By: Lindsay Hogg
Has Modern Day Technology Made Things Better or Worse?
You meet so many amazing people traveling, and some sucky ones, but mostly great new friends. It’s almost like the end of a extended date when u part ways. Do I ask them for their email? Add them to Facebook? Is that too forward? Will they even talk to me again? What if I smell bad when we hug goodbye?
Alas, majority of the time, you become Facebook buddies. In fact, out of courtesy, you become Facebook buddies with a lot of people you only spent a few hours with. Eventually these people will become a distant memory. I often forget about people I met until I’m tagged in a photo with them or see their status update and ask myself “Who the f%$# is that?… Ohhhhh… that guy I had beer with in that bar, at that place” . There are the few REALLY good friends you make, who become people you know you will speak to again without a doubt, but you find yourself having the same conversations on Facebook Chat, Skype or any other IM, every few weeks…
Something along the lines of….
Friend: HEY! Omg I miss you!
You: I miss you too! Come to my country!
Friend: No, you come to my country!
You: I miss the country we were in together!
Friend: Me too! Let’s go back!
You: Yeah! Let’s just go!
Friend: Anyways I gotta get back to work
You: Ya me too
Friend: Miss you!
You: U too! Bye byes
Seriously? Come on now! I mean, this is the standard, not always all, but it sounds pretty familiar doesn’t it? I wonder how they had these sort of conversations ‘back in the day’ when you met someone travelling and you would become pen pals. I know what ‘pals’ means, but I have NO idea what this ‘pen’ you speak of is. Or, are our modern day conversations likes this because we take advantage of the fact that the person we travelled with is on our friend list, so they’re always kinda ‘there’? They won’t go away unless they DELETE you. Which we all know no matter who it is, we always feel slightly offended when we realized someone has digitally de-friended us.
So many awesome people I’ve met seem to fade away. Many of them I will never see again and in most cases, we have travelled together but actually know very little about each other. Instead you get to know someones day to day personality – what makes them grumpy and what time they get hungry. You skip a few friendship steps when you meet people travelling, so certain things get left out and you have many irrelevant conversations that make little impact on your future relationship.
Even those friends I’ve become close with from being on the road together, and still speak too, with time we begin to loose contact and our relationship suffers. So I wonder if that will just continue to deteriorate as time goes on, or if it will plateau. I hope I don’t loose these friends, but people get jobs and families. This happens in all walks of life, not only the one of a traveller. Life changes with time and so do the people in it.?
Great post – Caz from yTravelBlog wrote a nice piece awhile back about this and she was saying that sometimes these travel friends are meant to be just what they are: momentary friends, special for just that place and time, nothing more and we should appreciate them just for that (hope I’m summarizing that correctly). We just finished a week trekking with a guy we met from Sydney and on the last night at dinner we toasted and he joked, “Here’s to graduating from real friends to Facebook friends.” It’s sad but true. We hope to see each other again but who knows when our paths will cross. For John and me, moving around a lot means that this happens all the time with people, even when we meet at the place we are living long-term. If we really like people we always keep their email and make an effort to catch up if we’re in their city. Often we are but with many awesome people we keep in touch only on Facebook, random likes to comments, etc. It is lame, isn’t it. But I think it is still worthwhile to exchange email addresses and friend each other on FB or Twitter because life success is all about who you know. There may come a time when you can help each other out or find yourselves working on similar projects. And it is wonderful to have a mate in each city in the world – that’s one of my goals anyway =)
Its true. I always try to keep in contact too, but I find the conversation fades with time. It’s hard to talk to people you travelled with about their daily lives as well. Caz from yTravel Blog is awesome. I haven’t read that post, I should go look for it. I hope to see my travel buddies again. Some of them I spend months with travelling around the same continent.
Facebook is lame, alas we are all addicted haha.
I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or not but I tend to stay in touch with almost everybody I meet while travelling. Sure there are the ones that you’ll speak to for 5 minutes in the hostel that I probably won’t speak to again, but if I have spent a few hours with them then I tend to make friends with them. While I was in a hostel in Melbourne I met the brother of the person that I was sharing a bunk bed with. We only chatted for a few hours for one night, but now we’ve pretty much finalised our plans for a tour of Europe next year. I’m also going to stay with a girl I met in Bangkok at some point this summer. It seems pretty crazy thinking about it… but to answer the question, yeah I keep in contact with travel buddies!
That’s cool that your going to travel in Europe with him! I keep in contact with most people too. I tend to make good friends wherever I go, I’m a social person. I actually miss a lot of people and I think I will try to start emailing with the close ones I made on my last RTW trip rather than quick facebook chats which can be useless sometimes.
