets you, he doesn’t leave you for other bitches who keep mixing up “lose” and “loose” — because they are pets and can’t talk (laughs nervously).
The perfect travel buddy is like Edward Cullen. He can read your mind and knows exactly what you want to do.
I know I’ve taken this too far. Not everybody can be like Samwise Gangee. My point is that there is no such thing as a perfect travel buddy, just like there’s no Prince Charming or Anakin Skywalker – hey, each to their own.
It may be convenient to find someone that matches you somehow, whether they like the same activities you like or the same food or have the same sense of humour; however, by the end of the day, when you are not travelling solo what you are really after is companionship. You want someone you can share new experiences with, savor new flavours and discover new places. Therefore, when you are looking for a travel buddy, what you are really after is a friend with similar travel goals as you. I mean, I don’t care how good friends we are; if you make me go shopping for 5 hours in our only day in Rome, I’ll tell you I’m going to buy cigarettes and only when it hits you that I don’t smoke, then you’ll know I have abandoned you and gone to the Colosseum without you. Oh yes, I did!
Each person has their own way to experience a new place and all of your friends are different from each other somehow. Far from this being a disadvantage, take it as a gift from the universe. Every friend I have travelled with is different from the other, and the beauty of it is that diversity is makes each trip extra special.
I was lucky to travel with Janneke whom I’m crazily linked to. Sometimes it was creepy. We had identical cravings, looked forward to the same activities, shared the same sense of humour and so on. This connexion didn’t just allow us to telepathically make fun of others (who rightfully deserve it), but to enjoy our extensive travels to the fullest since we always did what we both like. Whether we were hiking, whitewater rafting, watching a comedy show while eating ice cream, dipping chocolate bars in hot ginger and lemon tea or playing a drinking game and socialising, we always had a blast because we both felt like doing the same, got along really well and enjoyed each others’ company.
Then there is Lenka. This girl is so much fun to be with, she can make going to the grocery store look like a trip to Disneyworld with no seat belts on. Whether she is re-enacting the drunk version of Singing in The Rain or pulling some batshit insane stunt on the edge of a cliff, this crazy daredevil and I always kill it together. Her outgoing adventurous personality allows me to push my boundaries and defy my luck along with her while rolling on the floor laughing.
I also get along really well with Dido and Laura, although they can be confusing sometimes since one of them likes red wine and the other likes white, thus poor Claudia always ends up drinking both to make them happy – and those aren’t happy mornings, my friend.
Dido’s sense of humour may bring me to tears or cause me choke on muesli day in and day out, but simple times with her tend to turn into valuable moments that make me appreciate I’m alive, possibly because I had just survived the tears and the choking. It doesn’t take much for us to have a day to remember. We could just be having drinks somewhere or walking around in the park, I’ve always treasured the times I’ve spent with this girl.
And don’t get me started on Ilze. This charismatic Latvian girl sees the world like a fairy tale, but the best of all is that she will let you borrow her goggles. That’s her one true gift: she brings magic along with her wherever she goes. Whenever I travel with Ilze, I feel like I’m caught up in some sort of story created by the brothers Grimm. She took me to the most psychedelic parties dressed up as a fairy and me as Superman, encouraged me to scare some people at a cemetery, went with me to The Killers’ show, took me backstage on another show and created 21 please-kill-me dares for my birthday, just so I’d be embarrassed to get older for the wrong reasons.
So who is the perfect travel buddy? There’s no such thing. All you need is a friend with whom you can have a good time. Although my friends are very different from each other, we always have fun together. Each and everyone of them brings out a different aspect of my personality, allowing me to discover something new about myself and make every escapade unique.
Take Tom, for instance. He is the ideal travel buddy, but that doesn’t mean he is indeed perfect. Far from that, he tags me in stupid memes and doesn’t think my Star Trek jokes are funny. This may lead to us sounding like 5 year-olds calling each other names. However, by the end of the day, our friendship is unconditional. But if he tags someone else on a meme, that’s it, we are over! Roger that, Tom? Roger that?