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Learning to Travel with Others

While abroad, it is common to find new friends and travel buddies to go on the weekend excursions you have been dreaming of going on prior to your departure. These friends are, while being awesome, exciting, and different, simultaneously unfamiliar. Traveling is one of those unique activities that allows you to be excited and more importantly, vulnerable, to your new friends. It is also a good time to determine everyone’s different travel styles and preferences.

On my first trip outside of Singapore to Kuala Lumpur with my newly made friends, I got my first experience of traveling with new people. First, trying to decide when, where, and how to get to new countries is its own challenge. For us, there was constant debate on whether to fly for more or bus to save money. As always, our group came to a compromise; we would bus there and fly back. After the initial planning, I quickly learned that traveling with a group was going to mean negotiation and compromise. Second, deciding what to do in a new place is a whole other obstacle. Some people want to do X, some people want to Y, and the only thing everyone has in common is that we have limited time to get it all done. Deciding on activities, places, and things to do while in Kuala Lumpur was something that truly tested the patience of everyone; however, like all of the planning we had done until that point, it was about prioritization and comprise. No, not everything we wanted to get done and see in Kuala Lumpur happened, but for the places and events we did see, we made long-lasting memories with each other. Lastly, traveling is a physically and mentally exhausting activity. Add a group of young, sleep-deprived people to the mix, and it becomes even more tiring. Learning how to budget my time to myself and to catch up sleep while traveling quickly became a priority.

All of this say, traveling with new friends in a large group of people takes patience, comprise, cooperation, and a little sleep in between. At times, it felt somewhat chaotic, but for the most part, was an unforgettable experience.

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