Yesterday I phoned my friend Johanna, who is spending 6 months teaching in Spain in a college rotation (well actually we did not phone but sent tons of WhatsApp audios back and forth). She told me about how much she was enjoying her sister’s visit, but apparently was having mixed feelings about it: while she enjoyed her sister’s company after being apart for so long, she was starting to feel annoyed because she had to spend every single minute with her.
“She just can’t do anything alone! It was so much different when I went to visit you in Madrid,” she noted.
Johanna and I are very good friends, and what I appreciate most about our friendship is how open we are with each other. We are kind, of course, but if one is being ridiculous or stubborn, we’re not afraid to tell it how it is. That’s why when I went to visit Madrid last month and she decided to join me for the weekend, I was super excited to have her.
There was no big planning about our weekend. In my case, I had my own expectations: I would see my brother, I would visit my college friends, I would go to this concert… Meanwhile, she expected to sightsee Madrid, as she never had been there before. I lived in Madrid for 7 years so I really did not need to visit Plaza Mayor or El Prado, unless there was something particularly interesting going on.
The weekend arrived, and we stayed together at my brother’s apartment. We made a great combo because we both got what we wanted to: she did her thing and I did mine, whilst still having lunch, breakfast, going out in the evenings, and shopping together. It was great to have the independence of doing what we wanted to do, enjoy it, and be open about it.
Which brings me to the point: if you are planning on hosting one of your friends or going on a trip together, you might as well consider the following points: Do you have the same expectations from the trip? Are you both independent and mature enough to cope when things don’t go as planned? Do both of you understand that it is okay to have time for yourself? A trip together is a fantastic way of getting quality time with each other, but you also have to know when to give each other space or time to do your own thing. You don’t have to spend every waking moment together to have an amazing time.
Where are you traveling to this summer? Are you bringing a friend along?
(Feature image via @aspynovard)