Traveling Companions

I got the idea for this on Sunday as I talked with our daughter. (It is sort of a continuation of VS’s post from yesterday, although I didn’t plan it that way.)

I drove our daughter to Bismarck for violin lessons one day a week from the time she was in Grade 6 until she graduated from high school. That was a 190 mile round trip each week for seven years, but it was worth it. It was a really wonderful experience for our daughter. It gave us time to bond. She made a particular, same-age friend named Michelle who is now an environmental engineer based in Virginia. Friend’s job is to monitor and lessen environmental impacts for a coal mining company. She and Daughter decided to visit their Suzuki teacher this past weekend who moved to New Mexico to care for her aging parents. They had a great time.

They flew into El Paso, had a rather harrowing, late-night drive to Roswell, NM to see what was there, and then drove to Las Cruces to visit their teacher and her husband, and see the sights. They were surprised by the high elevations and all the snow. They drove into the mountains and visited the grave of the real Smokey The Bear, where they both inexplicably burst into tears. They loved the food. They had such fun connecting with their teacher, and pledged to visit her again.

One of their most memorable eating experiences was at a hole in the wall place in Las Cruces called Perk and Jerk, a breakfast place with award winning jerky and great coffee. Its interior was less than welcoming.

Daughter said it was the best jerky she ever had. I guess appearances can be deceiving.

Daughter and her friend decided that they want to have more travel adventures together. Daughter said that being together seems to cancel out their respective anxieties, and that they are extremely compatible. Their next trip is to West Virginia to visit a coal mine museum in September. I reminded Daughter that her ancestors are Scots coal miners, and that her great great great grandfather died in a coal mining accident near Glasgow. The family immigrated to Ohio and West Virginia and continued to mine until they found other work. Her friend has an adopted grandparent couple in Bismarck who are from Norway, so in the spring of 2024 they want to travel to Oslo and the Faroe Islands and honor those folks’ relatives. I think it is wonderful.

Who are your best and worst travel companions? What makes for a great traveling companion? Ever been to the Faroe islands?

29 thoughts on “Traveling Companions”

  1. I have said I will travel anywhere with Husband – we do well together, especially on road trips. I’ve also enjoyed traveling with my sister, who is a lot more savvy about anything involving electronics, etc.

    My main criteria in a travel companion is the ability to stay loose and be flexibile, enjoy the same kind of restaurants.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Robin is and will always be my favorite traveling companion. Worst traveling companion is entirely theoretical since that person would want to go places and do things that don’t interest me, with expectations and requirements that would annoy me. I would also be their worst companion.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. My husband has been my favorite travel companion and so thankful we traveled a lot during our marriage of 51 years. However he is no longer mobile and is in memory care. I have not traveled since 2018. I may travel with a good friend to England and/or Italy next fall. Have to be flexible and honest to be a good travel companion . Best to plan ahead to confirm preferred travel style and interests.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I haven’t traveled much but I would really like to travel more. I think I’m getting more anxious about it as I age. I used to think I could go anywhere by myself but I don’t think that’s a good idea anymore. I don’t have a travel partner but I sure would like one. I have traveled with my mom on short trips. It was miserable for both of us. Pippin is a terrible travel companion. He has special needs and cries in the car incessantly. He has to stay with someone if I do leave. His daily needs have gotten more complex so he really does need me. I love the little guy but he’s cramping my style.

    Not traveling anywhere today! I’ve been on a waiting list for Louise Penny’s “A World of Curiosities,” and of course it came in today… I’m not even going to the library today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OOh … enjoy World of Curiosities. I really liked it and pretty much did nothing for the weekend that I read it except for reading it!


