- Do you like the same types of food?
Like, if you hate tomatoes but they only want to eat at Italian restaurants, you might have a problem. (Trust the vegan on this.)
- Do you feel comfortable enough in their home to take off your shoes and rifle through their cupboards?
If you just stand in the doorway, feeling like you need an invitation to take off your coat–lest you overstep the boundaries of showing them your coatless body–then you probably shouldn’t share a common space for any period of time.
- Would you yell at them if they cut off your mom in traffic? And would everything be okay afterwards?
“Dude, that was my mom! You need to calm down. For real.”
If you so fear their reaction that you would only meekly say, “Um, I think that may have been, um, a woman who could have given birth to me,” then do not travel with them. Because there may come a time that they will overstep your boundaries–like speaking to you through the door while you’re trying to pee–and you need to feel okay telling them to give you a goddamn minute.
However, if you think that snapping at them for cutting off your mom in traffic would result in a huge blowout or tears–do not let them become the only person you consistently interact with for days on end.
- Would they be patient enough to take approximately 6,392 photos of you with your new mailbox?
When you’re on a trip, there’s nothing worse than seeing something super cool and having your travel companion grudgingly taking a photo of you with it–only to discover that you’re squinting weird. You need someone who will snap a bunch of photos. And then snap a bunch more if the previous batch did not meet your standards.
(Please note, this must be reciprocal.)
- Would you spot them money for dinner or just straight up buy them a coffee?
During your travels, you run the risk that somebody’s card just won’t work or one of you may run out of cash at a cash-only café. You need to be comfortable with the idea of shelling out money on their behalf that you may never see again. (Or trusting them enough to be sure that they’ll pay you back.)
- Have any of their roommates mysteriously disappeared?
Do you know any of their previous roommates? Are they still friends with their roommates? If not, this could be a warning sign that they’re the type of person who will just take your bananas and time your showers.
- Have you ever vomited/farted/burped or done some other seemingly embarrassing bodily function in front of them? Would you feel comfortable doing this?
You may be sharing a teeny tiny hotel room with one bed and the flimsiest cardboard wall between that bed and the bathroom. If you eat at that local Indian restaurant that seemed kind of shady–but was recommended by your brother’s girlfriend’s dog-sitter–and you start to feel a telltale rumble in your intestines…
Let’s just say–when you travel with someone, they learn your secrets. If the idea of letting them hear you destroy a toilet bowl fills you with terror, you should not travel with them.
(Naturally, don’t try to be gross. But things happen. Sounds are made. You need to feel comfortable enough with your travel companion, that they won’t openly point out or be horrified of your humanity, so that you don’t give yourself constipation just to avoid any potential embarrassment.)
I feel like this turned into a bunch of things about bathroom habits.
Here, have a picture of baby ducks in Paris: