How group tours are like blind dates
I have friends I wouldn’t even travel with and now I was agreeing to two weeks in Cuba with strangers? And a roomie? I pictured a big bus packed with dawdling tourists, too much luggage and lame dinners spent stuck together like mismatched wedding table guests.
I was reluctant for a reason. In 2010, in a bid to ensure I would get the permit to see the mountain gorillas in Bwindi, I booked onto a group tour in Uganda. Our crew was a toxic mix right from the get-go. The lone Quebecer and a moaning Californian were like rutting deer, keeping their distance and avoiding eye contact. And then there was the old man from middle America who skipped breakfast to claim the coveted front seat of the van each morning. His introduction turned me off quicker than sour milk: “Name a place and I’ll tell you that I’ve been there.” How to not win friends and not influence people.
Maybe this time I would get lucky.
—excerpted from How group tours are like blind dates