  5. Back in 2011 I was invited to travel with a good friend (and former co-worker) who was recently divorced after 40 years of marriage, along with her sister and brother-in-law. Turns out that we travel very well together and have done seven international trips so far with another one coming up in May. I have been lucky to have had travel partners (including my younger sister) who were easy to get along with and who were also flexible, which I consider a must for any travel partner.
    I can’t say I’ve had a “worst” travel companion. Two of my best friends since college have traveled extensively but I know I couldn’t travel with them – they are too picky about accommodations, aren’t very flexible, and definitely not adventuresome enough.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. In my younger days, I was an easy travel companion. I was flexible, energetic, and up for most anything, and my companions were the same. We were also flexible enough to part ways on certain days so that each of us could pursue something the other wasn’t interested in. Annette, my roommate in Basel, was a very fun travel companion, and we did lots of smaller road trips together on her Vespa.

    Early on in our marriage, husband and I took several longer road trips together, and we both enjoyed them. We have also taken several longer road trips with visitors from Denmark, and they were fun, too. Unfortunately, our last road trip – just the two of us – didn’t go so well. He wouldn’t stop in places where there was plenty to see (for instance, he zoomed right through Galina, Illinois without stopping) because he had a certain goal in terms of mileage or destination for that day. He also chose not to stop to visit Harry S. Truman’s Presidential Library and Museum. In that case it was a combination of two things that prevented it. We arrived in Independence at 3 P.M., and the ticket price was $10.00 per person which he thought was too high for such a short visit! The library closed at 5 P.M. There was nothing preventing us for staying the night and going the next day, but that, of course, would have added another night’s lodging to the cost. I regret that I didn’t insist, but at the time I didn’t consider it worth fighting over, so I let it go. .

    On one of our trips to Mexico, we took a week-long road trip to Baja with Bill and Charlotte to go whale watching. That was lots of fun, despite none of us having a good command of Spanish. Charlotte and I are kindred spirits, so we hung out together when the guys weren’t interested in whatever we were up to.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I can really think of only one truly miserable travel companion. Thankfully it was only a weekend trip to Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa. The wife of the couple we went with is extremely moody, and apparently she was in a snit over something when we arrived.

    At the time, Hotel Pattee was a destination in itself. It is an old hotel that had been restored to the tune of millions of dollars. No two rooms or suites were furnished alike. In addition to a lovely restaurant, it had some nice amenities: original art throughout the hotel, a very nice gym and spa, a four lane bowling alley, a lovely library and a comfortable lounge, but she wanted no part of any of it. She went to bed immediately following dinner.

    The following day she just wanted to check out an go home. It seemed like the drive to the Twin Cities was twice as long as the one going there. None of us had a clue what the problem was; we still don’t, but we decided to never go anywhere with her again.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am not sure. Daughte’s friend likes it that Daughter does the planning and I suppose Daughter will investigate airlines.


  8. I’m sure you all have heard me extol YA as a great traveling partner. We do quite well together because we tend to like the same kinds of things, the same kinds of places to eat, museums and sightseeing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Worst traveling companion would’ve been wasband number one. I probably shouldn’t start because I could go on for ages, but suffice it to say when the last vacation you take with a person includes the sentence “I’ll be walking along the highway, when you get up in the morning and pack up the tent, pick me up on your way back to Minneapolis ”, it’s a clear indication you shouldn’t be traveling together.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Best–my wife.
    Worst–my wife.

    Yeah, I know. But it alternates on any given day or moment in the trip. Because she’s a control freak, being in a foreign country and relying on my lousy German or French to communicate where we want to go, what we want in a store or restaurant, or how much something costs, drives her crazy. She gets very tense that something bad will happen or we’ll miss a turn on the highway or get overcharged or miss a train or a flight.

    But when we stay in a condo or cabin Up North for a week, she’s as mellow as can be, content to do nothing, ask nothing to very little of me, and be totally flexible in what we choose to do.

    And back in the day, she’s was a helluva good BWCA paddler and camper. A real trooper. My only complaint was she never paddled on her left side unless absolutely necessary. I prefer to switch every minute or two when paddling across a lake in a straight line.

    But mostly, I prefer to travel alone. I find it too stressful going with a group somewhere and needing to “vote” on almost everything. What to eat, when to leave, where to go, forced to be social when I don’t care to be social. I guess you can call me a lone wolf–probably why I love solo canoeing in the BW.

    Chris in Owatonn


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