As soon as you jump in the bus, train or plane to your next destination, it’s the end of one chapter and the beginning of another in your ‘Book of Adventures’. It’s always a surprise what you’re going to see next and who you’re going to meet.
It’s difficult to explain my friends and family what it’s like to make new friendships while traveling. I traveled by myself but I was hardly alone, a thing that some people don’t understand. Off course I don’t call everyone I met my friend. But some new friends will always have a special place in my heart. Even though I don’t see or speak to them that often, I care about them in an exceeding way. A way that’s difficult to explain and a way that I didn’t know before. I’m trying to figure out why I care so much about these new friends. And why these people are so important to me. Here are my thoughts:
1. You’re open to new contacts
It all starts with the open minded attitude. You’re a solo traveler but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to share. You agree that an experience is more special when you can share it with someone. Every traveler knows that, and is open for new relationships. Because of that, it’s very easy to connect with strangers. You’re all in this new exciting environment and you all want to share that experience. Even if you already have a travel buddy for a while, sometimes you need a new energy to learn from. It’s nice to meet people you otherwise would never meet, and they can teach you things you otherwise wouldn’t learn.
2. You share special moments
From the most beautiful sunrise to the horrible 20 hour bus drive. From a gorgeous waterfall to food poisoning. From late night skinny dipping to crashing with your motorbike. You’re in this rollercoaster of new experiences and you share it all. You share the best moments but also the worst moments and that creates a bond. When you’re sick and lying in your dorm bed and you wish you were back home, there’s this person who will get you some water and bring you some food. You’ll appreciate it so much and you’ll love that person forever. And only that person you shared that beautiful sunrise with, will understand your enthousiasm and your emotions when you reminisce. Because that person was there, with you.
3. You share a lot of time together
You and your travel buddy can spend weeks or even months together and be with each other 24 hours a day. You share rooms, drinks and food. You sleep together and travel together. In this (short) period you spend a lot of time with that person and you get to know eacht other very well. Back at home it takes a while until you call someone your friend. While traveling, it goes way faster.
4. You share your story easier
Since your new friend doesn’t know anything about the you back home, it’s easier to share your feelings and ideas about things in your life. It is refreshing to have a new look at the things that are going on. A fresh look instead of the already formed perspective of the people back home. Listening to the ideas of your new friend, gives you the opportunity to get to know your new friend even better. When you share stories with each other, it’ll create a special bond. A bond of trust and friendship.
So I think that the friends I made while traveling are that special because friendship isn’t about how long you’ve known each other. It’s about quality time and about sharing. Sharing experiences, moments, thoughts and feelings.