Copilot Jessie - J and the
9 Traits of the Perfect Travel Companion
I met Jessica the year I moved to Texas. We have had a long-lasting friendship and the strongest trait of this longevity is the rawness of it all. We are very forward, incredibly blunt, quite honest and uniquely respectful of each other with zero judgement. These traits greatly reflect in our choice of traveling together. Here are 9 traits she possesses that you should look for in a travel-companion:
1. A child-like enjoyment of every last little thing
Negativity has no place on the road, the high seas or anywhere else traveled for pleasure. Being with someone who can’t help but see beauty in everything is contagious. Taking pleasure in all the small moments, details and ephemera of your trip is what travel is all about. More than keeping track of travel logistics, a companion who keeps things light and positive makes everything about your vacation better.
2. A Buddha-like acceptance of setbacks
Flight diversion? Awful Thunderstorm? Bear encounter? (yes that happened). Rains every day it’s supposed to be 84º and sunny? It doesn’t faze the perfect traveling companion. Whatever snafus and mistakes happen, a lip-curling freak-out never helps anything. Someone who rolls with the punches and has fun no matter what, carries the day every time.
3. Can make you do things out of character
To clarify, we’re not talking about ending up on the wrong side of the law. But getting close isn’t always a bad thing. Vacations are about saying “yes” and not “no.” You can say no to dancing on tables when you get home. For now, listen to your perfect travel companion when they ask, “Why not?” Your answer should always begin with, “Well, okay…” Your favorite memories in the future will thank you. And for the record, we may or may not have had a 3 hour long dance party over a bottle of champagne in our jammies... Oh and one time we went to a bar made completely of ice... because we could.
4. Refuses to set foot in fast food places
If you find yourself wondering, “What do burgers and fries taste like in this country?” you’re doing it wrong. “Fast food” is acceptable if it comes from a roadside stand, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant or a food cart. A perfect travel partner knows if there are arches, pigtails or kids’ toys, it’s a no go. Thank GOD Jessie-J it a perfect foodie-friend!
5. Can dead-lift at least 100 pounds
Flights get changed, rides get missed, elevators may be inoperable, rain cells can come from nowhere. At some point in your travels, you’re going to need to move 75 pounds of luggage several hundred yards real quick. Oh and Grizzly encounters happen. (for real, we encountered a grizzly and Jessie-J saved us). Failing that, there’s dozens of other unexpected ways that this trait comes in handy on the road. The perfect travel companion can help you hustle.
6. Isn’t your conjoined twin
For all the reasons you want the perfect travel partner, you don’t want someone who’s attached at the hip all the time. Sometimes you just want to go your own way, and that’s okay. The best road companions can go it alone sometimes, and give you the space to explore, have fun or just relax on your own.
7. Is a “Travel Experience Stakeholder”
Ever travel with someone who’s “cool with whatever,” then proceeds to criticize everything and complain? You need someone who has an opinion, and has the same things at stake as you—that’s having a blast and making memories. It’s no fun planning for two when someone constantly just defers to you. A perfect travel friend takes part in both the planning and the partying.
8. Shares your concept of “cheap” or “expensive”
Whether you’re into seeing everything for nothing, or you’re into having everything, period—your partner has to be on the same page. The best traveling companions are as generous as you, or as thrifty. Nothing’s worse than a compadre who doesn’t pay their share, or wants to drag you to overpriced stuff. Conversely, it’s also a drag when your partner doesn’t want to spend like you. Either way, a great road partner is always on the same expense page as you.
9. Could totally save your life
It isn’t fun, but the truth is, emergencies happen during trips. The ideal companion could, if they had to, talk to police, medical staff or other officials if something happened to you. Even better if they speak a foreign language or two, could relay your medical history, know important contacts at home, or even help “explain things” in order to de-escalate a situation. The perfect travel partner could be a lifesaver, literally. Thank goodness Jessie-J happens to be a bomb-diggity nurse!
Jessica's top travel nurse tips
- Always carry a first aid kit
- Always carry NSAID (i.e ibuprofen, Tylenol, Advil etc.)
- No matter what the situation, stay calm and be self aware
- Have a list of what you do and use regularly
- HYDRATE! Water flushes illness out quicker. Carry an empty container
with you everywhere you go.
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A Note To My Travel Companion
From the moment you totally picked me up in a country bar, I knew our Polish last names created a bond between us. From numerous trips of baking cookies for my passengers to Vegas, to serious life altering situations, you have always been there for me and have never made me feel judged in the least. Even if I do try to rap to Lizzo at one in the morning to you. Heck! You saved us from a Grizzly in the Tetons! I still owe you one for thatI am so proud of the woman you have become and for showing me all of the amazing traits a true travel companion should possess. Keep growing, keep pushing forward, and never stop exploring! Most of all, never settle. You deserve EVERYTHING that life has to offer you! See you at boot camp!
- Love always,