Why Contiki isn’t for me.

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.”

I was like:
britney-spears-emblem-3-face

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.

Git.

carriepretty

Yeah, so.

I always had this goal in mind that I would go to Europe before I turned 30. It was just this milestone that I had in my head, and if it didn’t happen, I was a loser.

For a trillion and one reasons, it hasn’t happened yet.

It being travel. Outside of Australia. Since I was a lot younger.

I blame the GFC.

But, this year, a very good (and very accomplished) pal of mine, Lauren, used her ~mad skillz~ to get me a very decent ticket into Berlin and out of Dublin.

In March.

Two weeks after the big 3-0.

For 26 nights.

The rest is up to me.

How are you feeling about it all?

I’m pretty much sitting here in a bubble of overwhelm, having personal crises about whether I’m too old to stay in a hostel (private room, thanks), whether I should catch trains or fly through Europe, or whether I’ll get arrested on the plane for having a meltdown mid-flight thanks to a pretty solid fear of flying.

What countries are you going to?

Good question! I actually don’t know yet.

What I can tell you is that I’d worked out I could spend 3 days in like… 8 countries (maths) and I would be a European hero.

But I was talking to a friend*, and to paraphrase, she was like, “Bitch, calm down. You can go to Europe any day. People who do Europe right, do it in stages. Like me. Because I’m fierce. Stop stressing. Enjoy. Live. Laugh. Love. Om.”

What’s your next move?

Figure out how much money I can make from all of my possessions to cover the GBP exchange rate, take half-arsed French, German, Dutch, and British lessons on YouTube, and probably have 50 mental breakdowns.

Why are you blogging about this, you psycho?

Because it just feels like the right thing to do. After all, if you can’t be cathartic on the internet, where can you be?

(Plus I paid $18 for a domain name.)

Stay tuned.

*Psychiatrist