Pick your travel mates carefully

Currently some of my walking group are planning a trip to France in October to walk the first part of the St James Way, also known as the Camino de Compostella. We all get on really well and have been away now in various combinations on a few occasions with no problems. But are we just lucky or will this always be the way?

It’s not always been like that though, and in the past I have holidayed with good friends only to find that being in their company 24 hours a day lets you see a different side to them. I’m sure they felt the same way. Some of those friendships didn’t recover.

All this was brought to mind when I read an article recently about two guys who set out on an 18 month Amazon Trek and fell out after 68 days – one of the guys has now returned home.

I was surprised in some ways as I could see women falling out more easily as perhaps they are more pernickity but I thought blokes would just laugh it off or find a way to get over it. Here, I suppose they’d go to the pub but there would have been a lack of those in the Amazon! In fact, perhaps not having that cop out forced them to address the situation?

These guys planned for every eventuality which is really important but what brought it to a head was one of the guys emailing for one ipod to be sent and this was his way of announcing that he was leaving. The exact reasons remain a mystery but both expressed that getting on with each other was very difficult.

Be warned, as well as thinking through the practical planning, also give some time to what might be problematic and it is worth discussing what will happen if you do fail to get on.

My tip is to make some shorter trips together first and not only the comfortable weekends away when everything is perfect. Try some under conditions of hardship if this is what your trip might be like.

As I write it seems as if it may just be Teresa and I on the Camino. We have been away on three occasions now, all walking and have shared a room on two of those. The third occasion was camping on the Inca Trail. We walk regularly and have been walking in weather so wet to cause misery and came out of it still friends so things look good. Anyhow, we’re not going up the Amazon so that makes a difference straight away and we’re not camping!! Plus, we each have ipods!!


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