Want to Know your Friends? Travel with them!

There is an Egyptian proverb that says, “If you haven’t lived with someone, you don’t really know them”. As a child, it didn’t make sense to me. However, when I traveled with my friends, I found out it is true. Of course you know your friends well. You know their favorite band, which celebrity they have a crush on and their political views. There are, however, things that you can’t know unless you’ve lived with them. Here are 10 things you’ll learn about your friends only after you’ve traveled with them.


What they look like without Makeup

Unless you’ve had sleepovers, you’ve probably never seen your friend without at least a little makeup. When you travel together, this will change. It doesn’t change the way you think of them, but it’s always slightly surprising.

Pet Peeves

You won’t notice your friend’s pet peeves until you’ve actually lived with them. Maybe they bite their nails, or fidget a lot. You might even know about those things, but you’ve never pay attention to them. That is, until you live with them. That’s when you see those pet peeves 24/7. With time, they might get on your nerves.

Their Real Priorities

Is getting breakfast more important to them than catching the first bus to the nearby village? Would they rather go shopping than to the museum? You can only learn about their real priorities when you’re on a tight schedule. That’s when you will find out how your friend prioritizes their interests.

How they deal with People

You know your friend is a kind person. You know they say “please” and “thank you”. Still, there are social interactions that show what a person is really like. If a total stranger compliments them, will they be standoffish? Would they scoff at a person who can’t speak English and therefore can’t give you directions? You will only find out when they’re in a country where they don’t know anyone.

How adventurous they are

They might seem like the most outgoing person on earth, but they’re in their comfort zone. When they’re out in a completely different country, you will really know their limit. Will they say no to sky diving, riding a scary roller coaster or ice swimming?

Their Ability to not lose their Temper

Traveling always involves frustrating situations. You’ll find out how Zen your friend is that way. Will they snap because their luggage was lost? Are they going to panic if lost in an unfamiliar part of town? If they do, make sure you stay calm.

Their Openness to New Cultures

You always meet at Starbucks for coffee when you’re home. How about when you’re in a different country? Will they still head only to the places they know? And if you take them to a Buddhist temple, will they be uncomfortable? This wouldn’t mean your friend is intolerant to new things. It is just difficult for them to be open to something so new. If that is the case, try helping them take baby steps towards being more open.

How Fussy or Messy they are

Basically, you’ll know if they are a Monica or a Joey. Do they keep everything in place? Are they so organized it’s almost obsessive? Or are they so messy, you think they will definitely lose their passport? Both extremes are very annoying. Hopefully, you will travel with a moderate friend.

Their Power of Endurance

Your friend might be the type to stay up all night at a club, but not when they’re jetlagged. There are also hiking trips that only work for active individuals. If they tire easily, and you don’t, it might cause a conflict of interests.

If you can still be Friends after that Trip

No one is perfect. You will find some flaws in your friend that you never knew before when you travel. This is why plenty of friends have their biggest fights when they take a trip together. You’re real friends if even after seeing each other’s flaws, you still want to get coffee the next day.


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