Travelling on your own can be really fun but there's so much more to enjoy when you feel the warmth and security of a travelling companion, egging you on. Without that friendly face by your side suggesting places to go and things to see, that trek through South East Asia just wouldn't have been the same. So how does that travelling experience change if you're a guy, when your companion is a girl? It's obvious that men and women have different inklings when planning a trip, so what kinds of personalities could the male adventurer best pair up with to get the most out of a trip with a female companion? Let's examine the categories...
The easy-going gal is up for anything: from treks into the jungle, to street food and cocktails in the dodgy part of town, she isn't fussy. Disgusting accommadation? "It's not that bad". Unexpected swarm of flys? "Meh". Blistering heat or shattering cold? "We'll be fine". A reassuring if a little ambivalent response is sure to keep you exploring on your travels, but when does being easy-going become lazy or dis-organised? This is the potential downfall of the easy-going gal. Sure it's wonderful to travel in freedom and positivity, but when you arrive at a hostel you had to book 5 minutes in advance because your slacker companion "lol forgot", only to find a partially decomposed rodent in the corner and a distinct lack of running water, you kind of wish she had been a bit more pro-active and particular. And you know, sometimes, just sometimes, guys make awful suggestions or do stupid things and we need someone to reign us in a bit, which is something the easy-going gal just isn't going to be bothered enough to do anything about.
Oh my! A 15 page beautifully formatted itinerary delivered to my home a month prior to departure by my wonderfully organised goddess of a travel buddy. What could be better than having all transfers, flights, accommodation and activities meticulously plotted onto headed paper, and all worry and last-minute doubt laser-printed out of consciousness? This is wonderful! Thanks-a-million travel chum... Hmm, wait a second. Why are my showers time stamped? What if I don't fancy having "toilet time" at 6 in the morning? "Well, tough. We're doing it this way or no way, so get with the program!" And here is the whopping big slap to the backpacking face of adventure. You can't stray from the path, and you won't do anything that isn't scheduled. Perhaps it might be best to just subtlety slip from her field of view, sprint down that alleyway, and salvage the last few days of your India trek for a bit of "me" time. Just don't miss your flight fella.
"Hooah!" *savagely hard hi-5 resulting in a throbbing right hand* "Awesome power-hike buddy, I can't believe we just ascended K2 in time for lunch at the peak." Yep, that view was definitely worth it, just as your hard-core trekker girl-who's-a-friend travel companion said it would be. Expect many more epic hikes, expansive river-tours and gladiatorial bouts with wild grizzlies. Well, perhaps not the latter but you're certainly in for some extreme fun with this travel teammate. She's got a hint of easy going, and a touch of organisation. We may have just hit the nail on the head and found the perfect partner. If only I could move my legs. Perhaps that second ascent was a bit much, and actually, mate, I'd rather just lie on the beach for a bit. So bleh, you can stuff your mile for mile speed run of the 13th century boundary of the Mongol empire, because I'm going for a casual drink tonight and I might be hung-over.
That was one wild night. There's nothing quite like an impromptu beach party on a Thai island and you never would've won over the other party goers without your super social, cool-as-a-cucumber femme-fatale partner in crime. You've partied harder than a 90's raver in a glow stick forest and are having the time of your life. Well, until morning. But most of the time you haven't slept anyway so the morning is just another time of day you'll dedicate to partying. "Sleep when you're dead" Has been said more times than Hail Mary at the Vatican and you're starting to feel just a little bit delicate and as though the phrase might be swiftly approaching after the 16th consecutive night on the town. The socialiser is great, but only in small doses. With eyes heavy and bloodshot, you decide to have a nice quite night in, a lie in the next day and a lovely tour of the local temples with the golden oldies.
The finer things in life and in your destined locality are the perfect way to bridge a new culture. The most exquisite Japanese tea ritual enjoyed decked out in authentic silk kimonos is just one of the delights that await you if you choose to travel with the delicate darlin'. With a slice of the organised and a splash of socialising, you're sure to source the best food, drink and traditional experiences with all the decadent company you can stomach. But not until after you've waited, ready, for over 2 hours at the door to the hostel. You wouldn't be quite as impatient or have quite as deep a muscle burn if you hadn't had to carry the three cases she insisted on bringing. The second tuk-tuk run from the airport was the icing on the cake and it seems that perhaps travelling with a delicate darlin' isn't quite all it's cracked up to be.
So guys, who gets your vote as the ultimate female travelling companion? Maybe it's a mix of a few of these personalities, or none of these at all. Why not let us know on our social media channels. And you too ladies; do you fall into any of these brackets? Be sure to read the flip-side of this article, coming soon on Into the Wild!
Check out Frontier's blog 'Into the Wild' where you can read more articles like this!
By Jack Plumb