My experience of travel has mostly been through TEFL, and my god do you meet a variety of characters doing that. You think, ‘These people are allowed to teach?!’ and sometimes, ‘Why are they taking everything so seriously?’ or the total opposite. Simply backpacking throws in weird and wonderful people, too. That’s part of the reason you pick it. But through travelling, you embrace people’s differences rather than judging them for it! Here are 3 friends you’re bound to make during your travels.
Friend #1 is the Bear Grylls, and you’re the Barack Obama. They’re up at the crack of dawn, ready to seize the day with their pre-packed rucksack, reusable water bottle, and sensible walking shoes. You’re in awe, but you’re also exhausted after spending the day with them. You want to hit snooze, but they want to hit the mountains. They’d rather spend a spare 10 minutes listening to a homeless family’s heart-breaking story, whereas you’d spend that time Instagramming that REALLY cool photo of a boat on a lake you took yesterday. But they bring out the best of you, and you experience things you wouldn’t have considered before. You replace your comfortable routine for an alternative one, and you can only reap the benefits.
Friend #2 teaches you not to be judgemental. Through travelling, you meet people that might not necessarily be deemed as ‘cool’ in reality, and they might ‘stand out’ in how they dress or act, or are a little older, but really they’re incredibly interesting and you have a great time with them. The great thing about travelling is that it throws you together with people you’d never meet back home, or even choose to spend your spare time with, yet there you are with 10 other people playing new drinking games, hearing fresh stories, and listening to different music. Or perhaps you’re trying to hail a taxi with them or simply find somewhere to eat in an unfamiliar place. I learnt that appearance isn’t the be all and end all, both physically and on social media. You can hold real conversations with them, and really you get along pretty well, so that’s the most vital and significant thing of all.
Friend #3 is who I like to call the where have you been all my life? friend. No sooner have you met them, you’ve been dubbed the Troublesome Duo and become almost like Siamese twins. At the end of the night out, she’s trying to open the lock as you’re attempting to crawl through the barely-open door of the hostel that’s closed for the evening and you’re both in hysterics whilst doing so. They’re who you share your deepest darkest secrets with, from not shaving your legs for three months to perhaps not really enjoying the city you’re in at the time. They’re who you indulge in your guilty pleasures with, such as skipping a temple trip to go shopping instead. There are others you get on with and have a great time with, but Friend #3 is that friend where when you meet up, you simply pick up where you left off last time.