Nothing is more gratifying than travelling with friends. You each will have a connection together that you will never have with anyone else. It will provide you with a lifelong bond, even if you’re not always in their lives.
There is, however, nothing more heart-breaking than when travel can ruin a friendship. I never expected to lose friends along the way; I expected to make them – and I did. You have to think about it, you will be with these people, most likely, every single day. You will travel on the same planes, buses and trains, go to restaurants and clubs together, and could even end up sleeping in the same room.
Travelling offers so many wonderful moments, which will linger in your memory. However, the nature of adventure is for things to take a surprising turn and you are completely thrown by the whole experience. For me, the one person who I never thought would up and leave the journey was my best friend, and it completely ruined our relationship.
Now, this blog isn’t a dig at my friend in no shape or form. I still love that person and I hope that we can actually be friends when I return. However, he wanted to go home when I wanted to stay. I know what you’re probably thinking: I’m selfish and unforgiving – which is probably true in part.
We planned to travel the world together since the age of 16. It was all we dreamt about. We would go to each other’s houses to plan our bucket list, and would spend hours just talking about how free and independent we would be out in the big wide world.
We made that dream a reality. We got on a plane and we didn’t look back until one of us did. He missed his family. He missed his life. I understood that, but I couldn’t relate to him. I couldn’t go back with him, because I came out here to live the life I wanted to live, the life we dreamed of living together. The same way I couldn’t understand how he wanted to leave, he couldn’t understand why I wanted to stay. Why I didn’t hop on a plane back with him.
The point I’m making is: travelling the world is not what you expected. It is more glorious, confused, beautiful and ugly than you ever could expect. It will fill your heart and can break it at the same time. You won’t return home the same person, whether that’s earlier than you expected, bang on time or well into the future. Just be prepared for every eventuality, because you never know what might happen next.