Reasons Why Even the Most Irritable, Antisocial, Solo Traveler Should Travel with Other People Every Once in a While
I survived last weekend’s camping trip!
This may not sound all that amazing and death-defying. That is, until I inform you that the camping trip consisted of me and eight other people.
That’s at least eight more people than I usually travel with.
I’m going to be honest, you guys, it wasn’t easy.
Not that the eight people I went with weren’t completely lovely. They are all lovely people. The loveliest. Truly.
The problem was not them at all.
The problem is me.
You see, I am pretty much the worst. I’m cranky and irritable and prone to antisocial behavior and disagreeable thoughts. Especially before noon.
And that, my friends, is the real reason why I travel solo. Not because I’m particularly brave or self-sufficient. But because traveling with other people reminds me of what a horrible human being I truly am.
I’ll be on a group trip and everyone will be chit-chatting happily over breakfast and talking about their plans for the day and asking me what I want to do, and I’ll be thinking “WHY ARE ALL YOU PEOPLE TALKING? DON’T YOU KNOW THAT MORNING TIME IS QUIET TIME?? AND WHY DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT I’M DOING TODAY? MAYBE I’M JUST GOING TO SIT AROUND AND EAT PRINGLES IN MY PAJAMAS AND WATCH NETFLIX. HOW IS THAT ANY OF YOUR BUSINESS? HUH???”
So, yeah, I pretty much suck.
But even a cranky, curmudgeonly jerkhead like myself can enjoy the occasional group trip. As long as I remember to keep the meanie voices in my head and don’t just start screaming ‘SHUT UP! EVERYONE SHUT YOUR STUPID FACES RIGHT NOW!” over the breakfast table.
Reasons Why Even the Most Irritable, Antisocial, Solo Traveler Should Travel With Other People Every Once in a While
1. You won’t have to plan anything. Or decide anything. Or really do anything at all besides show up and follow along.Here’s the super unfun part of solo traveling: you have to do everything for yourself.
You have to decide where you want to go and how you’re going to get there and then where you’ll stay and what you’ll eat once you get there. And then you have to actually, you know, do all the stuff by yourself because nobody else will do it for you.
It can be a lot of work. Especially for a lazy person like myself.
But last weekend I didn’t have to do anything. Not a thing! It was glorious.
My friend and her husband planned the whole trip — from the grocery shopping beforehand to the campsite we stayed at in St. Ignace to the boat trip we took to Mackinac Island. And then everybody else set up camp and cooked all the food and cleaned up afterwards.
Meanwhile, I wandered around the campground and took shadow-selfies on the beach until the food was ready.
Because isn’t that what friendship is all about? Doing absolutely nothing while everyone else works their fingers to the bone?
2. You can ask your friends to take your photo. And then yell at them if they take a bad photo.When I travel by myself, I’m usually too awkward and self conscious to ask a stranger to take my photo.
Plus, don’t you just hate it when you ask some stranger to take your photo, and you can see them angling the camera in a way that you just know is going to catch every single one of your double-chins in all its glory and you want to scream, “DON’T HOLD THE CAMERA THERE, YOU IDIOT! HAVE YOU NEVER TAKEN A PHOTO OF A PERSON BEFORE???”? But you can’t scream at them because, apparently, screaming at strangers who are doing you a favor is not socially acceptable.
So I usually just end up taking lots of selfies. Oddly enough, selfie-taking is not one of those skills that improves with experience. At least not for me.
Instead, I end up with lots of photos like this:
And, of course, this:
But, during this past trip, I was able to get my friends to take my photos. And since they are my friends, I could demand they hold the camera in a certain way and take a billion photos of me until they got a good one.
Because isn’t that what friendship is all about? Bossing your friends around until their fingers cramp from taking too many photos of you?
3. You can force other people to do the things you would never do as a solo traveler.As much as I pride myself on doing lots of things by myself that many people would never dream of doing alone (ummm, hello, male strip show), there are still a few things I would never, ever do by myself.
Usually because these things are way too scary or way too probably-going-to-kill-me.
But when you travel with other people, you can just force them to do all the scary, possibly death-inducing things with you!
For example, when we were on Mackinac Island, I forced my friends to go into a haunted house with me. Which, despite the super cheesy wax statues out front, was pretty much the scariest thing on the planet.
More than once something popped out of the dark and breathed on me. Like, literally, BREATHED ON ME. I am certain I would have died in there if I went in alone.
I also forced my friends to go with me to the Mystery Spot in St. Ignace. Which I’ve been wanting to go to for forever, but I’m not entirely sure I would want to go there alone. Especially since they don’t really tell you what’s in the Mystery Spot (hence the whole “mystery” thing) they just say, “Hey, give us eight dollars and follow us into the woods.”
You guys, I’ve read enough Stephen King novels to know that this is EXACTLY how it all begins. You hand over your money, follow the friendly tour guide into the woods, and then the next thing you know he’s morphed into a demon-alien-goblin with a hook for a hand.
But, since I was able to convince the eight other people on the trip to go with me, I was sure we’d either outnumber the demon-alien-goblins or I’d be able to push one of my smaller friends at the demon-alien-goblin while I ran away.
Because, again, isn’t that what friendship is all about? Being thrown into the clutches of a demon-alien-goblin while your friend gets away?
I told you I’m a horrible human being.What are the reasons why you like to travel with other people?