Have you ever traveled with a group and at one point you want to pull your hair out? In the group there is tension, maybe even some tears or cussing, passive aggressive words are spoken, eyes are rolling, and no one can agree on anything? I have traveled in groups a lot and I can attest to this happening all of the time
every time. Traveling is hard. Traveling is exhausting. Traveling is a practice that you have to learn. Everyone has a different travel style (see previous blog on traveling styles) and everyone’s styles do not always mesh with each other.
Listed are true examples of why my group has fought or experienced tension while traveling:
- Some people want to eat. Some people want to sleep. Some people want to keep touring. Have fun trying to decide one thing to do as a group without people getting mad.
- For the whimsical traveler, it is hard to get along in a group full of A to B travelers (see previous blog) and vice versa! I was with a group and one girl had this thing with taking a whiskey shot in every country. We hadn’t had lunch and it was the middle of the day. Some people simply weren’t feeling it but most of the group was cool with detouring to go with her! In the end, she took the shot in an Irish bar that was playing American music while in Slovakia. I call that a win for the books.
- When you tour all day, sometimes your feet hurt. When your feet hurt you get grouchy and tired. When you don’t want to continue touring you say “I’m taking a break!” and some people aren’t ready for a break and don’t want to waste their time while traveling. It’s OK to split up. Don’t let there be animosity in a group when someone *just can’t* anymore.
- One person has $100 to blow while the other has $20. How do you decide as group what to do without someone feeling left out? You can choose to do activities on your own or everyone might also agree to do a free activity like to go the beach!
- Sometimes you’re in a large group and a few people keep butting heads. When two people keep bickering the rest of the group gets annoyed and then everyone starts bickering. Solution? Split the group up. If you’re the one bickering what do you do? Decide to do some things on your own for a while! You might feel more at peace experiencing what you want to do.
I was in a group of 6 people traveling NYC. It had been a long day and 3 of us were in so much pain from walking. We had reached 20,000 steps (approximately 10 miles) with very few breaks and the day was only halfway through. We were tired and hangry. Half of the group wanted to take a free ferry to the Statue of Liberty but the other half decided to sip on some wine at a nearby restaurant as we watched the ferries approach the statue and return. They took the ferry at the perfect time. No one else was on the ferry while the sun was setting so the view of Manhattan was breathtaking. I know this because they snapchatted us the view (shout out to the best app ever). My group was happy for them and they were happy for us. We sat outside sipping our drinks at the patio with a beautiful view. I made friends with the owner of the restaurant and we had a lot of interesting conversations. The owner offered my entire group their rib eye steak for $12. I couldn't believe it! We all landed a cheap dinner of delicious steak with free wine, dessert, and an appetizer. My friends kept calling me sugar mama. I just kept laughing and drinking my free wine.
You have to remember to slow down to chase bubbles and play with birds. Keep things lighthearted with your group.
The best part, besides a cheap and amazing meal at a fancy 5 star restaurant off the Manhattan coast, was the fact that both groups came together to eat and felt refreshed, telling each other our experiences. Splitting up a group isn’t a divide—it allows for more stories!
So next time you’re feeling animosity, tension, exhaustion, hunger, or curiosity to explore then remember that it is A-OK to split up from the group to recharge and fill your needs. If you don't want to split up then remember that stopping to relax with your group is important. In the end, everyone will be happy and you’ll experience something special and unique to your own travel story.