And it’s not crazy, really… I met knew my friend Els for 3 days and we travelled for 2 months together after we met in Peru.
I also met up with friends I made in Argentina all over the world – we met again in Hong Kong, Beijing and New Zealand
You can’t keep constant contact with everybody you met on your trip, but from time to time it is very interesting to see somebody you already met awhile ago if it happens you are traveling to the same city or country.
It is crazy! I was just saying above that I had met people in South America who were also doing a RTW trip in Asia and New Zealand. It was even more crazy to run into people I met in South America who I hadn’t planned to meet up with and didn’t know they would be on those other continents.
I have mixed feelings here. On the one hand, yes, I’m an absolute clinger to some of the brilliant friends I’ve made here and there. One chap I befriended in Australia is now one of my closest friends, and there are countless more who I arrange beers with month after month. Well, maybe not countless, but, you know…
I’m torn, though. Although this is rare I’m sure, one example of when keeping in touch didn’t quite work would be a girl I met in Amsterdam (don’t panic, this is safe to read..!). We got on incredibly well, connecting in a very natural way that lit up the hostel dorm we shared. We went on to drink an immeasurable amount of continental beer, laughed uncontrollably at things like geese and eventually both lost every shred of memory of the evening. However, we then met a few months later and outside of that one place and time, outside of the willingness and need to befriend, it just wasn’t happening. We still got on, but the energy and liveliness just wasn’t there. It was odd, and since I’ve been a bit cautious. I suppose you can never be truly sure how things will change once you’re back in your ‘real life’.
Fascinating post though, you’ve inspired me to say hello to a few of my travelling buddies for the first time in a while 🙂
I replied to this and I don’t know where my comment went? Now I can’t remember what I said.
Something along the lines of “people are more fun and outgoing when they are travelling, you feel more free I guess?” haha
I can see if you are the type to only trip every once and awhile but if you travel a lot then it would be very hard to keep up with. Heck i have people I have known for years and its hard to keep up with them. Facebook only ends up help you have a lot of people on your list of friends.
It’s true. I forget I have some people I met traveling on my facebook until I see their update in my feed or something. Even then I’m like WHO IS THAT?… ohhh its that guy I met in Boliviaaaa…
Hogga, if we ever meet we will be BFFF’s for eva. Yea, I have also meet peeps along the way, some you stay in touch with, some you don’t. I think its sort of easier to keep in touch with people that are still traveling, versus people that had 2 weeks off work and are now back in their cubicle. I’m excited to see how many people that I’ve met/want to meet I will be meeting up with somewhere in SE Asia. And don’t forget the couchsurfers…do you FB them or what?
What’s the extra ‘f’ for? I hope it’s profanity of some sort!
I facebook peeps mostly. Some on skype. It’s hard though. I miss my lil travel friend-os
Awesome post and blog. It is funny how these people are such a huge part of our travels, but then fade away so easily. I have two friends that I have kept in touch with and would consider buddies 4 years later. Usually you can tell. Worst case: you stay in touch, wish them happy birthday once a year on their facebook wall and then you have somewhere to crash if you ever visit their country, right?
I know – I find the people I meet can really make or break a place for me
I definitely think most of the people I meet in my travels were one-time acquaintances. We had a good chat, maybe even saw something magical together, and then we go on our separate ways. I do not need to stay in touch with everyone I meet. Friendships require a good bit of work, and I prefer to do it right.
It is really important to me to keep in touch with the handful of people I have actually formed a real connection with. I am very thankful to Facebook (which I normally despise), email, and Skype for making that easier. Will we chat every day? Definitely not. Will we chat every week? Probably not. But maybe every couple of months is enough for the ones that are really going to be a part of my life.
That’s great it’s so important to you!
Over time I think you recognize the friendship for what it is. However, Facebook is amazing and I have met up with people a couple years later so it’s worth it to at least add them and see when you cross paths again.
Most of the times the people I meet are trip friends, not more, but after the years there are quire a few I still keep in touch with and even meet often. Then there are those who’s email I wish I hadn’t lost because I knew there would have been a great friendship…
I hear that! I feel like I made a lot of friends that I thought I would keep and didn’t
I am still having such a hard time with this. The only positive side to having them on Facebook is that if you are planning on being on the same route, it makes meeting up even that much easier. I have a friend we met in Tulum that we are meeting up with in Utila, Honduras. 🙂
It is hard, but I figure it’s always good to keep in contact with people, even if it’s just being friends on FB or Twitter… never know when your paths may meet again!