Psychologist's advice. Finding a company for a long trip

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Natalie adores everything that is at least slightly connected with Scandinavia. She renovated her home according to the laws of Scandinavian interior design, she collected all the books by Selma Lagerlof and Astrid Lindgren, and she is daydreaming to see the Northern Lights.

She would love to go to Norway or Sweden, but her husband Tony is not sharing her passion. Instead, he would love to go to Amazon River Jungle, on a survival tour, involving fishing and hunting. It seems that whatever tour they choose, they can’t be both happy at the same time.

Finding two different companions though could be a good idea (depending on what is the main purpose of the trip of course). But how should one choose a companion for a long trip? It is very similar to picking the crew for a space flight or a submarine. So here is what psychologists advise to do choosing a fellow traveller if you don’t want to spoil the overall impression of the vacation.

Make a rehearsal

If it’s possible, don’t choose a companion right before the trip. Take time to get acquainted. The best thing will be to go on a short weekend trip somewhere in your region. A weekend is usually enough to see whether you two are psychologically compatible.

Discuss small details in advance

If you plan to see all the museums or visit all the churches, it would be best to let your potential companion know about your expectations from the trip. Small details like places to have dinner, the transportation and general schedule can become a surprising and unnecessary conflict. Discussing all these things including the appropriate budget will let you avoid any extra misunderstandings.

An early bird or an owl?

This is also a good question to figure out before the tickets are bought. If you plan to spend evenings in the nightclubs, you can be surprised to find out your roommate wakes up at 5 AM to do yoga and to greet the rising sun. Being a sunset person will not let you share her awe. Though in case this is the only difference in your characters (assuming everything else is fine) you can live in separate rooms with slightly different schedules in the morning.

Be ready to part any moment

You certainly should always hope for the best outcomes, but unpleasant stuff happens too. There is always a chance your companion is moody, or spontaneous, or both. So just in case always keep your documents, money and (especially) tickets with yourself. If your companion suddenly decides she should go to see the Loch Ness monster or the Taj Mahal right now, you can easily split and let her take a different plane.

We’ll speak about safety issues the next time, stay tuned to our updates.


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