Stranger is Delayed Friend : Travel with peoples you don’t know

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It somehow sounds scarier than travelling alone, but travelling with a group of people you’ve only just met can be enormously liberating. With modern technology, it isn’t hard to run a quick, if the not thorough background checks in a few seconds, and if you’re travelling with a tour group you’ll always have the organizers to fall back on. But what makes it better than going it alone or hanging with people you know and love?

First of all, it’s as much a route to self-discovery as travelling alone. Constant introductions and relationships with people outside of your comfort zone force you into defining yourself, and test whatever self-concept you had been working with all this while. People who don’t know if they’re ever going to see you again aren’t likely to tiptoe around your feelings, and they’re more likely to give you an honest reflection of yourself than your close friends. The fifth time you tell someone you’re an avid reader, it may just occur to you that you haven’t cracked open a book in a while. Most importantly, you get to re-invent yourself or bring out shades you may have kept hidden because it just didn’t fit in with who your family or friends thought you should be.

Solo travel is growing more popular every year, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to connect with other, like-minded people. There is so much to be learned by having a quick conversation with a reader on the bus, but for an even better experience, try having a late-night secret-sharing session with your new friend from Chile. By travelling with strangers, you’ll make memories you can tell your grandkids and make friends they might even get to meet. Still not buying it? Here’s why strangers can make your trip abroad so much better!


No, seriously. Maybe you’re an excellent cook but can’t read a map for your life. When you go travelling, you’re bound to meet people with different strengths and weaknesses from you–maybe you’ll meet someone who’s a pro at navigating. So help each other out: you offer to cook meals, and they’re in charge of the GPS. Humans are all different, but by working together, they can be incredibly strong. That’s part of what makes the human race so beautiful.

By huddling together like a herd of penguins (just kidding), you’ll have a blast swapping travel tips, sharing staycation secrets, and taking photos of each other (for the Instagram feed, of course). And if, say, you’re in China and your new friends there really have to pee, you’ll finally be able to whip out your rusty high-school Mandarin and help them out.


Solo-travelling can be fun, but it can also get overwhelming. It would be awful to stop by a beautiful waterfall and have no one to share the experience with! Makes you think of the paradox, “If a tree falls in the forest, does it still make a sound?” When travelling with strangers, you’ll be able to decide if you want to be alone or if you want to socialize—unlike travelling with family, who tend to smother you!

You can hop on a stranger’s couch and start chatting with them about the remarkable food you tried last week, or retreat to the quiet of your room when you’ve had enough. And if you love, love, like meeting new people and talking about life, you’ll never get bored.


Of course, you will! What’s not to love about forging lifelong bonds? On average days, you might feel like you’re stuck in a small town where no one understands you. When travelling, however, you’re almost guaranteed to meet other open-minded, friendly, and adventurous people who will accept you for who you are.

 Say you’re a fan of an independent band that no one else seems to know about. You could very well meet another fan during your group travels, or get one of them hooked! Who knows, maybe you can even invite them along on your next big adventure.

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When you’re sharing a tiny hostel room with five people with whom you’ve never slept before, you’re bound to deal with some pretty weird people. You might argue about where to eat, what temperature to keep the air conditioner at, and when to leave the hotel, but you’ll be stronger and better for it.

We promise. By learning to accommodate other peoples’ differences, you’ll open your eyes to the fact that differences aren’t necessarily bad. Other people have different ways of doing things, but those ways are just as valid as ours. Wiggle room makes the world go ’round!


Trekking through the beautifully-paved streets of the French Riviera might land you in a small music bar next to someone twice your age. If you decide to sit down with them and share a few drinks, you might learn something new about the world, other people, or yourself. Maybe they went hiking on a mountain in the Himalayas, or have a story to tell that you would never have guessed at just by looking at them.

A person raised by one parent in a small American suburb will have a different understanding of the world compared to someone who lived with their grandparents and siblings in a bustling Indonesian city. The more you hear about other people and their life stories, the more comprehensive your scope will be. It helps develop understanding and compassion. Talking to someone older might help you understand your parents or family better, and talking to someone younger could lead to a perspective you never considered.


The more people come along on a trip, the cheaper it (usually) gets. By booking groups, you can often get deals on tours, boats, and even accommodations. Before you part ways, make sure to get your new friends’ contact information (name, number, Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, Sarahah — or any other weird and obscure social media platform the world is currently obsessing about). That way, if you decide to take them up on their offer to visit their home (which could be 4000 miles away from yours), you can.


Solo travelling is still considered risky, and for a good reason. Accidents can happen without warning: for example, if you’re hiking a trail by yourself but accidentally fall, you won’t always be able to call for help. You might be lost in the middle of nowhere for days (whole movies have been made about those scenarios).

If you’re travelling in dangerous areas (especially if you’re a woman), it’s never recommended to go alone. By visiting with strangers and staying in a group, you can keep each other safe and accountable.

So there you have it – seven good reasons why you should travel with strangers. But remember they are strangers, so you should still take a few simple precautions to enhance your safety. If you are going off the beaten track with strangers, let the family know where you are going, or register with your country’s local embassy or consulate, and take heed of travel warnings provided by foreign affairs departments. And to ensure the security of your personal belongings, invest in a bag that has a good quality lock. A combination type is a good option because then you don’t have to worry about carrying a key if you are swimming or engaging in other activities on the water. You can check out the websites of online retailers like Luggage Direct to see what types of bags provide the best security. Then you can travel with peace of mind and enjoy the company of your new-found friends!

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