Travelling alone and volunteering in India can seem daunting, even impossible to navigate, and even with all the planning in the world can sometimes make you feel like you’re not prepared enough. Enter: your best friend!
They know you like nobody else does.
They’ve seen you through the good times and the bad.
They’ll support you when things get frustrating or complicated.
They’re like your family, and you love ‘em!
They’re a little bit of home…
and sometimes they’re the hardest people to travel with.
Now, I know that’s hard to hear. But, there’s some good reasons to consider.
Travelling with your best friend in India is a life saver, especially if it’s your first trip. You have peace ofmind, and someone to share your experiences with. It can be an incredible experience to do a program like Leave UR Mark and intern or volunteer at an organisation with a friend. Some of my fondest memories from my first trip to India are volunteering with my best friend in the whole wide world: http://leaveurmark.com/non-profit-volunteering-in-india/
You can share unforgettable moments, difficult situations, and everything in between with someone who knows you like nobody else. Plenty of laughs. Travelling. Epic photos. Great food. Days that you never want to end. Nights that seem to last forever.
Going through this adventure with my best friend meant that we could bounce ideas off of each other, and understand the Indian work environment and culture together. Problem solving together as we went.
Looking to each other to understand our surroundings a little better, and also find meaning in difficult circumstances.
We knew our comfort zones, and what we wanted to see and do. It’s important to travel like this at some point. To understand you as your friends and family do. To live comfortably when you travel.
Well, maybe atleast for your first trip.
On your second trip abroad, or even first if you’re ready, don’t be afraid to go it alone. To experience things differently. To ask questions and enjoy being a little lost, just so you can find your own way. I wouldn’t have traded my time with my best friend in India for all the world. But this time, I’m learning more about India, and myself by going solo. There’s a real benefit to doing a program like Leave UR Mark, where there’s other interns from all over the world to travel with on evenings and weekends. Each with a different gift, each with something incredible to share.
With that, here’s my list of do’s and don’ts when travelling with a friend!
-encourage each other to try new things (safely!)
– support each other when needed
-give each other space once in a while: 24/7 gets claustrophobic quickly!
-meet new people to travel with and talk to
-have a good laugh often: it’s good for you!
-take lots of silly, serious, and awesome photos: they’re great memories
-take your own photos; we all see the world differently, and it’s always amazing to compare pictures when you come home.
-ask questions of your surroundings often.
-remember to carpool luggage: share some items instead of bringing two of everything!
-force each other to get over jet lag ASAP!
-have an exclusive club for the two of you. India is a big country, and there’s lots to see and do.
-Enjoy your surroundings, and don’t keep yourself closed off from all the incredible things around you.
-be too stressed out on your travel companion: India is intense, and sometimes you’re going to get stressedout. Don’t take your aggravation out on your friend when you’re in a difficult situation. You want your friendship to survive your trip!
-miss out on awesome opportunities because your friend doesn’t want to go. There’s lots of places that are safe to explore solo for the day, and sometimes other tourists you will meet through internships etc. that you’d like to go with.
-Worry if you don’t talk a lot right away when you get home: you might need a little break from each otherafter all your adventures!
-….and finally: don’t forget to leave some room in your travel itinerary to be spontaneous. They’re usually the best moments of your whole trip!
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are considering volunteering in India with a friend!