Why Traveller Friends Can Be Better Than Home Friends

Why Traveller Friends Can Be Better Than Home Friends

Ahh, traveller friends: those little chestnuts of hippy, happy, goodness that you will forever associate with having a ball. I think that it’s safe to say that we have all had that whirlwind friendmance (friendship romance) whilst travelling. You meet a person who you immediately click with, from your toes to your fingertips. You are so in sync and you just can’t quite believe it – are you sisters from another mister? Brothers from another mother? The only plausible explanation seems to be that you were separated at birth, long lost soul sisters or blood brothers. Then, before you know it, you have to go your separate ways, leaving a person shaped hole in your heart.

Jenny and Jess Chiang Mai Canyon

Jenny and Jess Chiang Mai Canyon

Home Friends Over Traveller Friends

Don’t get me wrong, friends that you have from your hometown or country are no less important than traveller friends, they are after all the ones who have seen you try to develop as a person. They might be the ones who were there through your awkward teenage years, when you were still trying to suss out what you considered cool. They might be university friends, there for the tough early twenties when every element of your life seems to be in an eternal state of ‘up in the air’. They are the sense of home, your roots, no matter how much you might want to deny them – I can think of friends who have experienced me in life periods that I would happily delete from my memory, however unfortunately they are immortalized forever more in their brains. You might not talk to them often, you might not have seen them in years, but that isn’t to say that you can’t pick up your friendship from where you left off. In the words of my lovely friend Lucy, “all you need to remember is that words come and go, actions change, time passes, and people move but the love I have for you stays in my heart and only grows, our memories are engraved in my soul and in my soul and my thoughts of you travel wherever in the world you are”. In the slightly less eloquent words of the counterpart of our trio, Naomi, “we’re all shit (me in particular)”. True friends will always be there, no matter what.

Bae <3

Bae <3

Traveller Friends Over Home Friends

On the other hand, that whirlwind friendmance that you experience with traveller friends that we spoke about earlier is as addictive as caffeine. It might just be that I am a highly emotional person (no kidding!) but I fall in love with people really quickly – I can hear the laughs of many friends who have had to fix my broken heart over the years. I don’t mean romantic love, but that adoration that comes from strictly platonic relationships between traveller friends. Often, you only have a few weeks together, so all of your will be eager to fit as much in as possible, which usually means hundreds of fun-filled memories condensed into a tiny nutshell of time. These experiences are exaggerated by the fact that you have an abundance of things in common with them – you travel, you love experiencing new cultures, you’ve run away from adulthood and societal expectations, you’re outgoing, you’re probably more than a little eccentric, you’re living on a budget, you want to dance barefoot in waterfalls… I love my friends from home, but I do wonder how many of them actually really crave this life deep in their souls. These friendmances will be short-lived, which means they rarely get to the stage where they could become sour. Any arguments or disagreements that you might have quickly dissolve when you are presented with the next exciting opportunity together. Once you have left each other’s company, you are only left with the fondest of memories of time together, that you will cherish forever. You may never see them again; they might come from the other side of the world. All you can hope for is that one-day your paths will cross again, which is a really magical and soul-enriching feeling. You don’t make false promises of keeping in contact over social media, as you know that those kinds of conversations will never replace the ones you had in person. You are just left with the prospect of magical future adventures together.

New Year's Eve 2016 - traveller friends!

New Year’s Eve 2016 – traveller friends!

Me and Hopping RTW - traveller friends!

Me and Hopping RTW – traveller friends!

So what do you think? Are you closer to your traveller friends, or your home friends? Who do you have more fun with? What’s your fondest memory of time with traveller friends? Do you still keep in touch? Let me know!

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26 Comments

  1. Dancing barefoot in waterfalls is the best passion we share!! Love this, I definitely can relate! Miss you and our paths will definitely cross, hopefully sooner rather than later 😄

    Reply
    • Dance dance wiggle wiggle

      Reply
  2. Love this! I think that it’s the experiences that make bonds with traveler friends as strong as they are, and my “solution” to keeping my home friendships just as exciting is to treat outings with them like adventures! You don’t have to travel too far to make travel-like memories with your home friends too!

    Reply
    • Absolutely! Me and my best friend from home always go and do silly little adventures together when I’m home. I’m actually heading back in two weeks and I can’t wait to try some new local adventures!

      Reply
  3. I am much more in tuned with my traveler friends because we share the same passion. I totally agree with this article.

    Reply
    • Preach it!

      Reply
  4. And the best friends are friends from home that come traveling too! (at least for a while!) Great post 🙂

    http://gemmajaneadventures.com

    Reply
    • I agree! Sadly, not a lot of my home friends share this passion in the same way, for them career comes first (which I totally get, it gives you security). I also think that travelling with home friends might ruin some friendships, I don’t want to risk it!

