It’s up for debate amongst many backpackers, but certainly not for myself. To travel solo or to explore a new part of the world with a travel buddy? I’ve been lucky enough to have never had to consider this myself.
I’ve always travelled places with someone else as they always bring out the best in me and it’s certainly the most energetic and adventurous way to experience new turf. I start in Singapore, where my partner and I experienced a completely different culture for the first time. We embraced ourselves in Chinese New Year Celebrations, hiked and cycled unexplored island forests and I helped her finish all of the spicy delicacies she couldn’t quite manage. All of this in two weeks… what more could we do in four months?
France and Normandy was the next destination. A holiday season is natural to apply for alone, but not me, mainly because my other half was the one who got me into it in the first place. This meant a lot of trust was necessary. I’d never holidayed with Eurocamp before but luckily…she had. Trust is the main thing for travelling, if you can trust your partner, you’ll find yourself in the most insane situations – especially sharing a tandem bike around a busy Budapest, but that comes later.
Our season with Eurocamp meant I not only had a team to clown around with during endless water-sports and sunset nights at the beach, but I always had someone I personally knew to do all of this with. Days off? Exploring together (even if I did all of the map navigating.) On reception? Cycling customers to their chalets together. Evenings? Drinking Sangria and beer on the beach, together. These four months showed me we could have lived our lives out on season.
The funniest of all has to be Budapest. Home of wacky and dangerous activities made even more so by my travel buddy. You can’t cycle a tandem around Budapest on your own, can you? Well it might have been easier than it seemed for ourselves, but at the end of the day, the endless bickering and one hand cycling and map reading makes for quite the memory. None so more than caving, exploring the depths of Hungary in stinking overalls, pushing each other through the smallest of gaps with their feet in your face.
In the July just gone we took our backpacks to Amsterdam. This youthful city holds the key to travelling stereotypes with legalised weed, hectic hostels and city bike tours. This gave us both a curiosity to discover what was hidden behind Amsterdam’s predominant culture. Together, we scaled the high ropes of an obstacle course tucked away in the canopy of trees, rain soaking our hoodies wet through. We took our bikes away from the stampeding streets and voyeured off to Vondelpark. A traditional London-style park with spliff-smoking teens and an urban, idyllic backdrop. We capped off our trip by satisfying my undying love for lager; a tour around the Heineken Museum. Whether it was the free alcohol or the lesson into how to drink a beer properly, it was certainly the highlight of a very quirky trip.
With many more countries planned, that’s my round-up of all of my travelling experiences with my partner, who herself, has made travelling my favourite hobby from my teenage years. We’ve summitted mountains, kayaked in the Med and ran with the Horses in Alaior. If you’re travelling alone, you’ll always find the luck to meet one out on the road, but for me, I’m lucky to have one so close to home. So alas, here’s my personal thank you.