It's one of those things that you always talk about excitedly: packing up your things and heading on a vacation with your best friend for a week of pure, unfiltered fun.
The planning stage seems to fly by, and before you know it, you're standing together with your boarding passes in hand walking onto the plane thinking that it's all smooth sailing from here.
Well, in my case, I was wrong.
It Started Out Just Fine
After talking about talking a hypothetical vacation together for months, I stumbled across a cheap price for an all-inclusive vacation to Cuba a couple of weeks out. By some miracle, we ended up both being able to take vacation time from our jobs in the middle of winter, and we were booked in minutes.
We Had Some Inherent Differences Off The Bat
It's notable that I was a much more experienced traveler than my friend, who had only traveled abroad once or twice in her life. Additionally, she's a picky eater, while I will pretty much consume anything. However, I decided that these would be negligible differences.
There Was The First Warning Sign
I should've known that we were on different mental wavelengths when I arrived with a small suitcase and a purse to carry on the flight and she rolled up to the airport with a large suitcase, an over-sized carry-on, and a stuffed backpack.
Things Only Went Downhill From There
When we reached the resort, she immediately wanted to go full party mode even though it was two in the morning and we'd gone through a tedious flight process. When I mentioned that I was a little too tired, she guilted me into having a few drinks—I did it just to keep the mood light.
I Had Clearly Done More Preparation
I'd done my research on the resort as well as all-inclusive hotels and read that seats by the pool/beach were hard to come by if you didn't claim one early, so I suggested we wake up at 8:00 by the latest to make sure we could actually have beach lounge chairs, and she agreed.
She Kept Me Waiting For Hours
However, in the morning, she said she wanted a little more rest and that she'd meet me out there; over the next while, I texted her my location and she continuously said she was coming, but didn't arrive.
She Blamed Me For Giving Up Her Seat
After saving a seat for her for hours, I eventually conceded to give it to someone else who had been searching for one around the pool for a while. When my friend arrived to see I didn't have a chair for her at 12:30, she had the audacity to be annoyed with me. When I confronted her about it, she waved me off.
She Ditched Me Without Warning
Later, she wanted to go dancing at the resort night club, but was upset when we arrived and the club wasn't bumping. She immediately ditched me while I was ordering drinks to instead flirt with a group of guys.
There Were Certain Things Outside Of My Comfort Zone...
She told me that they'd heard of a great club in the city, she wanted us to leave the resort to take it on alone, despite me telling her that I didn't want to venture off the resort for safety reasons even before we flew there, and she had originally agreed with me.
She Left Without Me Anyway
She immediately left me behind to ask the men to go clubbing with her and didn't come home until 7 a.m., at which point I was freaking out that something awful had happened to her. When I told her I had been worried and had stayed up all night, she brushed it off like it was nothing.
I Had To Endure Her Non-Stop Stream Of Complaints
I endured days of her complaints about the food (which I'd told her might not be that great at a cheap all-inclusive), the weather being too hot, and not having the best seats at the pool.
I Was Alone More Often Than Not
The rest of the trip, I might as well have been alone—perhaps that would even have been better. She would ditch me at the first opportunity to flirt with some boys as if my company alone wasn't worthy of her time. She was fixated on wearing flashy outfits and taking Instagram pictures, while I wanted to sit back and relax.
It Was Her "All About Her" Show
She tried to make everything about herself and would try and make me the villain if I wanted to do a different activity or brought up something she'd done that bothered me. Every day, there was tension between the two of us, and I ended up feeling miserable. I'd end up trying to do things she liked, but she never tried to the same for me.
I Might As Well Have Stayed In The Office
By the end of the trip, I felt worn out, exhausted, and more stressed than if I had not gone on vacation at all. When we separated at the airport to go to our respective homes, I couldn't have felt more relieved.
While all the problems between us might seem small, it was clear she didn't really care how I was feeling during the whole trip, and I ended up feeling almost betrayed by her.
We Never Really Recovered From It
She continued to be annoyed with me after the trip, telling all of our mutual friends that I was a total drag and always trying to fight her. I didn't even want to try to hang out with her after I saw this new irresponsible, selfish, inconsiderate version of her. Since then, we've only spoken a few times.
It makes me sad, since we had been so close for years, and now there was a huge wedge between us.
Being Friends Does Not Mean You're Travel Compatible
We absolutely used to love spending time together at home, but traveling as a pair forces you to spend just about every moment of every day together and puts your differences under a magnifying glass.
There Are Things You Should Figure Out Before Booking A Vacation Together
While it was an awful experience, I learned a lot about traveling with others. Before heading on a trip with someone, first discuss your expectations for the vacation: are you hoping to relax or go on many adventures? What kinds of foods are you willing to try? What is your ideal day on vacation?
You Have To Share Interests
For example, when traveling to Europe, if you want to focus on seeing historical sites, going to art museums, and indulging in the traditional architecture, you won't want to go with someone who's more interested in partying hard every night.
Ensure You Have Similar Lifestyle Preferences
If you're a type A and love to have a daily plan, you might rub someone who prefers to just go with the flow the wrong way. Additionally, you might face intense conflicts if one of you is a morning person and the other is a night owl.
Most Of All, Mutual Respect For Each Other Is Key
I'm not saying that you can only travel with your identical twin, but you need to always travel with someone who respects your boundaries and can openly communicate with you in a constructive way—and vice versa. At the end of it all, would you even want a friend who doesn't respect you anyway?