So you’ve booked your first Contiki? Congratulations, you must be so excited?! I know I was when I booked the Winter Wanderer in 2015. Soon however the excitement gave way to feeling of anxiety. I had no idea what to expect, if I would make friends, what sharing a room with a stranger would be like, and if I could cope being with so many people for so long. But you know what? It was all fantastic in the end.
So, to try and help anyone feeling the same nauseating mix of excitement and anxiety, I have put together a wee list to try and help easy any anxieties you may be feeling! I hope it helps!
1. Sharing a room with a stranger – It’s not that awkward
Maybe it’s because I’m an only child so have never had to share a bedroom, but the thought of sharing a bedroom and bathroom with a stranger made me feel awkward. What if I snore? What if they snore?? However, after the first two nights I was completely over any feelings of awkwardness. You are going to be spending minimal time in your room and when you are in the room you won’t be interacting too much. One of you will be in the shower and the other watching TV or else you will both be asleep and oblivious to what the other one is doing. Your room-mate will most likely be your first Contiki friend and you will cling to each other for the first few days until you start making friends with the other people. It will all be ok.
2. You will make friends.
It is impossible to go on a Contiki tour and not make friends with at least one or two people. You are with these people every single day of the trip, experiencing amazing things, and possibly having once in a lift time experiences. You will make friends. Maybe not lifelong friends, but friends for the trip anyway. Everyone on the tour with you has at least one thing in common: A desire to see the world. Plus, with so many amazing sites in front of you, it’s not exactly going to be difficult to strike up conversation, I promise you. It will all be ok.
3. Your Tour Leader will probably be HOT!
Mine sure was. All the girls (and at least two guys) were crushing over him. And then we met up with another couple of Contiki groups and their tour leaders were pretty nice to look at too. Perhaps being blessed in the looks department is a Contiki requirement? Who knows? But any who, hands off! They are professionals there to do a (dream) job who cannot have …relations… with Contiki clients. Believe me, a couple of girls on my tour tried and got shut down pretty quick. Ouch.
4. Someone will get on your nerves.
It’s just a fact of life. Get a group of people together for an extended period of time and something will start grating on your nerves. Just avoid them. Don’t get snarky or bitchy. Just focus on the incredible adventure you’re on and all your cool new friends. If someone is giving you a hard time, just tell them to stop it and if they persist, mention it to your tour leader who will no double give them the hard word.
5. There will be the ‘cool kids
There will be that group who forms who are lounder than everyone else, drinks more than everyone else, parties longer, and always sit at the back of the bus. If you are part of the ‘cool kids’ good for you have fun. If you’re not part of the ‘cool kids’, good for you have fun. Some people are just naturally more extroverted than others and people have their own ideas about what makes for a good time. As long as they are not impacting on your ability to have a good time (and vice versa) then there really is no problem. Which brings me on to my next point…
6. Different ideas of travel for different people.
One of the things our tour leader explained to us was that everyone has their own ideas about travel and what they want to get out of this trip. Some people are there for the culture, the museums and all the sites. Other people want to party all night and sleep all day. And that’s ok. This is your own journey, your own adventure so do what makes you happy. Most importantly, don’t judge others for how they are spending theirs.
So there you have it. A few of the things which worried me about my first Contiki. I hope this has helped you in some way. If you have any other questions / concerns, please feel free to let me know in the comments!
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Thank you and much love,