Finding Compatible WFPB Travel Companions
Among my travel companions, many of us have adopted a Whole Foods Plant Based Lifestyle. (WFPB) This is the combination of plant based nutrition with limited or no salt, sugar or added oils.
We seek like minded travel companionship as it’s easier to plan and prepare for a few, than for a solo traveler. We also seek to connect with those who have similar ideals because it limits our ability to find the right mix of self catering and targeted restaurants. Dietary differences can lead to conflict.
Here are some criteria for WFPB travel compatibility. Much of the success/failure of adopting a lifestyle change can be attributed to a few predictable personality traits.
Intellect: Does the person have the intellect to understand the benefits of changing to or maintaining their WFPB lifestyle? Can they postpone/delay gratification for the requisite 2-4 weeks needed to forge new habits? Do they grasp the longer term but highly predictable future state of their health if they hang onto the typical traditions and patterns of the SAD (Standard American Diet) (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, cancer)
Social conformity: Does this individual feel compelled to “go along to get along” in their social circles? Do they cringe at the thought of not eating what is served them, or worse, asking for what they need/want in advance? Will their lack of resolve tempt you to make choices you try to avoid?
Problem solving: Can he/she anticipate future events and possible outcomes and make immediate contingency plans? If not, are they sufficiently trustful of your experience to let you take the lead on those occasions or will they attempt to second guess or out-smart? Would they end up getting on the right train heading in the wrong direction?
Planning: Does this person anticipate the likelihood of late day hunger, arriving at a destination where there are no restaurants open or being on a delayed flight where the only options are packaged junk? Are they prepared by having ideal food choices with them or does this become another excuse for reverting to SAD? Or creating unnecessary group drama due to lack of preparation?
Compatibility Test #2: How well do your “scores” on this list of criteria match up with those you are considering as travel companions? Food choices are a major part of every day, and traveling requires more advance planning than home life. How willing are you to become the responsible one, the default “tour guide” if others don’t anticipate and plan in ways similar to your’s?
Traveling with Friends
Long term friends can often become compatible travel partners but it’s not a guarantee. For those with whom I have traveled we have almost a secret language. Plans are made in advance but the option to change and flex is always present. There is no pressure to “keep moving and see it all” as we know that the ideal day is a sampling of choices, paired with a good mid day meal and the option to slow down for a couple of hours when needed (those siestas have their place!) We often factor in movies or film events at museums as a way to take a breather. If someone needs to drop out for any reason, the attitude is always one of acceptance.
Compatibility Test #3: Have you discussed planning for the events of the day/days/weeks that you will be traveling? Do you have similar views on how much to see, how long to spend in any museum or sites that will meet your collective needs? Are you all similarly punctual? Have you reviewed a comprehensive list of potential activities and roughed out a general outline of possibilities factoring in days of the week (most museums closed Monday or Tuesday) and the need for advance purchase tickets?
Are you traveling with the concept of being “friends” when you might be better off using a roommate model? Friends feel compelled to do everything together; room mates make some together plans along with sufficient solo or dyad plans to break it up?
If you are heading to London, have you looked up the dates for “half-term” school holidays when museums and attractions are bursting with locals keeping their children occupied? Looked at Bank Holidays for additional closures? Most attraction websites will list closures. A quick “school holidays target city” will help you avoid travel when school is out.
Reviewing this list its easy for me to understand why so many friends have dubbed me “an excellent planner” when I think of myself as horrible on detail. What they might mean is that I’m strong on anticipation and optimization in the moment and for that I agree. I leave the details to tripit.com or the ever handy spreadsheet. Or my great virtual assistant Kim with whom I have joyfully worked for years!
Finding WFPB compatible travel partners is a long term goal. If you resonate with Traveling Plant Powered and our topics, follow me on social media. On Instagram @travelingplantpowered.
Watch for posts of future destinations in 2020. I already know where I’ll be in late June and early July 2020. Lets connect. I welcome your comments. Happy Traveling!