I have always felt that life is so much more enjoyable when it can be shared. I therefore feel that travelling is so much more enjoyable when it can be shared.
Recently our family went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show for the day. I wasn't particularly well, so for some of the day I just sat and watched in the woodchopping arena, while my family went off and explored other things. I REALLY enjoyed watching the woodchopping (though as my SIL says, she really enjoys watching the woodchoppers!) but felt that I would have enjoyed it so much more if my family had been there to see it with me.
There was a tree felling heat which included the world champion in it. The first guy had a handicap of about 16 seconds, and along the line the handicaps got longer and longer until the world champion at the end, who had a handicap of 130 seconds. AND HE STILL WON! It was such a fabulous contest, seeing this fellow who is SO good at chopping down trees, and so highly skilled that he completely outshone all the other contestants. I wanted so much to share the experience with my family.
When I did comment (to myself or anyone else who happened to be listening) the girl sitting next to me probably just thought I was some sort of weirdo who likes talking to herself. But no, I just wanted to be able to enjoy it as part of a shared experience!
When we travel with our kids, part of our aim is to build family memories. That is really important to us, because its the stuff that strong family bonds are made of. Family memories are part of what binds families together, and what makes them distinct and separate from the outside world.
I can tell you all about my dad and his pigeon impersonations in Victor Harbour, South Australia, but it would never be as funny as if you were there, seeing it for yourself. Those memories are something that I share with my family only, because we were the only ones there.
I can't imagine being on the other side of the world in some breathtakingly beautiful place and having no-one to comment on it to. Or no-one to remember it with afterwards.
I guess that people who travel solo have to make the effort to connect with fellow travellers, but personally, I'd much rather have my family there on tap, to provide me with that companionship and shared memory building. I guess that's a luxury that I am extremely fortunate to have.