I have mostly traveled solo throughout the years. However, last year while I was traveling in Southeast Asia my best friend mentioned that she wanted to travel with me. I had always wanted to travel with a friend, but conflicts of schedules and them having actual lives always got in the way. So when my friend Krissi was finally able to travel with me I left Indonesia a few days later and met her in Minnesota so we could travel to Mexico and Belize.
I can easily say our trip together has become one of my most favorite adventures. I believe this is because I got to travel with my best friend.
Traveling alone has its perks, but so does traveling with a bestie! Krissi and I have been best friends for twenty years so we know each other rather well. We have a pretty solid flow with one another and can still talk about anything and nothing for hours upon hours…and still have more to say. Being in each other’s lives for two decades guarantees that we have similar likes, dislikes, and lifestyles. With all these variables in play, it is no wonder traveling with my best friend was such a hit!
It’s planning time!
Krissi and I knew we wanted some place warm, on a beach, and with great swimming options. I am big on snorkeling, diving, and the sun; whereas she likes to swim, relax, and lay on the beach. Oh, and there needs to be beer accessible; this is a must for the both of us. If you ask me, these all go hand-in-hand. There is not much out there that is better than relaxing on a nice warm beach with an ice cold beer in your hand, sitting next to your best friend!
Now that we knew what we wanted, we needed to decide where we were going to get it. We decided on San Pedro, Belize and Tulum, Mexico. Well, it was more Krissi’s idea then mine. The locations could not have been better nor the weather more perfect! I think I will have her pick the locations from now on!
Highlights of the adventure
We covered a lot of ground during our trip. While in Tulum we swam and snorkeled in cenotes that were within, and outside, of the city; drank some beers; crashed some resorts and enjoyed the beaches that they were on; tipped back a few beers; Krissi popped her hostel cherry and stayed in her very first one while we were in Tulum; had a couple cervesas (Spanish for beer); caught a tan and saw a splash of local archaeology. Did I mention that we had a few beers while there too?!
In San Pedro we didn’t stop moving. Between the snorkeling, sightseeing, golf cart driving, massages, cooking our own food on a stone, lounging on inner-tubes, giant-sized Jenga challenges, me chasing boys, and late night karaoke jam sessions, there were limited opportunities to sit idle. What was great is we did all of these things together…well, except for the boy chasing. In that case Krissi would just line them up for me and I would try to sink ‘em. I was not successful. I seriously have no skill. But that is another story *insert chuckle*.
That’s flippin’ team work!
Everything we did we both enjoyed. This was a huge factor in our successful trip together. What also helped, and I think this is a huge variable, was the fact that we were both equally engaged in the activities we wanted to do. For example, if there were questions that needed to be asked we both were seeking to find the answers. It was not a situation where only one person was doing the planning, decision making, and hoping the other person would enjoy the activity decided upon, while the other just followed and hoped they would enjoy what was to come. That ladder can get very old, and frustrating, very fast.
I think what also helped a lot was we were not afraid to be assertive right from the beginning of planning. I remember saying that I had a ‘must-do’ while in San Pedro and that was one day I was going to go diving (or snorkeling). Krissi also expressed that she was having a day that was dedicated to cenote swimming. Fortunately, we both wanted to do what the other had planned; however, if there had been a case where either one of us did not want to participate in the other persons planned activity, we didn’t have too. And we were OK with this.
So our comfort level with one another played a large role in the successful planning, and doing, of our trip. Whoop! Whoop!
I want to do it again!
I can still feel the sun on my skin and the sound of the Belize Island. I miss the dry, dusty, and comfortable feeling of our eight-by-seven square foot room with two small beds we had there. I also miss our little meep-meep golf cart; she was good to us! I can still feel the cool waters of the Mexican cenotes bringing relief to my overheated body, and yearn to be amongst the humble and kind locals in Tulum. What I really miss is being there and getting to share all of these new experiences with my best friend. I honestly believe that if she had not been there the whole trip would not have been as fun or memorable. However, if she had pushed me into the water where all the sharks were swimming around the boat I am not sure it would have been so optimistically memorable…ha, who am I kidding, yes it would!
So would I like to travel with somebody again versus traveling alone? Of course! But it could not be with just anybody. Not everybody is cut out to travel with other people or for long periods of time or on a strict budget, and that can present a problem after a while. I know this, I have experienced it. However, Krissi was an amazing travel companion; and she feels the same way about me. I have always known that Krissi would be an awesome travel buddy, so when she asked if I wanted to travel though Mexico and Belize with her I did not waste one second saying, ‘hell ya’!
So yes, yes I will totally travel with somebody again! Especially a bestie!!