(This arti­cle may or may not con­tain affil­i­ate links. What does that mean?)

 

I am an unusu­al trav­el­er. I go where my soul tells me and to places that I want to explore.  The oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­cov­er a new city, area or nature with­in our world fills me up to the brim of my existence.

l do my best to plan ahead, but I trav­el with­out any expec­ta­tions or wor­ries of the out­come of those plans and I try to allow the trip to unfold the way it’s fat­ed.  Right now, I find myself alone, writ­ing on a plane, tak­ing my first trip to Port­land, Ore­gon.  I was sup­posed to have my close friend and busi­ness part­ner with me, but, she came down with the flu. Now, I have an emp­ty seat next to me and I am “going it alone”. What? Trav­el­ing for plea­sure by myself??? Yes. I have done it before and I am sure I will do it again.

 

 

Standing in an archway in Cusco, Peru
Cus­co, Peru

 

 

Trav­el­ing alone is quite a dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ence. Some­times, it is like attend­ing a silent retreat with no one to talk to but your­self, but I am look­ing for­ward to spend­ing time com­muning with the trees, sit­ting by the riv­er, tast­ing the local faire, con­nect­ing with local peo­ple and being free to do what­ev­er makes me hap­py. I admit, trav­el­ing alone isn’t my first choice, but some­times, it’s exact­ly what I need.

 

 

Mexico - fun in the sun!
Mex­i­co — fun in the sun!

 

 

How­ev­er, I know I enjoy trav­el­ing with my girl­friends more and here is why… there is noth­ing like the kin­ship and sis­ter­hood of close female friends.

 

 

Looking onto the Canary Islands, Spain
Look­ing onto the Canary Islands, Spain

 

 

Cur­rent­ly, I am a sin­gle women. I have been ami­ca­bly divorced for almost nine years. My ex-hus­band is still a close friend. I was mar­ried for 23 years and have three won­der­ful adult sons, and today, I love my life as it is. I have wit­nessed, through my trav­els, my inner trans­for­ma­tion and I cher­ish the places I’ve vis­it­ed and the peo­ple I’ve met around the globe.

Trav­el­ing with oth­er women has been a won­der­ful and mean­ing­ful expe­ri­ence for me.  As I see it, shar­ing time and space with some­one I don’t nor­mal­ly live with on a dai­ly basis can become either a chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tion or an incred­i­bly bliss­ful expe­ri­ence!! I’ve real­ized, though, the out­come depends on my atti­tude as well as the expec­ta­tions I place on the trip and the per­son I’m trav­el­ing with.

 

 

Here are seven tips to make traveling with a friend the most enjoyable:

  1. Accept that you are dif­fer­ent. Under­stand that you will not be eat­ing the same foods, using the bath­room in the same way, or wak­ing up and going to sleep at exact­ly the same time. Know that the oth­er per­son may have quirks and you may have some of your own but accept­ing that makes every­thing a lot easier.
  2. Be con­sid­er­ate of the oth­er per­son­’s needs to see sites and par­tic­i­pate in activ­i­ties the way they are com­fort­able. Split up, if nec­es­sary, so you can both do what you desire. If you want to take a hike and she wants to spa for the day, allow it to be just that. It’s okay to not be togeth­er every minute of the trip or vacation.
  3. Laugh!! Laugh at your­self, laugh at the cir­cum­stances and make the best of what hap­pens!  Lost your lug­gage for a cou­ple of days?  Find a bet­ter way to make your wardrobe work.  Have fun shop­ping, share clothes, and go skin­ny dip­ping when your bathing suit is gone!! (just kidding….well, maybe not… just do it!)
  4. Make some rules and bound­aries with spend­ing mon­ey before trav­el­ing togeth­er. Estab­lish who is pay­ing for what items or activ­i­ties. Are you split­ting every­thing or is one per­son being kind and sup­port­ing the oth­er per­son who may not be able to afford the trip? Either way, make sure you have a clear under­stand­ing of how mon­ey will be handled.
  5. Appre­ci­ate each oth­er. Appre­ci­ate what you are able to see and what you are for­tu­nate enough to do. Appre­ci­a­tion and grat­i­tude goes a long way in any rela­tion­ship, but espe­cial­ly when you are trav­el­ing together.
  6. If there are any issues…COMMUNICATE!! Be open to dia­logue and under­stand­ing. Lis­ten to each oth­er’s point of view and try to come to an agree­ment that helps both of you remain hap­py for the remain­der of the trip. Do not exer­cise the silent treat­ment or become pas­sive aggres­sive. It will only make the time unbear­able and uncom­fort­able for you both.
  7. Be open to pos­si­bil­i­ties!!! For any trav­el­er, with a part­ner, alone or with your fam­i­ly, you nev­er know what can hap­pen and there is MAGIC to be found — some­times in the mun­dane and often when you least expect it!!

Last small piece of advice: explore with your heart, not just your mind.  As the say­ing goes, “the world is your oys­ter”.  There is so much to see and amaz­ing human beings to inter­act with.  Be the light wher­ev­er you may be in the world and you will learn, grow and wonder.

Although trav­el­ing with girl­friends is won­der­ful, some­times it’s nice to get com­plete­ly away and explore solo. Here are some great tips for women trav­el­ing solo.