I recently traveled with someone I’ve known for over 40 years. Defining “known” is the key element to this story.
Known in this story means being aware of; mingling with and sharing some past experiences. Known means being part of a circle of friends, albeit on the fringe. It is a superficial “known”, as in entering a room and having someone familiar to talk with.
I thought I could do it. I thought I could travel with this person and we’d have a compatible and comfortable mutual enjoyment of the trip.
I have always been a very adaptable person; easy going and acceptable of most new things. What I discovered about my 62 year old self is that I’m NOT content going with the flow just to get along anymore; I have given myself permission to put myself first. This evolution of self has come with expectations that I didn’t have when I was 21. With expectations come potential disappointment.
My travel companion planned and booked the trip. My travel companion was older than I and physically less mobile. My travel companion looked for the least expensive options in everything(which normally is a good trait but when traveling I prefer to spend a little more to enjoy myself). My travel companion had no passion to explore the beautiful surroundings we had traveled to. I ventured out on my own on a daily basis but still felt tethered to the travel companion I left at poolside. I didn’t have the freedom or control to follow my own itinerary.
I thought I could travel with just about anyone and find a way to enjoy myself. What I found is that I’m too old to compromise. I expect and deserve to give myself the travel experience I want.
I am planning another trip with a different friend that I’ve known for over 40 years; this time we are sharing the planning and shaping of the itinerary. Ever optimistic, I think I can do it.