Are friendships rarer than love?
Science shows that traveling with friends should be prioritized regularly.
I watched the movie “Are you Here,” this weekend. It is available on Amazon Prime. In the movie, Owen Wilson famously says, “That’s the thing about friendship, it’s a lot rarer than love, because there is nothing in it for anybody.” This took me down memory lane of times spent with friends, many characterized by traveling together.
Drinking wine on the rooftop of a small Paris hotel to avoid the high prices in the restaurant, or pretending to be 21 years old to get into the casino in Monte Carlo; we even re-sold the food we had purchased when a trip was canceled, by hawking it on the streets, because we had run out of cash. What would our lives look like without the experience of traveling with friends? My memories would be less interesting.
Science shows that traveling with friends is good for our health. When with friends, we release the hormone “oxytocin,” which makes us feel warm and happy and relieves stress and anxiety. Sharing experiences with another person intensifies our pleasure of the experience, according Yale University psychological scientist Erica Boothby. She says, “We don’t realize the extent to which we are influenced by people around us.” William Chopik of Michigan University advocates against “dyadic withdrawal,” when we allow our friendships to shrink due to marriage, children or careers. Friendships are a great antidote to depression and anxiety and he suggests traveling with them should be prioritized.