The relationships we develop throughout our lives are vital to our happiness. At different stages, these relationships serve different purposes, impacting us in a variety of ways. Whether it’s blatant or subtle, our interactions with others help shape the people we become. I do believe that friendships are integral to our lives, no matter if it’s just a few close, reliable ones, or a big group of them.
For me, I have always been considered an extrovert, openly vocal about what I want from life. It would be no surprise to those who know me on a personal level, that the most important things in my life are people, from my husband and my family to my friends and even coworkers. What I value most are the experiences and memories I create with them, rather than anything tangible or material. But whether or not that rings true to you and your personality, the relationships you develop with those around you are undeniably necessary to foster and deepen. These connections grow especially strong and meaningful when common interests are the thread that binds them. When you’re young, bonds are typically formed based on your classes, who your parents schedule play dates with or those physically living closest to you. As you get older, these factors are much less prominent as the decisions made to choose the people you want surrounding you become yours and yours only.
Traveling is something I’m extremely passionate about, (not that this is obvious or anything) and just like in my romantic relationship, is an important shared interest I look for when meeting new people. If you can travel out of your normal routine for a period of time with someone effortlessly, that’s a friendship you’ll likely have for a long time. Traveling throws you into an unfamiliar situation, forces you to adapt and seek out new experiences, and often times pushes you outside your comfort zone to challenge your typical routine or daily habits. Being able to assimilate and fall into a virtually 100 percent dependent or shared schedule with friends while traveling signifies the capability and beauty of a strong friendship. It’s the mutual love for seeing the world and the shared excitement about truly diving in and experiencing a new culture that makes it so seamless. I love traveling with my husband, but I also do love traveling the world with my friends.
And it’s not always the friendship that comes first. Though I have gone on numerous girls getaways with my closest friends, I have also created new and lasting bonds with strangers I’ve met while traveling. Most recently on our honeymoon in Tahiti, Moorea & Bora Bora, we met another honeymooning couple while on a jet skiing excursion. Shout out to Evan & Alyssa! The connection between the four of us was immediate, bonding over our love of travel and once-in-a-lifetime experiences (not to mention a few other “small world” connections with overlapping similarities in upbringings & friendships). After the excursion, we joined them for a delicious dinner at a local spot they recommended and met them once again for dinner a few days later when our trips overlapped in Bora Bora. We even extended our trip one more night at the hotel they were staying at as we were having such a great time not only in beautiful Bora Bora, but also with our new friends. We know we’ll be definitely be on another trip with them again in the future.
No matter how many people you may already have in your life, being open to making friends while traveling can build connections you never expected. You will be surprised at the significance of the relationships you develop and how much more quickly they can be forged given the fact that something so fundamental to your personalities, like travel, will already connect you. Have you made a new friendship or forged a closer bond with an existing friend on a trip? Has a travel friend become a lifelong friend for you? Tell me all about it in the comments below!