As I type this, I’ve just spent two days in Minsk, travelling with my friend Ali. It’s got me thinking about what I’m doing at the moment on my round-the-world trip.
For the most part I’m travelling on my own, and this is what I’ve generally done for the past couple of years, so having someone else around is very ‘different’ to what I’m used to, especially when that person is very different to me in terms of personality and style.
To be honest I think it would be the same with most of my friends; if I went on a trip with them for any longer than, say, a weekend, I think they’d be more than ready to kill me after a while. I think it’s just the way I am; I tend towards isolationism, but also I have in my own mind the way things should be, which is a lot more ‘casual’ and ‘laissez-faire’ than most people I know. I once spent four days on a motorboat on the Norfolk Broads with another of my friends (Sarah), and she did actually have to restrain herself from throwing me in the water on a number of occasions, and said she’d never go on a boat on her own with me again.
I think my ‘last-minute’ style and air of casualness tend to chide with most people. The ‘oh it’ll get done eventually, don’t worry about it now’ kind of attitude. I know certainly from the folks I work with that they’re amazed that I’ve done less organisation than they’d expect for this trip (but then they’re also amazed I only travel with hand-luggage – my style of holiday in general is very different from theirs).
The two previous days, I’d been with a tour group of 10 other people (plus two guides) to Chernobyl. I think I act differently in a tour group environment again – I try to just stay quiet and plod along, but with occasional flashes of deluded self-aggrandisement that I’m sure make others think ‘who is this loon?’.
I am an overly casual, random, self-opinionated, moody child. That’s why people don’t travel with me.