I have similar experiences in astral travel, sometimes it is just a mirroring of how I know things to be on the physical. Buildings, rooms, roads, but also empty or nearly empty. Most often I still have the feeling other beings are around, though like me off in my own little world doing my own little thing.
Other times I feel as if I am in a more natural setting with trees, lakes, mountains, and trails. it feels like an old, natural place and it isn't unusual for me to meet with my guide here. The area always has a sense of familiarity, as if a part of me lives there.
I'm laughing right now remembering this is where I ended up the first time I succeeded in going astral. i only got there with my guide's help actually. I was meditating, spending more time lamenting about wanting to get astral than actually trying, and suddenly he appeared in my mind's eye with the sort of smile only a Dragon with a mischievous plan can have. next thing I knew I felt the energy surge of his hand grabbing me by the top of my head and then I was yanked up and out.
Another 'setting' I have found myself in has the feeling of being in the same 'area' as the previous one, but underground in a natural wide cavern that is quiet, dim but not dark, and feels old more than anything else.
And finally I have wandered into other places that are more incorporeal and difficult to describe. Places that were at best vague shapes and color. As near as I can remember I've only been to such a level three or so times. I can also barely remember much about each visit except a few vague impressions of interacting with others while there. I would just appear, my guide always nearby, and one or two other energy forms would be there.
No one has any definite shape there either. Just a vague sense of a positive presence, warmth and color, and a feeling of location like 'just in front of me' or 'to the side of me' or something similar.
The rest I only remember in the sort of general sense, like how someone would remember a conversation with a friend from years ago. You remember -having- the conversation, you even might remember the topic it was about. But for the life of you what was actually said was totally gone from your memory. but you definitely remember coming away from the conversation having learned or experienced something insightful.
That's really interesting. I remember I actually started astral projecting at a young age. I remember my friend and I would astral travel, we thought we were just imagining but I remember being able to see him there and afterwards we could easily explain what we both saw there, it was remarkable. And that could also have something to do with how similar we are. We would do talk while doing it and what he was saying fit perfectly with what we were seeing. And we traveled to strange places like castles and underground caves. I still think that we might've just made it all up but part of me is saying that we really were traveling the astral realm together, thoughts?
I have had similar experiences to both of you, although most of the times I astral traveled it was not intentional. Gardens are a place where I usually go in the astral but the plants there are weird, unlike nothing I have ever seen. One of the places where I usually go and for me is the easiest place to arrive to is actually very similar to the cave decribed above.
As regards experiencing the astral with another people I've both experience that and confirmed it with some of the people involved and I've also have had people telling me about a place they had gone in the astral where I have also been when there.
Maybe I have just read way too many comics, but I always find the realm to be some warped dimensional chaotic place that's strangely comforting.
However most of the time if I want to go anywhere near our plane of existence, I find myself looking down upon everything.
Some other people also thought that they could be in the same experience with their friend but they were reminded by some spiritual teacher with over ten years experience that this was impossible. I wondered how accurate the teacher was but I was quickly stripped off of my doubts as I reminded myself that he had over ten years of experience.