Shortly after finishing college back in 2016 my old roommate Menos Hiras and myself embarked on a 3 month trip through South and Central America. At that time another one of my friends wanted me to go with him to Asia, but the truth is that I just felt I would get on better on the road with Menos than I would with my other friend. This turned out to be a smart decision and Menos and I had an amazing time on the road. Picking a travel buddy has to be done carefully and the difference between getting this right or wrong can be the difference in having an epic time away, and a not so epic time away. Here is what you should be looking for in a travel companion.
There are times on the road when things can a little too much and this can put you a bad mood, or an erratic mood. This happened to me when we were overloading from Honduras to Nicaragua, and 18 hour bus ride which would test the patience of the Dalai Lama. I was getting really worked up and yet Menos was super cool and calm, and he gave me the space to have my little meltdown in peace, before resuming the trip with a better frame of mind. I did the same for Menos and it is clear that having patience is a real virtue which you need when traveling.
Things go wrong on a trip like this, they always do and whether it is a missed flight, a late train, incorrect travel arrangements or a mixed up date, there are times when you need to take things on the chin. Menos has a really pragmatic way about him, as do I , and that meant that whenever anything went wrong on the trip we would take stock, stay calm and fix the situation. The last thing you need is a hothead is going to go crazy wherever there is a fork in the road.
Laughter and good times are part and parcel of a long trip and that is just what you need from your companion. You need someone who has a similar sense of humor to you and most importantly you need someone who is able to laugh when things have gone very wrong, it is the only way that you can get through it.
There were loads of occasions on the road when I wanted to do something and Menos wished to do something different. In this situation you need someone who is going to sacrifice their thing and do yours, or someone who is willing to be a grown up and just say’ I’ll go here, you go there, catch up later’. The last thing you want is someone who cannot be independent.
Pick your travel partner well because it really does have a massive impact on your trip in general.