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I was born with an inherent sense of wanderlust. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the ocean from the backseat of my parents’ 1989 Chevy Cavalier. My sister and I had been screaming at and kicking each other in the backseat for the past five hours, when all of the sudden my dad said, “Look over there…it’s the ocean!” As we rounded the corner of the curvy seaside road in Maine, I remember putting my hands on the glass and gazing at the sheer size of the Atlantic. From that moment on, I knew that no matter where my life took me, I would see the world someday. I was five years old.
As we rounded the corner of the curvy seaside road in Maine, I remember putting my hands on the glass and gazing at the sheer size of the Atlantic. From that moment on, I knew that no matter where my life took me, I would see the world someday. I was five years old.
My family returned to Maine almost every summer after that, only enriching my desire to travel. Eventually, my parents took us south to Walt Disney World. We drove the entire way because my mom is terrified to fly. I was fine with it because I got to go through new states that I’d never been to before. With every state we’d stop
With every state we’d stop at, I would get one of those little gift shop snow globes with the name of the state we were in inside of it. By my 18th birthday, I had seen most of the eastern seaboard. I felt well on my way to my dream of seeing the world.
Then, the summer before I started college my very best friend in the entire world asked me if I wanted to go to San Francisco, California with her and her parents the day after my high school graduation. I jumped at the chance and that trip was one of the best weeks of my life.
Years later, I would again go on vacation with her and her parents back to California, but this time to Los Angeles. Hollywood was one of my top five dream trips because I’m an avid movie buff. That trip would reaffirm my belief that everyone should travel with their best friend at least once in their lifetime. Here’s why:
1 – Nobody knows you like your best friend.
My best friend and I have known each other since she was five and I was seven years old. We’re both in our 30’s now, so we’ve been friends a long time. When other friendships in my life have come and gone, we’ve stuck by each other.
She knows me, what I like, what I don’t like, my personality and what I’m comfortable with, and I know the same things about her. When you have that level of comfort with your travel companion, it makes it easier to plan trips and activities you know the other will enjoy.
For example, when we went to L.A., my best friend and her parents went out of their way to take me to the filming site for Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s high school (because I’m a diehard fan) and it was one of the absolute best things ever! She knew how much that would mean to me.
2 – Friends won’t drive you crazy like your family does on vacations.
Now, I love my family. They mean the world to me. But, we’ve all been on those family vacations where everyone wants to do something different and it all ends up in a big dramatic explosion where one sibling vows never to speak to the other again or the parents are yelling at one another over absolutely nothing. It’s a level of insanity that only comes with family.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Friends are the family you choose for yourself?” Well, there’s a reason for that. Typically, we don’t fight with our friends quite as much as we do our family. Like-minded people tend to gravitate towards each other and form friendships over their similarities. People that share interests and ideas tend to get along better. This is an amazing thing when you are not in your home zip code anymore!
3 – Your time together is limited.
After I got married and had kids I saw my best friend less than I used to. We still get together, but not quite as much. That is why I’m so glad we took that first trip to California before our lives got too hectic.
The second trip, was actually after I was married and had my first kid. I was very fortunate to be able to go on that trip. We were kids the first time we went, carefree and innocent. The San Francisco trip had a sense of coming of age to it for both of us. We wanted nothing more than to be adults during that time. Whereas the L.A. trip was more about the freedom we both had that week to be carefree again. It was the opposite of the previous trip because this time around we were like kids again.
The point is if you ever get the chance to take a trip together of any length take it! That trip together is something you’ll always have to look back on and appreciate during the times when you either don’t see one another for long stretches of time or you just miss them.
4 – You will learn new things about each other.
My bestie and I had spent many nights having sleepovers at each other’s houses over the years, but to spend an uninterrupted week together was new to us. I learned some new things about her during our trips together.
For instance, she prefers window seats on the plane over any others. She also hates the smell of coffee brewing in the morning. Just little things about each other we had never encountered before – nothing bad, just different. Because we all know that when you go on vacation with someone, it is a lot like living with them in a tiny apartment (hotel room) for days at a time. It is a good way to find out if someone will drive you nuts (see number 2).
5 – The adventures you will go on will make for the best stories when you get back home.
Every friendship has inside jokes that are only relevant in the minds of the two friends. My best friend and I have a hundred of these. That’s what 20+ years of friendship will get you! However, some of my favorite memories were made on the trips we’ve taken together.
Whether it was chasing a hot guy around our resort as kids or doing all of the touristy things you can do on the streets of Hollywood together, they were ours to carry. Nobody else was there for them but her and I. The memories that we made on our travels together will always be something that strengthens our bond even more.
When you get the chance to travel with your best friend you will have a fun time. Some things may not go as planned, but that will be part of the story you will tell when you are both back home. No matter what you will have your buddy there to share in the tale – no matter where the road may take you.
Best friends really do make the best travel companions. If you get the chance to go on any trip, even for a staycation with your best friend, take it. You will not regret it one bit!