6 Flashpacker quotes on unexpected friendship to inspire your next trip

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Time and again at Flash Pack, the people who join our trips tell us that they didn’t necessarily expect to make friends. Instead, they jumped on-board because of a particular destination, iconic experiences, or the knowledge of our local Pack Leaders

However, after a remarkably short time together – one or two weeks max – many solo travellers do indeed end up forging deep and lasting connections. And invariably, our Flashpackers then relate that the group dynamic was the very best part of their adventure; not least because they hadn’t seen it coming. 

Our global community of like-minded souls in their 30s and 40s, then, is a kind of secret sauce; a condiment that sits perfectly with our recipe of potent escapism. But don’t just take our word for it. Here are a few favourite quotes from Flashpackers on the art of unexpectedly making new friends:

"We shared a sense of solidarity"

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“I didn’t necessarily think I would make genuine friendships on the trip – and I also wasn’t prepared for how gutting it would feel to say goodbye at the end. When you travel with a circle of people around you of a similar age – all in their 30s and 40s – it becomes quite a cathartic experience. There was a sense of solidarity between us. We all had struggles and had been through similar rides in life, from professional challenges to more personal ones.

It becomes quite a cathartic experience

I emerged with a newfound sense of confidence that surprised me. I felt stronger about certain parts of myself, having been surrounded by a group of people who had gone through similar life journeys. Washed away on a farflung island, I felt comfortable sharing them in these moments of connection. Plus, because we were all the same age, everyone liked my playlists.”

Prathab Narenthiran, a client director who travelled with Flash Pack to the Philippines

"We just knew how to get on really well"

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“Our group dynamic was incredible. Somehow, we just knew how to get on really well and be there for one another. We didn’t talk about our jobs back home or politics or anything. Instead, we got to switch off and be present, just connecting in the moment and laughing at inside jokes. We shared a similar mindset, and we had space to engage with the group vibe as we pleased, too: there was nothing pressured about it.

It had been so long since I’d experienced the sensation of my shoulders coming down, my neck not hurting and my brain not having 20 tabs open. I almost forgot what it felt like to be relaxed and engaged; to just have a conversation with someone that centred literally around what we were going to eat next, or the scenery in front of us. And that ability to unwind was beautiful; I had the time of my life.”

Kirstye Todd, a former healthcare manager who travelled with Flash Pack to Vietnam

“With men, it can be harder to crack the shell”

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“I really liked the fact that I got to connect with other men in our group. In my experience, men are generally more guarded when it comes to friendship, compared to women who become intimate with one another more quickly.

We shared some really in-depth conversations

With men, it can be harder to crack that shell. But by rotating our shared rooms (so that one person always got a room to themselves), us three guys were able to share some really in-depth conversations. The same goes for everyone I travelled with. I discovered a lot more than you would expect to learn about each person in one week. That was entirely down to our shared experience together.”

Hezekiah Ross, an account executive assistant who travelled with Flash Pack to Thailand

“It’s amazing how quickly you can make friends”

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“That first night in Argentina, we did cocktail-making over dinner, and the dynamic was super-easy and fun. It’s amazing how quickly you can make friends. Within hours, we were laughing together, and had our arms round each other.

Having been in cancer and pandemic land, there was a part of me that worried that I no longer had the social skills to meet new people. But the trip made me realise that, even though my life has changed dramatically in my mid-30s, I’m still a fun person – someone who can be part of this amazing community with lifelong friends […] There was a feeling you could show up as your authentic self and people would accept that: everyone was so warm, encouraging and generous.”

Megan Barry, a paediatric neurologist and cancer survivor who travelled with Flash Pack to Argentina 

“I hadn’t expected to find this global community”

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“I hadn’t expected to find this global community: the people I travelled with were friendly and joyful, and I felt really aligned to the vision that Flash Pack has created. I think many women in their 30s, like me, face this unspoken pressure to conform to certain narratives. So, it was truly heart-warming to meet other professional singles who are breaking away from these traditions. 

We were all part of this nourishing environment

With Flash Pack, we are all part of this nourishing environment whereby we travel the world together, meeting new people and experiencing life in a fresh and present way. It made me really happy to realise a concept like that exists; it’s so important for people like me who are forging our own paths.”

Weiyin Chen, an international concert pianist who travelled with Flash Pack to Egypt

“Everyone’s on the same wavelength”

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“I think there’s something pretty special about group travel. When you get a small set of people together from all over the globe to explore, you get to know one another pretty quickly. Everyone’s on the same wavelength; they’re all super-open, friendly and liberal in terms of how they view the world, and their outlook on life. And that makes it a lot easier to be who you want to be, and be comfortable with that.

If I compare who I am at Flash Pack to who I am at work, it’s quite a different person. I’m open about my identity at work, but when I’m travelling with a group, I feel free to relax and open up more – with the new group of friends that you meet every time you go away. 

My latest holiday to Bali was epic; it was just a really good bonding trip. Over the course of two weeks together, we became more and more close. It was like having a small family where you get to know everyone’s quirks, and you’re all great travel friends to one another.”

Peter Catterall, an investment banker who travelled with Flash Pack to Bali and many other destinations

Flash Pack is a group travel company that specialises in small group adventures for solo travellers in their 30s and 40s. Find out more about how we work, and our mission to build a global community of friendships

Got a story or adventure that could inspire a solo traveller like you? Tag @flashpack on social or email [email protected] to be featured.

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