Travelling with friends belonging to the same peer group has become a more common scenario now than ever before, especially for people who are in their late teens and early twenties. Yet, a lot of energy goes into the planning of these very small two or three days trips, owing to the many negotiations we have to take on with our parents. No matter how difficult it may be to actually get the permission to go, or the degree to which this becomes a common 'trend' and you hate being part of a crowd label, taking a trip with your friends is an absolute must. It is an integral building block for life, and the sooner you start playing with it, the better you become at handling life! Moreover, these little trips with friends bring the much -needed stress relief from the rat race we are all entrenched in.
Having said so, there are two things that will ease the process of travelling with peers and ensure that you and your friends have a good time during the getaway.
THE COMMON FUND
The name is self-explanatory and gives away the idea. You are all travelling together and so you will be sharing your transport costs. But every other time when you have snacks or enjoy a cup of tea, it is becomes too much of a nuisance for each of you to pay separately, because you would also need to have enough change in order to do that, something that everyone is always short on.
So, you pool a certain amount of money, and you pay your bills from that pool. While you are travelling with friends and it is unlikely that you would get into arguments over money, it is still a good idea to keep a record of the expenses and also carry the 'common fund' separately — a tiny notebook and wallet are recommended essentials.
DOING THINGS SEPARATELY WHEN IN BIG GROUPS
Understand that there are differences amongst all of you. Even though you have those bonds and similarities in opinion which made you become friends in the first place, you might not share the same choices always. At times you have to do some things separately. This happens when you are in a larger group with more people.
The easiest way to resolve any arguments over where to go or what to do during the trip is to decide on these activities beforehand. In the case that there was no time to plan owing to the spontaneity of the trip, go easy on the plans and go with the flow to avoid stressful scenarios or bitter memories.
You must realise that you can do certain things separately and it will not affect the trip or the group sensibility since everyone is grown up enough to act responsibly and consciously.
And then there are just some perks of travelling with friends that are quite priceless —
It may seem odd to put this one here seeing as how I have pointed out that these perks would be priceless, but as a person who always thinks too much and packs heavy, (even for their daily commute to and from classes and work) being able to carry light is one of the best things that I have enjoyed about travelling with friends!
You only need to carry the very basic essentials that you cannot share, and the rest you all simply decide to carry amongst yourselves. This includes the first aid kit, toiletries, and sometimes even clothes, especially the ones we all take as backup.
If you have travelled in a big group before, you already know who this person is, and it could be you too. It is not specifically about just carrying the first aid box, you actually have to be able to take care of yourself or your friend, if sick. This is a habit that will help you throughout life, because let's face it, we all have to grow up and leave the nest at some point. Even if you do not actually adopt these basic skills, the nurse will remind you that even though you may have left the nest, there are still people you can rely on.
THE DINING EXPERIENCE
Living in the urban space of Dhaka city gives us very little time to enjoy companionship, and on a trip, be it in another city or in a jungle or up in the mountains, away from the busy schedules of our day in day out routines, you experience something absolutely unique. It is not the comfort of your homes that you get here; it is the comfort of knowing that with your friends, you are ready to indulge in the simplest of meals with no flair or extravaganza, and it could still be one of the best meals you have had! It is the knowledge of a shared experience, and the memory of being in a certain space that adds to your dining experience.
Travelling brings you inspiration, and seeking this inspiration with your friends results inevitably in irrevocable bonds. You grow a sense of responsibility when you draw from the little disagreements that may occur, and you mature as you learn to accommodate differences. The best thing though, about travelling with your friends, is that you make unforgettable memories. You live together in astounding moments, which you reminisce together in shared knowledge. It is in these memories of a field full of plucked corn shining in the morning sunlight like little kernels of gold biscuits, or of your friends waking you up just so you could sit in tranquil silence on the edge of a mountain top to witness the break of dawn, that life is replenished.
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed