Monday, August 30, 2010

Riding So-Lo or with a Crew?

Whether it's a day at the beach or a week lost in Paris, there's a basic decision to be made: go it alone or bring a travel-mate. There are positives and negatives to both, enriching or absolutely destructive. Some are very tangible....while others, well, even a year meditating in Tibet may not bring easy enlightenment. Here's a quick break-down of some positives and negatives of both choices - solo or team.

Going the Distance Alone

Positives
  1. You have the chance to enjoy quiet reflection.
  2. You are independent to make your own decisions, choose when and where to go (within legal constraints - let's be good travelers now).
  3. You are empowered in your independence.
  4. You are more flexible to sudden changes in the environment or travel plans, since only one person's situation is changing.
  5. You'll sound cool when you come home and tell your story - that you were able to go it alone.
  6. You have the opportunity to focus on the exact themes of your trip you enjoy (if you want to visit the symphony in every town you visit, no one will argue otherwise).

Negatives

  1. If something emotionally or tragically disastrous happens to you, you don't have back-up to call on. Check out the trailer for the new movie 127 Hours.
  2. Missed opportunity. Without a second, third or fourth mind thinking of tons of opportunities, you may miss chances to try new/exciting things you hadn't considered or researched.
  3. Potentially higher personal financial costs, as you're not sharing on rooms, campsites, group-trips, food or gas.
  4. You'll never get to say "can you believe that?" By nature, humans are a collaborative and sharing society (plenty of arguments, please just go with me here). If you're alone, you can't appreciate and analyze experiences with others.

You +1, +2, +3.....

Positives

  1. You have someone to appreciate the environment with, to comment and analyze.
  2. If an emergency happens, you've got someone to help you.
  3. There are other brains to help you plan and execute, on your trip, to provide more opportunities to explore.
  4. Shared wallets can lower overall costs on sharable items such as gas, housing, food and group events.
  5. If all goes well in the trip, it's a great opportunity to strengthen relationships with friends, family or partners.

Negatives

  1. If your relationship is not strong with the person(s) you travel with, and all does not go well, a group trip can destroy a relationship.
  2. If the disaster is large (not just you getting sick on bad food), the well-being of multiple people is now compromised.
  3. You lose the independence you loved of traveling alone: if you are being fair, group consensus must focus on group desired destinations/events.
  4. Naturally, you become somewhat dependent on your travel partners. Making sure they're ready to go or are accounted for; or conversely, you're always catching up to them.

When it comes down to it, it's really about what you want to get out of your adventure. Peace and independence or collaboration and shared appreciation? The journey is yours to decide....unless you share it :).

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