Now this is an interesting one, because I've only been travelling by myself for a few years, and before then I went almost everywhere with my parents and family. I'm a very different person when I travel with them, to when I travel alone or with friends. This month the travel linkup is all about travel personalities, and as co-host this month I'm very happy that this topic suits me so well!
I first travelled alone when I was 18. My first lonely flight was from Australia to the UK as I was going home a coupla weeks later than my parents after visiting my then boyfriend, and you know what? I bloody loved it. I love taking the journey at my own pace, sitting on the plane in silence and catching up on sleep and movies without someone poking me and asking what I'm watching (no offence mum!). Since then I've flown by myself to and from Australia countless times, at first to see my boyfriend and friends, and then just my friends. When I fly alone I have my own little routine, I get to the airport nice and early, and just stroll through check-in, security, and then when I'm through security I go and get breakfast or dinner (I usually go for the red-eye flights or really early morning ones as I find they help with jetlag).
When I get to the other end in Perth I split my time and stay with three of my closest friends and Aunty Wyn & Uncle Gray. I hire a car, and sometimes have days where I spend the day driving around by myself just enjoying it and soaking up the place, and other days where I'm on the go constantly seeing people and partying. My first day back is spent sorting my phone out and paying money into my Aussie bank account, then the rest are a blur of food, beach, party, food, beach, party, shopping, repeat.
When booking my flights back to Australia I usually book them about 3 months in advance, and I almost always fly with Emirates or Singapore Airlines. I've only flown with two other airlines to Perth; Cathay Pacific and Qatar. I loved Cathay (best food, best seats, and best entertainment system) but the flight time is insanely long as they go via Hong Kong (30+ hours!). Qatar was ok, but I found the very slim transfer times incredibly stressful. These days Emirates is my airline of choice due to the flight time and service, but I really do miss and love Singapore Airlines, they're just so expensive now and the flight time is longer.
As well as travelling to and within Australia by myself, last year I went to my ancestral home of the Isles of Scilly alone. When I went to Sydney for just two days last year I hated being alone during that time, I'm such a sociable person and really don't like it when I'm not surrounded by people for more than a few hours. But the Isles of Scilly was so peaceful and relaxing, I'm so glad I went by myself now, and to be honest I think I was just feeling lonely in Sydney because of some stuff that was happening at the time.
Travelling with Friends
Travelling with my friends I think is my favourite way to travel now. I'm a complete planner and love to plan things down to the last detail, which my friends love as they know exactly what we'll be doing and where we'll be eating, and all they have to do is transfer the money and show up at the airport!
When travelling with friends we sit down and list out everything we want to do, then I plan an itinerary around that, and then I put everything into a Powerpoint and send it to them with all the flights details, accommodation details, how much everything will cost, and photos. When they've given the seal of approval we book everything and ta-da, we're off! I planned and booked mine, Ciara, and Jasiminne's entire Cuba trip by myself, as well as trips to Budapest, Vienna, and Paris.
Whenever I want to go somewhere and ask friends to join me, the first thing they ask for now is 'The Powerpoint'. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not a total control freak - I do allow for some spontaneity, for example in Paris on the Sunday we had loads planned, but we were all quite tired so decided to ignore the Musee D'Orsay and just do Saint Chapelle and then go to the club and eat and drink all afternoon. It was pure bliss and exactly what we needed!
My ex boyfriend and I only travelled together twice - once to Paris, and once back to Australia together. I found a timehop a few weeks ago that said 'I hate travelling with Chris, he's so slow!'. I think that says it all, he was very very relaxed as a traveller (and person in general), and was quite happy to stroll through security and to the gate while I was running like a mad woman so we didn't miss our flight! At least we can look back and laugh at this now though. I think we had a nice balance in Paris though, it was far less stressful than that flight back to Australia, and we were at a far better place in our relationship then.
Travelling with Family
When I travel with family I leave it entirely up to my parents what we do - I then just tag along and pay for whatever I need to pay for (which to be honest isn't usually much, generally just my airfare these days). Sometimes it stresses me out because I don't get to do or see everything I want to, but most of the time it's nice to just really relax and be guided.
I think the most frustrating thing about travelling with my family is that they're not really fussed about food, so I'll have a list of restaurants I want to check out and they're just not interested. I'm such a planner, whereas they love spontaneity and just finding random things to do along the way, in regards to both food and activities.
There are definitely positives and negatives to all types of travel, especially because my travel personality is so different depending on who I'm travelling with. I definitely like to be in control as much as possible though, but I really do appreciate and make the most of family holidays where I can just relax and let my parents organise it all...even if it does mean compromising sometimes on where I want to eat and what I want to see!
What's your travel personality?
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