“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill
Ngaire Drew has travelled with Explore on a number of occasions and has established her own friendship group made up entirely of people she met whilst on these trips. Here, she explains how 'Team Oman' was established, and why you are likely to find lifelong friends on an Explore trip.
"Whilst they say that travel broadens the mind, one of the other wonderful things that one gains from it is the opportunity to build a great circle of friends. And I’m sure Explore’s clientele must have numerous examples of this. As this short article was being written I was cruising on a Turkish gulet towards the Devil’s Cauldron in Djibouti.
Four of the five original "Team Oman" in Djibouti (Xmas '08) with ring-in (John). Left to right are Malcolm, myself, John, Ruth & Sheila
The scenery’s stark but stunning, the weather great (and it’s a cold December back in the UK!) and the memory of some fabulous snorkelling yesterday is still fresh in my mind. But what makes this trip even more special is that it’s being spent with a number of friends from a previous holiday with Explore. Ruth, Sheila, Malcolm and I first met in December 2005 on the Arabian Sands trip.
Team Oman in Timbuktu (Xmas '07) - but missing Janice!!
Together with Janice (who, for family reasons, stayed in the UK this Festive Season) we came to call ourselves ‘Team Oman’. Whilst none of us would have imagined it 3 years ago, 80% of the team have spent each Christmas / New Year together since. 2006 was the “Petra & Pyramids” tour (although I was in Libya), 2007 found us on “Timbuktu & Dogon Trails” and in 2008 “Djibouti Seatrek”. No mean feat when you consider that that with the combination of distance between us (Malcolm lives in Australia and Sheila in Inverness), differing work commitments, and previous travel can narrow the choice of tours that we each want (or are able) to do.
Janice, Sheila & John on their recent trip to Uganda (Gorilla & Chimp Safari)
This year we’ve also been joined by John (from Prague), who is one of the three fellow travellers from the Mali trip that became part of our circle of friends. (Ruth and I regularly meet up in London with the other two for food, drink and laughter.) When any, or all, of us get together it’s great to reminisce about the sights we’ve seen and the experiences we’ve shared.
Xerxes, myself, Angela & Ruth on one of our regular dinner catch-ups in London
Travel is about adventure and learning, appreciation and tolerance, and experiencing sights, sounds, smells and tastes, but it’s also about lifelong friendships. Well done Explore! – keep up the good work."
If you want to find out more about travelling solo with Explore, check out our solo travellers page for advice and trip recommendations.
Are you a a solo traveller who has met lifelong friends on an Explore trip? Maybe you met your soul mate on an Explore trip and have since moved in together or got married. Let us know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.