Friends and family often wonder why I choose to travel solo rather than with people. I’ve been asked many times, “don’t you want to share your adventures with someone? It would be more fun!” My answer to this: Traveling solo means doing what I want to do on my own time. I’ve already written a post about why you should travel alone once in your life, so I won’t go into too much detail here. This post is about the time I had a bad time travelling with a friend (now ex-friend) through eastern Canada.
When I planned my trip to the Maritimes a few years ago, I planned it for myself. I was going to visit a friend in Newfoundland and then road trip by car to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and stay with locals. I mentioned this to a friend, let’s call her “A”, and she was so excited that she too wanted to join me. I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I thought the more the merrier, but it would also be cheaper for the both us. So we booked flight tickets, car rentals, and secured places to stay via Couchsurfing.
The first leg of the trip (Newfoundland) went well and without a hitch, but it turned sour when we started the road trip in Nova Scotia. The car rental was under her name so I was cool with letting her drive and relieving her when she got tired. Except, she was the worst driver! “A” not only drove past a school bus with its lights on (children crossing roads and all), but swerved into lanes on a highway trying to change music on her phone. When I pointed this out and the fact that we could have hit another car, she smiled, shrugged, and said I was being dramatic. Other situations included almost rear-ending cars, driving in a wrong lane, and not being able to park. I felt so uncomfortable sitting in a car with her driving, so when I asked if I could drive for a bit, I was shot down and told I couldn’t because the insurance was under her name. This person, who drove so irresponsibly, was worried that I was going to get into an accident.
There were other issues along the way as well, such as her not wanting to do things I was interested in, but her not being independent enough to go on her own. If I had wanted to do something different from her, I would have gone and done it. I wouldn’t have pressured her to do something she wasn’t interested in. However, the driving issue was the biggest and because of this we had a huge fallout halfway through the trip. She wanted to go home early without me. We talked it out and eventually we finished the trip, but that was the last time I would ever travel with a friend on a trip that would be more than a few days long.
For those of you reading this and thinking, “well my friends aren’t like that,” you are right. Not every friend will be like the one I traveled with. I had one horrible experience, but it also made me realize how much more I enjoyed my trips traveling alone and meeting friends along the way, instead of going with people I already know. Solo travel works the best for me, but it may not be for everyone.
I’m interested in knowing what your experiences have been like traveling with friends and/or family. Let me know below.