While exploring my options, I did vaguely consider doing some sort of tour. Being a first timer on this sort of trip, I thought – like everyone does – that it may be a good way to see the sights. Intrepid looked nice. But apart from the fact the age group for Contiki is 18-39 (Or, the place where Toolies go when everyone else is in school), there was something else that ruined the idea for me.
I had just graduated high school in Canberra. And while my hometown lived up to the stereotype of many-a-public-servant, there was also a fairly strong Defence Force contingent hanging around the Nash Cap.
So one day, innocently enough, I found myself at one of the heavily Irish-themed pubs in town with a couple of friends. While we were there, a group of young men who were in the Army, and doused in Lynx Africa, asked if they could join our table.
We politely obliged – still excited about being able to drink Vodka Cruisers in public.
It was nearing summer, and talk quickly turned to the kinds of holidays we were all going to be on over the Christmas period. I was doing my usual Canberra/Sydney/Newcastle jaunt to see all the relatives. A friend of mine was heading off to America to work as an au pair. But then this guy, turned to me with a huge grin, and goes…
“I’m goin’ on a chuck ‘n’ f*ck.”
And he was like: “It’s called Contiki, apparently everyone just roots each other and you go to all these places in Europe and yeah, PAAAAAAARTY.”
He offered to buy me a drink after that. In shocking news, I said no.
Now look, I know there are exceptions to every rule. And I know that my friends and family have done these tours and loved (or hated them), or even met their future spouses on them.
But for me?
I think doing my own thing will do me just fine.