I learned from a Singapore trip with a friend that it is also her dream to go to Europe! She planned on going with her friends. So I invited myself. Weeeee! Unfortunately, she can't push through with her trip this year. I was still very decided to pursue my Europe 2011 dream. I can’t defer it and say "I’ll do it somehow ,someday". Someday is already here! Last February, I had to sort out my other options:
1) Contiki – heard this from an officemate. It is a tour group for ages 18-35 which offers different types of tours in Europe. This is good because in a trip that long, you need to get along with your travel buddies. Contiki offers different types of tours whichever fits your type of traveling or budget. You need a travel agent to book this for you.
2) Join one of those pilgrimage tours advertised in the newspapers. – These are usually bus tours traveling around Europe. I joined some organized tours and it works for me – for a couple of days. I don’t think I can last that long for more than 3 weeks.
3) Try to find travel buddies using online forums. I can still freestyle somehow but I did not have to travel alone. Posted my offer to some forums- to no avail.
4) DIY all the way. SOLO. SCARY. What other options do I have???
I slowly evaluated each option. Again and again.
|1)Contiki – for 18-35s only|
|2)Other group Tours/Pilgrimage||same as above||same as above|
|Find strangers as travel buddies|
Some questions you need to ask yourself when deciding:
Are you okay with whirlwind tours?
Do you get along with a group? (Are you easy to get along with?)
Do you have any planning experience?
Do you have the time and the patience to plan?
How are your street smarts skills?
Do you like following the schedule?
How flexible are you in changing your schedules?
How decisive are you?
I ditched #1 and 2 because the itineraries were like whirlwind tours. I did not even think of postponing the trip to 2012 because I think I will be very demotivated and I’ll probably spend the money elsewhere.
Why did I think that this is possible? I met foreigners during my travels that travelled alone to the Philippines. I find it pretty amazing that they are courageous enough to travel to a third world country – laden with all the negative news on foreigners being kidnapped – . Now if they can do that in my country, why can’t I do it ???
Even if I had no solo backpacking experience prior to this trip, I decided to go with number 4. *Gulp* The planning for the ultimate adventure begins...