Roller skate travels are fun. But it’s not always easy to find a good skate travel buddy. CP Hunter has some tips for you how to be a good travel partner yourself.
There are so many different types of travel partners: one-hour-early travelers, barely-made-the-plane holiday-makers, those who fly by the seat of their pants, and those who have an itinerary for every second. There are also so many types of skate-buddies: baby-steppers, endurance athletes, spectators, and doubles-partners. There are so many different types of holiday: backpacking, all inclusive, long-weekends, day-trips, sports-centric, partying-only and so on. When you’ve found someone you want to travel with – whether that’s an hour across town to a park or around the world, skates in hand, there are several things to bear in mind. You gotta make sure that you make the most of your shared experience and have the most fun possible. So here are my top tips for doing so!
1. Own Your Independence
This is so important – and counterintuitively, it’s most important when travelling with someone else or with a group. You can’t be afraid to do things on your own. Otherwise your holiday experience will not be your own. Just because you wanna skate a particular bowl that’s over two-hours away by train, doesn’t mean your friends want to come too (definitely not talking from personal experience…). Doing activities by yourself is just as fun, and then you’ll still have someone to talk about it with later!
2. Be Flexible
This goes hand-in-hand with independence. If your friend wants to come skating with you but wants to leave later than you had planned, practice the skill of compromise. If you both stay rigid in your plans then you will both end up missing out while you bicker over whose plan is more important. Plans change and that’s okay. Going with the flow is the best way to stay chilled out and still have fun.
3. Communicate with your skate travel buddy
Communication is a key basis for any relationship. From long-term romance to brand-new weekend travel pals. You gotta talk to your travel partners about how you’re feeling and what you truly want. You’ll both end up miserable if someone tries to put on a brave face or bottle it up while you’re on an excursion. Don’t be afraid to say “I want to do that” or even “I don’t want to do that”. Start the day with “I’m feeling optimistic and ready to tackle new tricks” or “I am grumpy, please don’t try and coach me today”. If you don’t start communicating early on, you may even end up on a trip that wasn’t your idea at all!
4. Respect Each Other
Along with communicating your feelings and moods, it’s key to lay out boundaries for each other too. If your buddy has told you they’re not feeling up for something, it’s important to respect that (this goes for everyday life too!). Talk to them about whether you can go by yourself or if they’d prefer to just go another time. If they’ve said they don’t want to drop-in today, don’t pressure them into trying it just because you know they can. Respecting their boundaries emotionally is just as important as physically. Check in with them on their personal space (like when putting sun-cream on each other or touching them to demonstrate a trick) as well as basic things like asking before drinking from their water bottle.
5. Consider Everyone’s Safety and Wellbeing
This is so important whenever skating, and without sounding like a bore, even more so when you’re skating with someone new. They know themselves much better than you do. So while encouragement is the best form of support, pressuring someone to try something they’re not ready for can be dangerous. Never make fun of someone for wearing extra safety gear, or for being nervous about a new ramp.
6. Chill Out
If you arrive at a park too late and find the gate securely locked, then stick your skates on anyway and practice some street or jam tricks – or scale the wall and find a (safe!) way in. If you forgot your wrist-guard, judge how safe you feel skating without one or work out a buddy-system to share your mate’s. There’s always an option to edit the situation and still make the most about it. But you can only do that with some perspective and with a relaxed attitude.
7. Have Fun!
Amongst all these facets of a relationship, especially one where you’re going to be in potentially stressful situations (delayed planes, cancelled trains, crowded or closed skate-parks, injuries…I could go on!), it is imperative to keep chilled and hold onto your sense of humor!
The first port of call in any stressful situation is to figure out what you can change. Then think about how you can adapt (rebooking tickets, delaying plans by a day, calling for help). Finally: Laugh about it. Laughter can ease the tension from a situation and brings people closer together. So find something funny about the situation and just enjoy it. Skating is supposed to be a good time. Revel in that – life ain’t that serious!