meeting new people

Travelling with strangers: “what if there’s no-one like me?”

Written by Anna Brech

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Meeting new people is a daunting prospect; especially if you’re about to spend two weeks on the road with them somewhere far-flung and exotic.

“Oh my goodness, I was so nervous,” says Kirsteen, who travelled with Flash Pack to Peru and Bolivia. “I still remember the first thing I did after I booked the holiday – I put an update on Facebook. And it said, ‘Oh my goodness, I’ve just booked a group holiday with a bunch of people that I don’t know. I’m so scared!'”

But this all changed the moment Kirsteen met her group: “Going out and meeting everyone…. just hearing a bit about them and their backgrounds, I realised actually, they’re all pretty much the same as me.”

One of the mainstays of Flash Pack’s philosophy is our focus on like-minded travellers. When you book one of our adventures, you’ll join other professionals who are of a similar age and life stage to you. And that makes all the difference when it comes to finding people you get on with.

Same age, same life stage

Everyone you meet on a Flash Pack trip will be aged in their 30s and 40s. They’ll typically have busy careers, and are looking for curated boutique adventures – just like you. Our dedicated team of happiness heroes also ensure that everyone shares the same friendly and open outset (as part of our kind people only policy).

As a result, the foundations for similarities and friendship are all laid out, and you’d be hard-pressed *not* to find someone you get on with. This makes a big difference – as our elated reviews indicate. It’s all very well travelling with people of all ages, but it means you’ll probably be interested in different things – and the sparking point for conversations is that bit less intuitive.

“I’ve been on quite a lot of group holidays before, and they’ve all been really good with different companies,” says Abbie, who travelled with us to Sri Lanka.  “[But] sometimes, you’re either the youngest person or the oldest person. So, to actually be on holiday with people who are of the same age as you, and coming at life at the same sort of stage as you as well, is really cool.

“I think the main fear would be that you would go there, and there’d be actually nobody that you get along with, or there’s nobody in the group that you have anything in common with,” she adds. “But it’s so not true. There were doctors, there were HR professionals, there was such a wide range of people, all of whom have really busy jobs.”

The like-minded link

A lot of people comment that they were lucky to meet amazing people on Flash Pack trips; but actually, luck doesn’t have a huge role to play. We are meticulous about the like-minded element of our trips, simply because we know that this is the root of a brilliant group dynamic.

“We’re the only company out there who guarantee you’ll be travelling with a group of truly like-minded people,” says Flash Pack co-founder Radha Vyas. “And I know a lot of companies say this, but they can’t guarantee it like we do.

“You’ll be with a group of people who are at the exact same life stage which creates really unique bonds. And then we give you a very dynamic adventure to go and experience together, which means you become fast friends.”

An instant connection

When we say fast friends, we really mean it.

“You get all the adventure that you could want plus that little bit of luxury with people that are the same sort of age as you,” says Craig, who jumped on-board for our Peru adventure. “It’s the perfect package. With the space of a couple of hours, you will have built up a friendship with people that will last.”

Emily, who joined us on a fleet of Vespas in the Spanish countryside, agrees. “We were on this lovely little mini-bus going up to into the towns from the airport,” she says. “And, in that hour and a half, you know that you’re going to make good friends. It’s going to be a really, really good holiday.”

Victoria had a similar experience in Finland. “Instantly we gelled and started to find similarities and just become friends,” she says. “The most important thing is that it’s just a bunch of people who are like-minded.”

There’s nothing contrived or happy-clappy about this group friendship mechanic; it’s simply a natural outcome of being with people who share your interests and values – and having the time to get to know them.

Adventure bonding

The final sprinkle to Flash Pack’s recipe for a great group dynamic comes with potent experiences. We like to throw you in on the deep end of a trip quickly, which acts as an ice-breaker and accelerates the feel-good vibes between you all.

On day two of the trip, you might find yourself doing anything from canyoning in Jordan to abseiling off Table Mountain.

“On lots of our Flash Pack trips, we always try and throw people outside their comfort zones quite quickly,” explains Flash Pack co-founder Lee Thompson. “It bonds a group, and people become really good mates over doing a tough adventure.”

Don’t fancy the adrenaline rush? For something slightly less heart-pounding, we might throw a little mixology into the equation – or send you off for sunset cocktails.

“I think that one of the great things that we did on day one of Peru was actually learning how to do Pisco Sours,” says Flashpacker Agnes. “It was a group activity that made us bond even more, and having a nice lunch, and getting to know each other even more. It just feels like it’s people that just fancy doing something together, and always up for a new adventure.”

So – yes, the idea of meeting new people can be nerve-wracking. But it’s also a super-fun and invigorating experience. By placing like-minded travellers together for epic adventures around the world, we stage-manage the scene for fast and genuine friendship. Who’s game?

Photos: Flash Pack

 


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