Qualities of a Travel Buddy

Travel Buddy Spotted

I love my travel buddy and I wouldn't ask for more. We meet several times back then yet we've never really connected. She's a friend of my roommate's friend. Our friendship didn't blossom that fast until we went for a hiking trip. Ever since that great fateful day we've been traveling together non-stop.  We went to different parts of Southeast Asia and managed to get through long flights, three sleeper bus in 3 days and even four hour trips in long boats. Both equipped just with a backpack, a torn map, a cat's curiosity and a friendly smile. Based on my experience it's really hard to find a friend who will be with you physically and emotionally for all the wrong turns, detours and misadventures during a trip. I'm glad the universe has channeled our fate to be in one ray to travel the world hand in hand. 

I have list down a few qualities my travel buddy possess which I'm grateful about and has made traveling an even more memorable experience. Once you find that friend who goes along with your personality and most especially your foolishness, you just hit the jackpot! Keep that friendship alive , you got yourself the best travel companion of all time. Let's go!

1. Patience
The number one quality I adored about my friend is that she is patient. There will be a lot of challenges during the trip most especially if its a backpacking adventure where in you battle against train, bus and ferry schedules. She never loses her cool. Together we kept our heads afloat, we sometimes calm each other when we miss a bus trip or took the wrong turn. But hey! we always tell each other this is what adventure looks like. 

2. Free-Spirited 
A person who smiles in the face of adversity. We might had chosen the wrong guest house, hop on the wrong bus and joined the wrong crowd but she never complains. She's not obsessed with the conventional way of traveling. Instead we practice the art of being patient and at the end the day we both enjoy the moment and made a memorable experience out of it. I like how she goes with the flow of our travels, everything doesn't have to be according to plan and if something comes out of the window just let it be. Sometimes one person is all it takes to make a dull experience turn to an exciting one. 

3. Backpacker Soul
Someone who doesn't need a luxury hotel to feel special, just by being in a different country, experiencing new culture, tradition, exploring gastronomical cuisine and meeting locals brightens up the day. A free-spirited kind of person in every way. She carries her heart around her soul, her things on her back and her eyes see's a different light of the world. 

Wanderlust Seeker
She has the strong desire to see the world, to travel to far away places and see the wonders of traveling with her own eyes. It's not just about counting how many countries you've been to, the stamps on your passport and the updates on your instagram account. There's more to that, it's a deeper connection to someone's soul, to see, to hear and to feel the other side of the globe is the most priceless gift of all. I believe each perosn has this wanderer's soul within in their spirit. The only way to awaken 

4. Explorer Vibe
She loves to wander around. She's not afraid of getting lost. A wrong street, a wrong stop and a wrong place excites her. I've never been so relax to get lost in a country where I've never been to when I'm with her. Even thou she has this relax vibe radiating around her, she is still vigilant with our surroundings. So far we've never got into trouble and we always make it alive going to the airport. 

5. Food Enthusiast
This is something I love about her too. She's willing to explore a variety of weird foods when we travel. It's a crucial part of traveling. They  said the food serve in a country describes the locals characteristics. I love Thai food maybe that explains why it's the Land of Smiles and the people there are friendly. I remembered the smile on face when I had one of those street market Pad Thai in Thailand. In addition, it is the easiest way to get through the locals hearts by being in union with them in the dining hall, in a small market stall or in their restaurant which brings a sense of closeness to one another. 

6. Positive Thinker
Sometimes when you travel you don't get what you want or you get something you don't deserve. For instance booking the wrong tour, meeting a rude guide, having diarrhea, menstrual cramps, no bus timings, no train service and the list of misfortunes goes on and on. As what they said there's always a rainbow after the rain. My friend's enthusiastic behavior towards traveling always brings out the positivity in all aspects of our trip. We might miss a ride  or an activity but plan b will always be better and more interesting. 

