Travel with a Book is a bi-weekly book recommendation publication by Mark. This week’s recommendation is Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
My longest non-solo trip was in 2014 when a friend and I spent an entire month in India. We started in Delhi, completed the golden triangle, took a series of buses and trains up to the far reaches of Himachal Pradesh to hike up snow-capped mountains and spent 36 hours on the road to get down to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan to ride in the desert on camels.
While there are many benefits of travelling with a best friend, spouse or companion, it introduces the challenge of constantly needing to find common ground. It’s all too easy to fail at this challenge, especially when you’re tired or hungry. Verbal or psychological wars are never far away.
During the month in India, my friend and I miraculously only had one conflict. It happened after the 36 hours trip to Jaisalmer. When we finally got down from the bus, the first hotel we found was 300 rupees per night ($5). My friend said that was too much and wanted to look for another place. $5!?! He was a true budget traveller, but I just wanted to fall asleep whatever the cost. I expressed frustration and accused him of being too cheap. We winded up walking for another 30 minutes and found another room for $1.
Communication skills are key to successful trips with travel companions. If you’re going on a trip with someone else and want to ensure it’s conflict-free, there is no better book to build your skills than Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg.
The book centres around a simple but profound idea: all conflict and judgements of others are expressions of our own unmet needs and if we express our needs (instead of criticising, judging and blaming people), we have a better chance of getting them met.
There are a lot of examples and exercises throughout the book that will push you to completely reframe how you express yourself during the conflict. Learning and practising Nonviolent Communication will enrich your travel and your life.
Get Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg here