How a Contiki trip changed my life!

 

My life had taken a little break, and that is ok sometimes, but it was time to get back to it. The thing i did to start my journey was to finally go on a Contiki Holiday.

Contiki is this travel company for the young wild and free. You have to be between 18 and 35 years old. They offer 300 trips in 6 continents, 8 ways to travel, 5 ways to stay. The whole trip is guided by a manager and a driver in a coach/bus. You travel with the same group of people and everything is planned out. The company has an eccentric welcoming, young and friendly vibe to it. Their slogan is #NOREGRETS and their goal seems to be to enjoy life to the fullest while traveling and experiencing. If you want to read more about it go to www.contiki.com

I had wanted to do this for 3 years, after watching youtube celebs invited on a Contiki roadtrip. I finally figured that now was the time (summer 2017). I picked the European Encounter which entailed 10 countrys in 16 days. It was the best thing i ever did! I met 38 new people including the manager and the driver. This trip started a emotional and energy rollercoaster, and it was not finished until i decided to take my next big leap.

I have always wanted to go on adventures, to escape and experience. When i was little this meant to climb the biggest three or to drag all my stuffed animals up on a mountain. How i did this, i dont know. Later my horizon grew a bit and i wanted to see the world.

The Contiki trip sparked a fire in me which is nothing i have ever experienced before. The trip itself was gogogo and chill and actually the definition of cloud nine. It made me so happy and i loved my new friends and what we experienced together.

Here is a description of what i experienced on the trip if you are interested. If not, you can scroll down below the other line to figure out how i changed my life.

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On the canal boat in Amsterdam.
On the canal boat in Amsterdam.

 

We all met in London, drove through Dover, Calais, Belgium and then had a layover in Amsterdam.

A little typo here ;) But you get it, we were touristy
A little typo here 😉 But you get it, we were touristy just for a little while.

You can safely say that Amsterdam took me for a spin! We went on a boat ride through the canals, and then the manager had a surprise for us. We went to a sex-show. Yes you read that correctly. It is something to be experienced. Finally to end the night we went to a nightclub, took some shots, and then went to bed in the trips best hotel. The shower was its own thing to remember i tell you!

 

 

Next morning we drove to Berlin. We had an historical tour, saw some important sites and an alternative city guide. We ate schnitzel and had a few drinks at a pirate bar before i and some other tired people went to bed.

 

Prague was next. Bike-rides and sephora shopping for me. The others went out and had apparently the time of their life. FOMO for me, but i was still tired from Amsterdam so i slept with good conscience. The mourning after the manager overslept and we actually feared for his life, as he did not respond to calls or knocking on the door. We finally had to get the hotel to open the door for us. He was fine, only super turned around.

 

Salzburg was cute and we as a group got to get to know each other a little bit more.

Beautiful Venize
Beautiful Venice

Venice, ah sweet Venice! The food… need i say more? and the gondola canal ride ofc. At first i was a bit afraid, but then when we entered the canals i was at such ease. The dinner later was so amazing the waiter had to drag the plate of from my hands while i stuffed my face with pasta!

Italy is Rome, and that is were we went next. We experienced all of the sites, and we also got to experience the terrible Italian guides too. Pizza, weird singing-man
and gelato. Omg, Italy is a foodies paradise! It is everything people say it is, and more! You will ask yourself how can it be so good? Can it get any better? Yes it can and it surely did!

 

 

photogrid_1500329853351Vatican City is its own country. Weird yes, but beautiful. After watching all the beautiful grand paintings while a man on the speaker shouted: «Silence, silenzio, shhhh!» we decided to climb the  St Peters Basilica dome. Which is 551 steps, or if you take the lift, 320 steps. The lift does not even matter if you want to climb this wonder. The last steps are the hardest and steepest anyway. The last steps are a spiral which lasts for what feels like an eternality, but when you get to the top it is al worth it.

Florence or flower city was next. This was a nice city, but not my favorite for some reason. Leaving Florence we visited the leaning tower of Pisa.

 

This next place is my absolute favorite! The Riviera is were we visited Cinque Terre, and i decided that this was my winner of the trip. We had a train ticket so we could go from city to

city at our own pace, and i loved all of it! The little colorful houses, the sun and the ocean. We swam, ate gelato and just enjoyed life. When we came to the hotel everyone just did not bother freshen up, but went strait out to the dock to dance and drink and enjoy the fairy lights.

 

 

Yes the walls in Luzern was made of chocolate
Yes the walls in Lucern was made of chocolate

Lucerne and Switzerland feels like it is its own continent in between Italy and France. It is just so different. If it wanted to, it could be a part of Scandinavia, because it reminded me so much of home. The nature, the water, mountains and cows, and chocolate. My my!

The trip neard to an end and Paris was left. No, the Eiffel-tower is not overhyped. Neither is the city itself and the marvelous people. I think we can learn a thing or two by the Parisians. Your senses al get wonderful stimuli from Paris. It was also scorching hot both literally and figuratively. We ended the trip and night by going to an Parisian cabaret.

 

The next mourning was filled with goodbyes and a few tears while we all separated. A few of us and myself drove the bus back to London and then it was time to go back to Norway, and that was my Contiki Holiday by the cliff-notes.

 

 

 

The girls all dressed up for the Parisian cabaret.
The girls all dressed up for the Parisian cabaret.

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On my way home i overslept for my flight, i was sick and exhausted, but my energy level was in the roof! I only had the best time of my life and now when that was over I needed to do something every day. I worked al day, but at night i either went out on the

Chilling in the first town Monterosso in Cinque Terre
Chilling in the first town Monterosso in Cinque Terre

town, met friends for long different hangouts or i took 10km walks. This lasted about 3 weeks, and then i did nothing, so i worked al of the time, and work was my life. I then hit a wall and my body hurt, my stress level was through the roof.

So how do you ask did this experience change my life?

Well, this is where i started to take the time to listen to my body, my needs and wishes.

I started to think of my Contiki trip and how it had made me so happy. I talked to a few of the other from the trip, some had already plans to travel more and others i just enjoyed hearing from. It was while i talked to Mary from Australia that my travel-bug could not take it anymore. I research to see if i could do something like travel for a long period of time, if it was even possible. I then remembered that in my youth i wanted to go on a working holiday in Australia. Yes this was still an option, and i was still in the age range. Maybe it could work?

Late november i decided. I was going to do the thing i had dreamt of. I was doing a working holiday to Australia. I was moving to Australia!

It is now April, and i leave in about two and a half weeks to Melbourne, Australia. To read more about how i got here and my future adventures, stay tuned. For the next few weeks i will be posting about «What to remember when you are moving to another country» and «Whats in my Backpacker bag?»

Thanks for now!

Malin

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