7. Problem Solver
We did a trip recently in Bintan, Indonesia and booked for a seaplane flight experience. However due to the bad weather we missed our booked ferry. Instead of complaining for the missed trip, the time and money wasted, together we figured out a way to solve the problem. We ran  to the ticket counter, book the next trip which was also the last one that time and just get it over it. We made it. She continues to amaze me with how she thinks positively, even citing other options if we didn't make on time for the last ferry. 

8. Thrifty
We travel more than 3 times a year. Sometimes we spend too much on a trip but not to the point of being empty handed. I love the fact that we follow the same budget and we try our best to stick to it. We keep it simple by avoiding fancy hotels, overpriced pick-up transfers and private tours. Mostly its the accommodation that plays a significant role in our expenses so we really try our best to find the best one. Looking for a guest house is a difficult task you have to consider the location, the budget and the atmosphere. This is a problem with some people just because you're paying less doesn't mean you deserve a bed full of bugs, no water heater, no breakfast, no air-condition and good service. It all goes down to how good you are with your research. During our travels we don't usually stay in one place, we only get to travel for a few days and we want to make each day count. This really makes research even more harder however, we still want to get our moneys worth at the same time in line with our budget. 

9. Nature Lover
She loves nature more than anything. I adored this about her. Perhaps that how we really became close friends and how our personalities clicked right away. All our trips are focused on hiking, trekking and going to the beach. We prefer water sports , climbing mountains and adrenaline pumping activities. Any kind of activity that makes us feel closer to nature is all we need. Sometimes we break the law of being thrifty, as you can see our target activities are a bit extravagant in some ways yet we always manage to cope up and even saving more for the following months. 

10. Camaraderie 
We watch each others back, literally and figuratively. It's nice to know you have someone whose there for you in times of need may it be: memorizing an address, a code, a street corner, extra toiletries, morning glory teaser, a spare battery, an ice breaker, when you had too much drink or a 7'11 detector. I also realized when you're backpacking and you're walking in a busy station that person's back will be your intimate lover. A sight you don't want to lose at all. Both of you will need to make sure you don't lose each other in the crowd. When traveling you will also be your friends bodyguard not just a travel buddy and a baggage attendant when you take turns during bladder break. 

Traveling is not just about the journey, there will be setbacks along the way and lots of detours which causes arguments but it's not something which can't be fixed with understanding and kindness. I'm proud to say our friendship is based on trust and loyalty. 

We do spend a few bucks in a year but as what they said you're not paying for the ride you're paying for the experience. Great thing my travel buddy shares the same passion I have with traveling. If you've found that special person may the force be with you. If you haven't thou take the time to get to know your friends even more, there should be someone whose willing to put up the fight. 

Have fun and be safe ^__^

Itinerary Reminders:

1. Flight Details
Make sure to write down your booking reference number, be at the airport two hours before your flight and allocate time for your travel to the airport.

2. Accommodation Details
Write down your hotel/motel/resort/bnb booking number. Contact your place to inform them around when you'll be arriving — it really does help.  Also, ask if your accommodation has any discounted activities.  You'd be surprised!

3a. Transportation
List possible times your bus/train/boat arrives and leaves so you don't miss an activity.  Always give yourself an extra 30-45 minutes in case you get lost, get stuck in traffic, or are looking for parking.  Better early than late.  Of utmost importance: check for the last trip and fares!  So you still have time and money to get back.

3b. Car Rentals
Take note of your pick-up address and time allotted.  Our last car rental told us to bring the car back by a certain time with a certain amount of gas.  Allot money for fuel and parking.

4. Budgeting
Set aside a minimum and maximum spending amount for: meals, transportation, entrance fees, activities, souvenirs and emergencies.  3 meals a day + snacks adds up quickly, so keep track!  As well as tips for restaurants and activities.

5. Activities
Call to confirm your booking(s) a day or so beforehand.  Set alarms and/or calendar reminders for things you plan to do (i.e- bungee-jumping, river-rafting, or even city / food tours).

Do you want more adventure?
I have here a list of all the extreme adventures for the past yearsMaybe this year take a look at your bucketlist and make some effort on doing it.

Where am I going next?
My next adventure is to Los Angeles, California and I have here a survival guide on how to go around the city.

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