Post-meetup: You Go, Girl!
We met in a nifty lefty coffee shop to talk about ‘women and travel’ in the spirit of celebrating ourselves as accomplished and experienced women. No big surprise, everybody’s got lots to tell about their adventures.
Now, looking back on my own travels and thinking about what other people said yesterday, it seems to me that human relations are a big part of what we value about travel. Of course, women are characterized as placing a special value on relationships. So, big thanks to the meetup crew for reminding me that we need to celebrate traits that are slighted as being ‘feminine’. Here’s to our traveling companions, encounters and being by ourselves, too!
Every time I go away, who I go with is really important. I’ve gone to Montreal with a stranger, to Ireland with my sibs, mum, her husband, my boyfriend, his dad and my brother’s girlfriend, on road trips with good friends, to Arizona with a meetup group. In choosing to travel with somebody, you’re accepting them into your life and in the time you spend there, you make them a stronger part of it. Spending a hunk of time with anyone is just an intimate thing to do, and it really intensifies relationships.
You can pretty much anticipate interpersonal issues when you travel with anybody. Really, you can anticipate flat-out blow-ups with them. Negotiating that is part of developing relationships. You have to express your desires and recognize others’. You have to know when you need some time to yourself. Maybe you learn not to travel together again, too.
You can anticipate that there are going to be good laughs, too, though and finding commonalities and enjoying downtime where someone’s just around while you’re being your off-stage self.
Now, the people I’ve met along the way have been really important, too. The other Ontario girls I lived with in Wisconsin, the gang of dormmates from the French course in New Brunswick, my family in California and the crazy hippy community in the woods come to mind. There are chance encounters, too, like the old man in the pub in Derry who came over to us with a list of places we ought to see while we were there, the girl who put makeup on me in a little dive in L.A., or the Francophone gals who led me through the Montreal subway while we mangled each others’ languages. There’s a lot to be learned from people along the way, about how people are the same and different, and connecting with people.
Hooray for the folks who are part of our adventures, for valuing relationships and for you meetuppers who get me thinking about this stuff:)