The sense of adventure traveling affords is one of the greatest sources of inspiration and life affirming pursuits most of us will ever experience. So why is it that we get progressively worse at assimilating this well of perspective changing wisdom as we age? The pure unadulterated excitement you felt as a kid in the backseat of your parent's station wagon as you embarked on the unknown didn't have to fade. True, we may have to reluctantly trade out our back seat cocoon of pajamas, pillows, blankets, and stash of snacks with a bit more planning, but the frontier still exists and your inner child is just waiting to break out. The promised land awaits and the key to this is not nearly as much the "where" as the "who." With this in mind, there are five key qualities you must seek out in a travel companion to ensure a memorable time.
1) Let's get the obvious out of the way... you absolutely must find your travel partner interesting! One of the most therapeutic and underrated aspects of travel are the extended periods of commute where you don't have to do a damn thing. Be it plane, train, or automobile, this is a vital part of the escape that allows you to decompress as you leave the rat race behind and also put your experiences into perspective as your journey comes to an end. If you don't find your partner in crime captivating, you will blow through all topics of interest before you ever even get to your destination, leaving a void that even the thrill of the journey can't mask. A seamless mesh of personalities is a prerequisite to an epic adventure, which can just as easily mean an hour of silence as a moment of shared laughter. Your choice of companions will set the table for everything that ensues.
2) Consider your partner's passport as a de facto report card. That's not to say the person you find mesmerizing that has not traveled extensively won't rock your world during your travels, but that you will have to carry more of the load.Travel is no different than any other aspect of life in that experience trumps most everything else. You wouldn't want your mechanic to adjust your spine, so don't make the mistake of thinking an inexperienced companion can flawlessly navigate the endless cultural and logistical hurdles that abound, especially in international travel. At times, even a dream vacation will test your mettle and it's beyond comforting to know your travel mate is battle tested and has your back in the trenches.Be it the ability to communicate in other languages or knowing back channels to book a cancelled flight, a seasoned companion is invaluable.
3) Let's be honest, we all want to look and feel amazing while away on vacation and are more than a little eager to photo taunt our poor friends we left behind. Mutual attraction and chemistry between you and your travel companion will serve to ensure soaring confidence and your pictures will naturally glow. It's distressing to hear of people literally dying by falling off cliffs while snapping selfies while others have no real memories of their journey as they were too busy trying to make it appear like they had the time of their lives.
Don't cheat yourself out of a magical experience by faking your trip or meeting an untimely death. You don't need thousands of photos to chronicle your exploits. When you are with the right person in paradise, a handful of pics will tell the whole story. Embrace the moment and your photos will forever evidence the enchantment you shared.
4) Chameleons are your friend when it come to an excursion. Your partner should be able to effortlessly segue from professional to casual in an instant based upon the situation. In this global economy, it's becoming increasingly common to combine business with pleasure, which requires a partner that can handle a wide array of situations with class and style. Such a premium is placed on vetted companions that a burgeoning niche industry has developed where discerning women that need the full package are hiring professional male travel companions.
As counter intuitive as this sounds (I mean, it's not a tough sell for a successful lady to find a willing man for travel), this trend has taken hold as the value of such a versatile companion cannot be overstated. Dallas, one such travel companion for women indicates, "It's so rewarding to see these powerful women that are accustomed to taking charge finally cede some of their burden and have some fun. Through my work I have had the privilege of meeting some of the most fascinating people that I still call friends today."
5) The thrill of adventure always hinges on the unknown, on the unexpected curves in the road. This is one of the thing I picked up during a recent conversation with Malte Kramer, the CEO Luxury Presence while he was relating his experience on an adventure at a luxury villas in Bali. He made the statement that "being able to adapt on the fly and consume the moment as it unfolds will open up a treasure trove of opportunities to expand your horizons."This is why your travel partner need to be open minded and keeps his/her head on a swivel. When your masseuse at the Seastar Spa in Exuma tells you the best cracked conch in all the land is at a local dive called Cheaters... which leads to some of the most mind blowing food of your life, eaten by hand and washed down by some Kalik's... and culminates with some night diving in the shallows with your new Bahamian friends you made at dinner... you know you have this travel thing figured out!
"We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."
When T.S. Eliot penned these eloquent words, there is little doubt such a profound statement was a direct result of his shared adventures. It takes two to make a "we," so choose wisely and let the adventures begin!