‘Thou Shalt Pick Thy Travelling Partner Carefully’

Let me introduce my friend Alicé.

My Friend Alicé

Assuming I make it through the two months travelling alone in Thailand, I’ll be meeting up with this light-haired lass in Kuala Lumpur in the new year. Originally, we were going to be travelling together for the whole adventure with added trips to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. However reality struck, like usual, when it came down to putting our dreams to paper: her severe and fatal peanut allergy rained all over our parade. Alicé had to pull out of most of Southeast Asia, and as devastating as it was, it has pushed me to do the thing I never thought I would ever do, go backpacking alone. Talk about jumping into the deep end and all that!

From speaking to experienced travellers, many advise that even though travelling alone may be daunting, it is the best way. It pushes you well out of your comfort zone and forces you to meet new people, join in new experiences you wouldn’t have normally considered- you’re not exactly going to hide out in your hostel all night, right?!

If you plan to travel with someone/people you know from your home country, you better chose carefully as there would be nothing worse that plunging into the unknown wilderness with a psycho.

I could imagine (remember I am very much a backpacking novice) that a travelling companion would mean very little privacy, living in each others pockets, bad moods, stressful times which may lead to lashing out at the person closest to you. Great.

But with the downs, there’s always the up side! Cheaper shared accommodation, a second opinion on whether we’re getting ripped off, a trusted watchful eye on your stuff on the beach while you pop to the loo, someone to administer the Heimlich manoeuvre if you choke on a spicy spring roll, and of course, amazing memories to share forever.

I’ve known Alicé for a couple of years. This friendship between two individuals (who look about as opposite as you can get) was struck up during a tequila soaked night in Cornwall. She’s insane, she is a nut and when drunk her middle name transforms to ‘liability’. We’ve seriously argued, seriously cried, seriously laughed and caused serious mischief throughout our University years.

Drink up

It will be amazing to see her out there, the transition from ‘alone’ to ‘team’ might be strange but we’re going to roll with it and make this trip one we’ll never forget.

Sophie Saint was one of the original travelettes, from 2009 – 2017. After fleeing the UK with ink barely dry on her graduation certificate, she traversed the world with a backpack and spent a few years living in Melbourne – one of her favourite cities in the world.

She finally returned to the UK after a few years where she now whiles time away zipping off for European escapes, crocheting and daydreaming of owning her own hostel somewhere hot to live out eternal summers. See what she’s up to over on her blog saintsonaplane.com and instagram: @saintsonaplane