      Reply
  5. That’s true..though I have rarely made a deep connection with my travel friends…mostly because I have been travelling with my family or friends most of the time and rarely had to fit in a group of strangers…but like if I were to travel solo and meet new people and get to know them..it would be like you said…lots of fun things done in a nutshell of time and you get to take home only good memories with them..

    Reply
    • Hi Blina! It can actually be really tough to find new groups, even when you are travelling alone. People can get very cliquey, very quickly, so it can be hard to integrate. I think it’s easiest to find another solo traveller and form your own group. I actually live and travel with my boyfriend, and we made friends with a few other couples – couples travel is a whole other kettle of fish, so it’s nice to find people who share that with us as well!

      Reply
  6. “Whirlwind friendmance” – such an accurate phrase. These tiny, microcosmic bubbles of friendship blossom everywhere, all the time whilst travelling. It’s a beautiful concept, that we humans can create connections so easily when in an unfamiliar place. So true, too, about traveller friends being of a completely different ilk to home friends. I think traveller friends are immediately kindred spirits because they’re doing exactly what you’re doing, and so you have an immediate connection, whereas home friends don’t tend to understand. Lovely post, look forward to reading more! x

    Reply
    • Exactly! I love my home friends to pieces, but our lifestyles are now of completely different worlds. When I return home I almost feel like I am never quite being myself around them – I think that we all develop a little bit of the hippy when travelling, and it just doesn’t fit with the UK culture that I am surrounded by when I go home!

      Reply
  7. I wrote about travel friendships too, my perspective on them was a bit more mellow because I got tired of all the good byes ): But travel friendships are awesome. My favorite memory from a goodbye was one told me “even if I don’t see you or speak to you for years, fi you’re ever back over this way, call me” and I think that sums up the travel friendship attitude 🙂

    Reply
    • Hey Lauren, I totally agree with you about the goodbyes, which are something that I conveniently forgot about when writing this piece. They are horrible! The little group that my boyfriend and I had going over Christmas very quickly dispersed when they all left us behind in Chiang Mai. It’s hugely bittersweet, but I guess that all we can do is hope that our paths cross again!

      Reply
  8. Dude. Im writing a post on this AT the very moment! I think its very important to have many different sets of friends, and know their boundaries and limitations. I’ve learned the long lesson that at home friends will always be on a different wave length than my travel friends. I’d love your thoughts on my upcoming piece!

    http://www.travelforthelow.com/blog

    Reply
    • Well great minds think alike 😉 You are definitely onto something with knowing all of the different boundaries. Different friends are good for different things, and I know that if the metaphorical shit hit the fan, it would be my home friends that would be the ones picking up the pieces, as they have done so many times before! Keep me updated on your post!

      Reply
  9. Travel friends are so great! Travel changes you as a person and they are there with you for it. You share memories that others can’t fully understand, because they weren’t in the moment with you!

    Reply
  10. Totally agree on this post. I have met so many traveler friends that I totally wish on getting to see someday, but comparing the relationships you have on the road with the ones you have back home, is always impossible. They are definitely two different kind.

    Reply
  11. I think of these types of friends as apples and oranges. My hometown friends know me without having to explain a thing..we can sit without speaking a word, and that’s ok. My travel friends, I feel I have to be ON with, and I find a need to be more agreeable and more adventurous! I love them both! My favorite memory is renting a jeep in Mexico ..I was the only one who could drive standard. We drove through Huge puddles of mud and got cakes in it, then washed it off in the ocean! It is a favorite memory of mine:)

    Reply
  12. Great post and interesting question that you have posed. For me, it’s just different sets of friends for different circumstances or experiences. None is better or closer than another, just different!! Do you agree?

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  13. Traveling friends are some of the best! They can make or break a trip sometimes.

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  14. Context is everything in friendship. One type of friend isn’t necessarily better. Intense moments and periods in life make for intense connections in a relatively short amount of time. People feel similarly about those with whom they’ve shared a pivotal life experience as they might with a life-long bestie.

    Reply
  15. My traveler friends are usually my real life friends::) Cute stories of your friends!

    Reply
    • I suppose if travelling is your life then your travel friends become your real life friends!

      Reply
  16. I don’t really distinguish between the two myself. My friends at home are friends of circumstance through some shared activity. I think that might be one reason that makes it “easy” for me to leave that world behind. On the other hand, I’ve never made an amazing friendship during my travels, just shared activity partners or people who happened to book the same tours, which is fine, but I’m always a bit sad that everyone else seems to make new BFF’s while traveling. I think it’s probably a very different experience when you are part of a couple as you at least have someone else with you who you are rather close to and intimate with, and you’re presumably linking up with like-minded people….

    Reply
    • Yeah I agree, having my boyfriend with me definitely made it easier to make friends, as if you meet another couple you already have something in common with them – I don’t think I would have found it so easy otherwise! I’ve made a few good friends, but I still struggle to keep in contact with them now. I think you just have to cherish the moments that you have with people, and then accept that the time has passed.

      Reply

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