Meet the Buddymooners, Carly and BreAnna: two young women who wanted to see Europe on a 3 month backpacking trip. During our little self-made writer’s retreat on the island of Hvar, Neil and I were typing on our balcony when we heard our neighbors chuckling as they ran from the cove dripping wet to the warm shelter of our holiday Grgevic Apartments. Leaning over the banister, we waved. “Hey there, neighbors! Do you guys have hot water in your shower?”
They looked up at us with politely inquisitive looks as two wired-looking writers leaned over the ledge and asked a very random question. Turns out, they did have hot water in their shower. Even further, so did we! Except that in our strange habit to turn off the lights at night, we’d managed to switch off the power to our hot water heater. Mystery solved and new friends made.
Two Friends Backpacking Around Europe
Carly and BreAnna are good friends from Idaho. On a sabbatical from their lives at home, they’ve seen Carly’s Dutch relatives on a visit to the Netherlands and were on their way to Prague. Happy and wide eyed, they were experiencing backpacking fun as great friends. I love this concept and hope that more travelers pick up the habit. As a couple, Neil and I have seen lots of other duos, wandering the world with their partners. But over the past several months, we’ve seen more friends pairing up to tackle the world.
What a great idea–and experience for them. With their outgoing personalities, they easily melded with the tight knit community of Jelsa on Hvar Island. They declared the “best cappuccino in the world” at local Caffe Bar Splendid and received invitations for dinners, boat trips, and casual chats in the main square. People were curious. They wanted to ask questions and as a result both found lifelong friends. Neil and I included, of course.
During our time in the house, we invited them over for drinks one night and then treated them to a makeshift meal of Croatian-inspired fish stew. We talked about life on the road and they laughed, telling us about their buddymoon. According to them, as two women, it’s best to stick together and have each other’s back. The first requisite to find a partner is that you get along and would enjoy spending 24/7 with that person. Not an easy feat but in fact Carly and BreAnna are a good travel match. They are funny, kind, and possess a sense of adventure. They don’t take anything for granted and even motivate each other to eat healthy and go for jogs along the bay!
The night before their 6am ferry from Jelsa to Split, the four of us dined at a local restaurant, Konoba Dubokovic that is owned by our friend Frank’s family. We promised to visit each other when we were all back home. We laughed over each other’s jokes and passed the potatoes around the wooden table. After a few drinks back at our favorite haunt, Caffe Bar Splendid, they returned home to pack and get ready for the next leg of their trip.
Why Travel with a Friend
Successful buddymooners work like a team. They compromise and support each other. But most importantly they have fun. It was very rare to see Carly and BreAnna without a smile on their faces or a funny quip coming off their tongues. Neil and I have seen many traveling friends. They’re traipsing around in the valley of longevity in Vilcabamba and hiking along up in the high altitudes of Cusco. Across the board, these pairs were laidback and honest with each other. They have great senses of humor and a spirit of generosity. If you’re thinking about taking a friend along on your next trip, consider recruiting someone with these traits. You may luck out and start a journey full of memories that few others could understand.
Note: buddymooners are often friends from home who set out on a trip with the intention of sticking together throughout the itinerary and returning home as friends as well. Travel buddies in general can be people you find along the way, befriend and continue along with. Sometimes these buddies are great, like our friends Hans and Anouk from Belgium. Other times, you quickly discover that you need to “break up” with this person. It can be ugly but that’s another story! Stay tuned.