Many travellers swear by solo travel and I appreciate their viewpoint – there is much to be said for the freedom of a solo traveller to choose their own path, set their own pace, to experience what they see without distraction, and to engage fully with locals and fellow travellers.
But for me, I am never happier than when travelling with my Pete. There’s something very special about creating magnificent memories and knowing that your closest friend is the one who shares them.
We are lucky to be enormously compatible travellers – not always a given in every relationship – and thus there are very few compromises to make. For the most part, our interests collide and our travel preferences too – having an itinerary and hotels booked in advance, taking with us a well-researched list of things we could do but not setting a fixed daily agenda, taking it easy with lots of pauses for coffee or ice cream, never feeling guilty if we’re not in the mood to visit a particular site that wisdom dictates is a “must-see”, enjoying the experience of public transport but diving into the occasional taxi when feet are tired, an appreciation for a wide range of accommodations from luxury to lower budget – as long as they are clean and with a bathroom attached, a love for self-driving in rural regions with glorious vistas and un-crowded roads…
Of course we are not identical twins – I may not like beer or whisky but love sharing Pete’s pleasure in visiting a local brewery or distillery, likewise he is happy for me to potter around local food or flea markets to my hearts content. I love to engage with those I meet, Pete is happier listening and observing.
Do you prefer to travel solo or with others? If you like to have company, what are the qualities of your ideal travel companion?
It impossible not to be joyous when watching penguins, though it can be a smelly experience, especially in the vicinity of a large colony! They’re funny and fascinating creatures, each species with its own behaviour traits and quirks.
These are king penguins, which we first encountered on our first visit to Antarctica – stepping ashore on Salisbury Plain in South Georgia, home to some half a million birds, is one of the single most incredible moments of our travelling lives (I know I can speak for Pete too on this).
This is a much smaller colony at volunteer Point in the Falkland Islands but the advantage here is that we stayed a couple of nights, allowing us to spend as many hours as we wished sitting and observing. The two stretching upwards, downwards, upwards, downwards, and clapping their beaks are courting, a rather vocal affair!
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