Should I travel alone or with friends?
Plea for vacation with friends
The days after our arrival in London also showed that we wanted to take care of each other: by always making sure that none of them get lost. By paying attention to all needs from drinking to cigarette and toilet breaks. And by simply allowing ourselves some space when one of us didn't feel like visiting wax figures. That suited me in particular, who until then had mostly traveled alone. Because that gave me the feeling of being in a group, but also being able to act independently.
One more thing that speaks for traveling in groups: You can do the typical tourist things. The ones that you never do alone because you feel stupid and the whole thing is actually way too uncool. The tourist bus ride, for example. If you sit on four roles in this embarrassment, outsiders immediately label you as a full dumbbell wearing a belly belt. With friends, however, you may not care if you are immediately exposed as a foreigner. Because when discovering the foreign, the focus is on having fun and not on moving around as little tourist as possible. The experiences that one collects during a vacation with friends intensify with every curiosity discovered together - as more people see, empathize, laugh along.
From the bar around the corner and the vanished bus
So everything was easy and smooth. Until the last evening. To say goodbye, we wanted to go to the bar again, which had become our favorite bar in London surprisingly quickly. Around the corner from a small theater we found the dim pub that sold drinks at a fantastic price during happy hour. After we had toasted our successful trip extensively, we were politely pushed onto the street at a later hour - and somehow managed to miss the last bus.
"What now?" We asked ourselves and were confronted with the yawning emptiness of the streets, which even after a long wait no taxi would want to spit out. So we had the choice: either stand around like crazy or get moving. And because someone had to make a decision, I just pointed in one direction and said: "That way?"
So we marched off through the night, past closed shops and bars, through increasingly quieter residential areas. Our post-gin-tonic mood, which was still exuberant at first, lasted a good half an hour until we became steadily quieter and more sober. The wrong path we started could certainly have cost us our vacation-friendship mood if we hadn't continued to stick together anyway. Slightly teasing, but also encouraging comments lined up in attempts to gain something positive from the whole thing ("We would have never seen this part of London otherwise!").
The home away from home
So we wandered along the streets until a somewhat dubious-looking couple finally explained the way to the night bus stop. Forty minutes later we were back at our vacation home.
Finally in bed the thought occurred to me that wandering the streets of London, alone and without friends, would have been far less funny. On our adventurous way home in the group, however, we couldn't have gotten lost. Because in contrast to a solo traveler, after all, we had each other with us. A surrogate family that offers each other a permanent home.
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