They say that traveling with someone can make or break your friendship. I always approach traveling as an adventure but I am well aware of the fact that not everyone has the same travel style or travel agenda. When my San Francisco wedding came up, I knew I didn’t want to go alone! Since my sweet husband is in his crazy wine season I called my girl, Chloe, to see if she wanted to join. She was all in, no questions asked and we began to plan a little wedding season finale getaway! You’ve seen Chloe’s work all over my blog, she is a talented photographer and a good friend of ours. She creates beautiful images and sees the world in a unique way. At the age of 24, she’s been through more than most grown adults and her perspective is always fresh and original. The longest we had ever hung out prior to this adventure was just a day at a time and although we are pro’s at sharing a bottle of wine with chips and salsa (and good conversation) we were pretty much jumping into this trip with zero travel experience with one another.
I am happy to report that we came out on top, not a single fight or argument, no heated words or stressed actions, we stuck together and tacked the city together all with magnificent hashtags and wonderful memories! Not only did we share a room at a hostel, we slept in bunk beds, ate off of one another’s plates, and climbed the city hills together as a pair. I’m not writing to tell you how awesome our trip was (it really was awesome) I am writing to share a valuable lesson I learned on my adventures with Chloe. Choose the challenge, friends. I mean, choose people who challenge you when you are choosing friends. Chloe and I are incredibly alike but seriously different at the same time. We have similar interests, tastes, and hobbies but we have entirely differing life ideals, ambitions, and perspectives. Throughout the trip we had so many conversations, some of which really challenged me to look deeper, consider the other perspective, and communicate what it is I believe in. As we navigated life in a new city together, we shared a lot of words that left me realizing how important it is to invite people into your life who will truly challenge you.
As humans we want to be liked, accepted, and included. We tend to attract likeminded people and surround ourselves with those who will blindly agree with us and support us in whatever direction the wind blows us. We find comfort in having friends that think like us, act like us, dream like us and sometimes we shy away from anything different for fear of being challenged. I’ve seen it countless times in life, where humans huddle together in a posse and convince themselves that they are saving the world but they forget to see things in different lights, they refuse to consider the other side, and they rarely are challenged to defend their work or beliefs. When we do this, we are robbing ourselves of a chance to grow and flourish, we are refusing to open our eyes to new ways of tackling life, and we are turning our backs on the chance to bond with people who might not drink your Koolaid, you catch my drift? I want you to choose the challenge, to invite people into your life who will help you grow, who will ask the hard questions, who will share their perspective in an enlightening way, and who offer a different way of seeing life. Chloe and I both agreed that our relationship was anything but surface level, that our time was spent sharing words that left us laughing ’til we cried and exchanging thoughts that made us think deeper. The second we refuse to grow, is the second we shy away from chasing true greatness. Choose the challenge, don’t shy away, you’ll be amazed and the things you learn not only about yourself or others (and you just might get to spend time in bunk beds in a new city with one of your best friends!)