An open letter to my travel companions

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Montmartre – Travelling through Europe photo by Paul D’Ambra

There are some things you need to know before you decide to takeoff with me. If you’ve been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to travel with me, you’ll know that it’s rarely a smooth journey, but always a worthwhile one. So, to all those who dare to travel with me in the future, this letter is for you.

*****

Dear Travel Buddy,

We need to talk. We’re leaving this comfortable place, and venturing into the unknown. I cannot predict the future, but I do know myself. So, here is a list of things you should know about me.

1. I need alone time.

This is an introvert thing — I need time to recharge my batteries. I’ll need at least an hour a day to reflect on my surroundings. If I seem to be sitting out on the balcony for a long time, don’t worry — I’m not going to jump. If I wander off in a museum, don’t worry — I will return. I just need a little ‘me’ time.

2. If something doesn’t seem right, I will speak up.

Did you know that in Port Angeles the taxis not only charge by the mileage, but also by the person? Yes, it surprised me too, and I told the taxi driver that I thought it was weird. Nothing changed — we still had to pay more, but at least he knew that I thought it was funny business.  So, if something seems off, I’ll let you know.

3. If I’ve had less than seven hours of sleep, don’t expect to have an intelligent conversation with me the next day.

I love my sleep and if I’m short on it, you’ll know it. I’ll be in a haze, and a little cranky. It’ll take me even longer than usual to make a decision.  However, if you can put up with that, and make some wise executive decisions, I’ll spend a few nights dancing until the morning.

4. I like a good deal.

Most of my traveling (and living) has been in Asia, so it’s no surprise that I like a good bargain. I’m prepared to haggle and walk away empty-handed if I feel the deal isn’t fair. If we’re in a situation where bargaining is prohibited, I’ll be disappointed, and go for the cheapest option. (Man, I sound cheap! On occasion, I have been known to splurge and indulge.)

5. I am patient, and kicking up a fuss isn’t my style.

 I don’t mind waiting –Living in Thailand as a naturally punctual person taught me that mai pen lai (nevermind) is often the best attitude to adopt when situations are out of your control. Also, mishaps make for great stories!

If you get my order wrong, arrive late (or not at all), or provide me with inaccurate information, I will most likely give you the benefit of the doubt. We all make mistakes–we’re human, and unforeseen circumstances are a part of life.

6. I’m a sound sleeper.

Don’t worry about waking me up or being a quiet mouse when you return from a night out. If I am tired, nothing will disturb me. And I mean NOTHING. The one and only time I stayed in a hostel, my friend reported the next day that she was woken in the early morning by some guy puking a couple metres from our bunk! I was shocked and grossed out, but thankful that I slept through the whole thing!

If you snore or come in late, I’ll still be sleeping like a log, and the only way to wake me is to give me a good shake!

7. It takes me a while to make a decision.

And this is when I’ve had adequate sleep. It’s a Libra thing –I like to weigh the pros and cons before making a plan. I’m also verily easy-going, so sometimes it is best to take the reins, if this process seems never ending.

8. I am particular.

As much as I don’t like to kick up a fuss, I am particular. I like things to be in there place (and dust-free) even in a hotel room. It may be a good idea to claim your own night table and counter space, so that I’m not tempted to organize your books, brochures, passport, etc. and arrange your toiletries in a neat and tidy (obsessive) fashion!

 

I think that’s all you need to know for now.  If you are still brave enough to travel with me, let’s go!

LOL (Lots of Love),

Your patient friend & travel companion….xo

 

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