Be a Traveler, Not a Tourist !

A very important decision is the right travel partner.

Yukon River Expedition© Copyright by Ch. Breier

© 1999 Copyright by Tomoya Matsushita/Japan

That was absolutely fantastic!
Nao, Tomoya and I had a lot of fun on the Yukon River!

Domo arigato gozaimashita Nao & Tomoya San !


Yukon River Expedition© Copyright by Ch. Breier

© 2000 Copyright by Atsushi Ikeda (Japan) Atsushi

Atsushi and I met in Beaver and had a lot of fun on the Yukon ... 

Domo arigato gozaimashita Atsushi San !

 I am not talking about a short two week tour, I am talking about a real expedition of several months in the bush!
As long as everyone has their own boat, with their own equipment, it is no problem on most short trips because you can avoid each other for some time if the mood gets bad!
But if you are travelling in one boat for many months, it can quickly become hell for everyone on board...

I have sadly experienced this ...

The main problem is that someone on board has to be the captain, the one who decides, as stupid as it sounds, but that's how it works on every expedition
Of course things have to be discussed, but at some point decisions have to be made!
If the group consists of people with about the same level of experience and interests, it is relatively easy, everyone has enough experience in this kind of thing. However, when someone new arrives, things can easily get misunderstood...
Everything is going very well because the right decisions are being made. This gives the newcomer the impression that it is so damn easy! It is quickly forgotten that it is based on years of experience and previous good planning and preparation, which is why it is going so well. Then the debate starts about every little detail and the newcomers think they know better...
But every tolerance has an END!

When the expedition leader gives a "word of command", some newcomers are in a bad mood because of their lack of experience. They simply do not understand why things have been done in a certain way. Sometimes this bad mood disappears relatively quickly, sometimes not! It gets very bad when, for whatever reason, distributed tasks are not carried out. All the work has to be done by one person, the expedition leader. This leads to work overload and can be very dangerous...

People tend to forget that people can be seriously injured or killed on long journeys because of poor decisions.


Choosing the right travel partner is extremely difficult. 

 Even friends who have known each other for years can quickly become "enemies" on an expedition.
It doesn't help to take a short trip together beforehand.
Unless it is an extremely difficult one. You only find out whether you can work together or not under enormous pressure and tension...

The annoying topic of money should be clarified in writing BEFORE THE EXPEDITION!
Otherwise, there may be unnecessary bad feelings afterwards.


I had led a great expedition where everything went well, but after the trip there was some bitter blood because of some stupid money problems.

Paying "guests" can also be a big problem...
They often feel that they are the "BOSS" because they have paid...

In short, it is extremely difficult.

Especially if you have done a lot of expeditions alone. Anyone who normally travels alone is difficult because he has his own rhythm!   He knows his way works, and he doesn't like to deviate from it.  The experienced traveler really wants to listen to his gut feeling, his 6th sense, because he knows that his 6th sense never fails...


Yukon River Expedition© Copyright by Ch. Breier

© 2005 Copyright by Ch. Breier

I met Ralf on the Yukon. We travelled together from Ruby to the Bering Sea and then a few weeks in Alaska in a 4x4 without a single bad word!  We are still in touch.
He is one of the few people I would do any expedition with, no matter how long & difficult it might be!

Any time again, Ralf!

© Copyright by Ch. Breier

Loui was one of the best travel partners I've ever had on my expeditions !

Any time again, Loui !

My experience so far has shown me that it is best to team up with someone on the road!
You both have transport and equipment. You both have (usually) enough experience.
Everything is relaxed because you don't necessarily have to stay together.
It's no problem to avoid each other for a few days.
And you can learn from each other!


Trike Expedition© Copyright by Ch. Breier

© 2009 Copyright by Ch. Breier

In 2009 I rode my trike across Alaska with Ortwin Ott. He accompanied me 1000 km on my trip and always tolerated my swearing on the mountain with humor!

Any time again, Ortwin

 Let's take a look at the
advantages and disadvantages of
of a travel partner

 Either you already have someone in mind, or you go on a specific search.
But that is much harder than you might think.
That's why I thought about it so much.
What I personally miss when travelling alone is the exchange with someone, to talk about what I have just experienced.

 " Did you see that bear? ", or,
"Wow, what a great sunset that was," and so on.

 Expedition© Copyright by Ch. Breier

© 2007 Copyright by Ch. Breier

On my 2007 expedition I realised once again that spending months in a small boat with the wrong partner is not a walk in the park, especially when your partner fails to keep any of his promises, even though the expedition did not cost him a penny!

The PRO of traveling alone:

Yukon River Expedition© Copyright by Ch. Breier

© 1998 Copyright by Ch. Breier

I decide where I go and how long I stay...
I am completely independent...
I get to know other people more easily because I am not focused on my travel partner.
No conflicts, no arguments, who is arguing with himself?
You can enjoy nature to the full...

The contra of solo travel:

Yukon River Expedition© Copyright by Ch. Breier

© 2005 Copyright by Ch. Breier

I can't share the good moments with anyone...
I am alone in extreme situations...
(can be good, but also bad...)
I can't save on equipment...
You laugh less when you are alone, but it also depends on the person you are travelling with.
The nightly campfire and cooking alone is not so much fun...
The whole financial burden of the expedition is carried by one person...

 When I look at the pros and cons, it comes down to a very simple decision.

Do I want to be independent or have company?

This is a question that everyone needs to ask themselves very carefully and to answer honestly for themselves...

     I'm at 50-50.

With half of the people I travelled with, it worked out great, we're still very close and keep in touch! With the other half it didn't work out at all, I don't have anything to do with them anymore...

The nonplus ultra would be a trip as a couple.

Yukon River Expedition© Copyright by Ch. Breier

© 2005 Copyright by Ch. Breier

 Extremely enviable
Nicole and Ole got on very well together!
I wish them many more beautiful journeys together!

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Only those who risk going too far, will discover how far they can go!

Expedition in the USA, Alaska & Canada, Scandinavia with folding boat, motorboat, catamaran, motorcycle, off-road vehicle, bicycle ...