Everyone needs a friend that will call and say, ‘Get dressed, we’re going on an adventure’ – unknown author.
For a long time this was my friend Chi Chi (or Chi as I like to affectionately call her) who I have known since childhood growing up in good ol’ Newcastle, England.
With Chi, I have:
- travelled to Cuba – realising that we both could not handle their love of generous rum servings yet delighting in a Limonada Frappa and meeting wonderful characters like Frank from London;
- engorged on giant pizzas and gelato in Rome, while I tried to figure out how to obtain a Vatican passport (Options: 1. Marry one of the Swiss Guards; 2. Become a nun and work in the Vatican, you can see which option was most appealing)
- completed our Pan American adventure from Guatemala down to Costa Rica with her as the Spanish extraordinaire translator on our travels and me as the one who nodded not really understanding what’s going on (I am trying to rectify that with lessons!)
The last time I travelled with Chi was for her hen do in 2014 (or bachelorette party as Americans call it) to Barcelona where we dressed up as Fierce Flamenco ladies and explored all things Gaudí. So as you guessed I lost my travel partner in crime to her lovely husband. I was super happy that my Chi was getting married yet sad that we would not go travelling like we used to. I’m a
bit particular (ok very) about who I go travelling with and there are certain qualities that make the travel experience fun and plain sailing.
I remember saying to her, who will I travel with now? Luckily I met my friend Mo who shares my love of adventure and approaches situations that one may encounter on travels with a level head. We get on so well on travels that we have just entered a travel competition to win a gap year adventure after I finish my studies.
There is a huge plethora of blogs and articles singing the praises of solo travel and yet I have always enjoyed having company. Friends can provide you with so much laughter during those tense travel moments like when I thought our Tuk-tuk had completely broken down in the middle of nowhere dead of the night in Honduras, as Chi and I came back from a thermal springs joint and she calmly says ‘ If my dad was here, he would say the risk assessment of this situation is not favourable.’ I just burst into laughter at her phrasing and my panic just dissolved.
Thanks to great friends like Chi Chi I certainly became more adventurous as I grew up. I recently came back from an adventure packed trip to Romania (check out my Instagram) and had an AHHH-MAZING time! I went with a tour company but I went for the first time without friends EEK! So perhaps now is the time to embrace solo travel more! After all, one advantage of it is that you can do absolutely what you want, when you want!
Here is to more adventures, solo or otherwise!
The 5 to 9 Traveller