Sunday, July 8, 2012

Being A Good Road Buddy ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

Stephanie and Dustin
Road Buddies - Rocky Mtn Frenzy Trip
While traveling alone can be rewarding and adventurous, the majority of our travels will include a partner or two.  Be it a significant other, friend or family member, you will typically find yourself on a trip with some company.  If I've learned anything from my travels it's that your choice of partner can make or break a trip. Not all friends make for good travel companions.  You have to choose wisely before inviting someone on a trip with you. So, what makes a good road buddy?

Here is a list of traits that every successful travel or road buddy should possess.  (In my humble opinion)  Find someone who fits these criteria and you can be fairly confident that you won't be ready to kill each other before you even pack your bags.

Mark and Owl - Road Buddies in the Smokies

Be together but alone - At some point on any trip, people will want to do different things. This will either cause a fight because one of you is insecure or create an opportunity for you to split up, enjoy some alone time and keep everyone happy.

Flexibility - Travel can create stressful situations. Plans will change on the fly or new ideas will be discovered. A good travel buddy can roll with the changes and see them as exciting opportunities.  Especially when the river gets too high during a flash flood in North Carolina!  Ha.  Has anyone walked on the Appalachian trail before??  = )  I can now say that I did!  Thanks, Owl!

 Road Buddy, Rebecca at River X

Hygiene - Hey, you're going to be with this person (potentially in cramped quarters) for days, or possibly weeks.  Either you both have to be slobs or you both have to keep clean.  Plain and simple... Make it pleasant for everyone.

Quiet Time - Whether you're standing at the edge of a cliff admiring the view or sitting around a campfire after a long day, there are times when you just want some peace and quiet. The company is nice, but knowing when to be silent makes it better.  And there is always time to be alone to gather one's thoughts for that upcoming blog post!  = )



Spontaneity - The chance to catch an arctic grayling in one of the few rivers in the U.S.  Off the beaten path a bit, but this is your chance to do it.  These are the opportunities that require split-second decisions and can create amazing memories.  Thanks, Maynard for having the vision on this one!  My highlight of the trip to Montana recently.  And it was something that I hadn't planned on!

Quiet Time - Whether you're standing at the edge of a cliff admiring the view or on a train after a long day, there are times when you just want some peace and quiet. The company is nice, but knowing when to be silent makes it better.


Why is Montana always so much fun???

Share responsibilities - If one person is doing all the planning, keeping things on schedule, booking all the flights, buses and hotels while the other person plans to just show up, there's a good chance resentment will pop up the first time you miss a bus. Split up the leg work and share the experience from beginning to end.  Sharing in the meals also helps.  For road trips, I always have a good assortment of lunch items for the whole gang. 

Extroverts have more fun - Going out on the town during a trip is a great way to change up the travel dynamic.  Find a lively place with music, food and drink...and let the good times roll!  West Yellowstone has a few of these type of establishments...  = )  I even remember someone dancing in our group... ha.   Adventure out on your adventure!  You don't have to be the life of the party...just join in the fun. 
And having a friend on a trip that likes to do the same crazy things as you do, is a plus!


Respect - You and your friend can disagree about a lot of things - foods, activities, destinations - but don't criticize each other. If your friend wants to eat grasshoppers or even scorpions while in Mexico and that grosses you out, let him or her enjoy the experience without having to hear you gagging in the background.

Cultural sensitivity - If you've ever traveled with someone who got into an argument over a language barrier, belittled someone or, in exasperation, yelled out something to the effect of "That's what's wrong with these people," you know how mortifying it can be to apologize for your friend's behavior. Best to travel with people who can handle cultural differences as well as you can.

Maynard and Ernie...what more can be said?
Of course, these aren't the only things that you want to keep in mind when choosing a road buddy, but they're the biggest concerns. You'll surely also want a friend who won't mind if you stop to take lots of pictures or who will share their photos with you if you're not a shutterbug. And it never hurts if you don't mind sharing a jacket or iPod when someone didn't pack properly. Compromise and common courtesy go a long way towards keeping the peace.

Sunday Tippet:  Picking the right travel partner will ensure that you not only enjoy your trip, but that you will have shared experiences that will strengthen your friendship when the trip is over. I am fortunate enough to have a group of friends that can tolerate me for a little while anyway!  Ha.  Seriously, I am fortunate to have great road buddies that share the same passion of fly fishing and adventure.  It has been great to make new friendships and make memories to last a lifetime.

 A final note:  My last trip to the great state of Montana..."Land of the Big Brown Trout", was directed by "Maynard" and I must give him his very much earned props for giving us all a great trip!  Thanks, buddy!

  And check out this Arctic Grayling from Alaska that Maynard sent me...The dorsal fin is incredible!

Have a great week, everyone!


  1. Yeah Maynard for bringing Damsel back in one piece. Good tips Em.

  2. Howard ~ Yep, back in one piece and ready to go again! Thanks, pal.

  3. All very good thoughtful and considerate attributes for defining what makes a good travel buddy. In fact, you could apply many of these characteristics with respect to choosing friends in life, to my way of thinking anyway. Good list Em! There's nothing in there about reaching agreement on beer selection though. I find that strangely unsettling for some reason.

    1. Gary - I believe the pick of the night for the guys was "Trout Slayer"... Me, I'm a Diet Coke kind of girl!

    2. And the designated driver... ; )