So You’re Looking For A Travel Partner

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Bologna, Italy

Choose a bad travel partner and you will find yourself traveling in an exotic environment with someone who nags and complains; whose negative vibe brings you down as the clock continues to tick for return to the life-sucking routine back at home. Your friend is not trying to bring you down, but he has his own issues to deal and is too wrapped up in his world to worry about your enjoyment. Don’t take it personal. But you need a good way to tell if someone is good to travel with or not. Do that by asking your potential travel partner the following question:

“Do you like to cook?”

I’m talking about real meals, not warming up chicken nuggets.

Unlike what the famous cookbook says, there is no joy in cooking. Slicing, grating, mixing, chopping, simmering, waiting, washing, and fucking up are basic labors, but I do it anyway. I do it because I like the idea of slowing things down to create food using my own ability. Now it’s not like I’m using ingredients I’ve grown myself in a patch of land out back, but cooking still takes more labor and time than ordering from a menu.

Depending on your cooking style and how much you save, it’s possible that the energy you put into cooking is not much more than the benefits you get out of it. But it still says something positive about you. You focus on the process and the current state instead of the end product. You are patient, without needing instant gratification. You can enter situations without knowing the outcome. You are not looking for a sure thing. You “go with it’ and adapt when things go wrong, because they will. These are the qualities you want when traveling with someone in a foreign land.

Easy things you do at home take much longer abroad, such as finding and ordering food, asking for help, and getting from point A to B. Much of your time isn’t spent on “fun” things, but actually getting to the fun things in one piece without being taken advantage of. To the non-cook, the best kind of travel is the tourist package to a Disneyland-type city where English is spoken in a ten square block city center and there are many wonderful structures that have seen the camera lens billions of times before. At least he won’t be “bored.” But the patient traveler, the cook, ventures out and accepts that the inevitable frustrations are the same as doing a sink of dirty dishes; it goes with the territory. When you cook something edible, eating it only takes ten minutes—it’s the process you spend most of your time on.

All that said, there is absolutely nothing like traveling alone, to have the freedom to do what you want and to face challenges with no support by your side. The only requirement is being able to handle your own company.

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ribald
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but i’m of the frame of mind that traveling alone could sometimes be boring too — am i right? i mean, i know for me, i have two friends who i’ve done most of my traveling with around the world. i do definitely have one firm principle: a good friend doesn’t necessarily mean that person is a good travel partner. i take my cues from what my friends and i do when we go out in DC — and that is basically drink a lot, laugh, and chase skirt. so i know when i travel with my buddies, we’re going to do basically the same, no matter what city is on the itinerary. if i’m dating a girl in DC … whoops, haha, silly me — i forgot for a moment most girls here are fat, boring, ugly, and wholly undesirable — but let’s go to fantasyland and pretend i’m dating a girl in DC who’s actually somewhat of a catch. with her, i’m assuming i’d do more civilized activities — galleries, wine tastings, lazy afternoons on park benches, etc. — so if i travel with her, i figure that’s also what i’m going to do with her on holiday.

beyond that, you have to consider the destination. i’m not going to venice with my best guy friend, and i certainly wouldn’t take a girl to rio… ah, magical rio, where i will retire if my karma continues to build… but i digress. i think *where* you’re traveling to should serve ultimately as the deciding factor for *who* you’re taking with you.

DCescorts
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DCescorts
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Travel partners for hire – http://www.judysbook.com/cities/rockville-md/

Some Catchy Chic
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Some Catchy Chic
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Hmmm, I can understand how travelling alone would be liberating and give you the freedom to do anything you want. But who will you get to tell all the fun things you get to see about?

kayla
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One of my favorite things about traveling is meeting the locals.. without the locals – you wouldn’t get to do something randomly cool like.. go to a olive farm (owned by a local’s family) and see how olive oil is made (in an old school cold stone press)- just cause you chatted them up in an open air market…I digress.

(I love Joy of Cooking – it’s my favorite cookbook.. some of us do find joy in cooking ;))..

jlsmi11
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I rarely cook for myself, and I’m not very talented at it when I do. I can admit this.

Yet I’m a great travel partner. Perhaps being in the military have made me an exception to the rule?

momo
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Your post mirrors the thoughts I’ve had lately.
I’m going to France this summer with my boyfriend. I’m worried that its going to ruin our relationship! I know he’s going to get frustrated about not perfectly understanding the language, directions, etc. I can see him sulking and not wanting to do anything. :sad2:

doug9149
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I love reading your site Roosh because you constantly remind me how much I appreciate my wife. She’s American, but not your typical American. Born and raised in Dallas, TX and easily a 9-10 (out of 10) there and a 9-10 (out of 10) here in LA where we live now. Enough background.

I’d say a better question to ask would be, “Do you like to go camping?”

That question covers all your cooking question does and more. Such as can you rough it if need be? Can you deal without being clean 24/7? Are you aware of your surrounding? Are you going to start whining when you have to carry your backpack 5 miles from the train station to the hostel? I’m sure there’s more I’m not thinking of.

My wife, who hates to cook (I’m the chef in the relationship), loves to camp. She never complains and is always ready to go.

Consequently, she was the best travel companion I could’ve imagined having when we took a 3 month walkabout in Europe in 2001 (right after 9/11). We both got leave of absences from our jobs, bought 3 month Eurail passes and plane tickets and off we went. We saw 17 different countries, staying in hostels the whole time, and didn’t get to the English speaking Ireland and England until last. We got in 1 fight that lasted 3 hours. That’s it. Everything else was amazing and our lives were forever changed.

Keep up the good work and good luck on all yoru adventures. Sorry for the long post.

shmooth
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cooks are different, yes, but I’d suggest that the quality cooks possess more than non-cooks is ‘anal retentiveness’.

whenever someone tells me they can cook, i say, “that’s great! wow, wish I could cook. did I mention how great that is?”, but I’m thinking, “what’s _wrong_ with this person?”

some people – very few – can actually cook and not be completely boring, too. other folks can cook, but don’t require several hours to prepare a 15-minute snack – i like those people. too bad not many of them exist.

travel flick!
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318462/

summer is a brilliant time to begin traveling, because even professionals take off from their normally-wretched lives for a couple of months.

prinks
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This is a good one. Finding a good travel buddy is so hard sometimes.