I'm 21 years old & this is going to be my second backpackin experience over seas. I've previously gone to UK & Europe & backpacked the whole time - no tour group & loved the thrill of booking accomodation in a hostel the night before or even the night of arriving in a completely foreign country!! Now this is something i'm definitely going to do again.. only thing is i was with my (then) boyfriend at the time so i wasn't travelling on my own and we had eachother to protect and keep company!!
Now we have gone our separate ways and i'm ready to get travelling again!! on my own the thought of backpacking around america for 2mnths on my own scares the living daylights out of me, so i'm thinking of doing a contiki and having a week and a half either side of it to do my own thing....
from someones prospective who has done both could you please tell me if doing a contiki is a good idea or bad..
also i know that there are other touring companies out there on the same par as contiki can any one suggest some for me to check out??
Thanks -- Sorry for the novel!
Independent travel is easy, it's not necessary to go on an organised tour in my view. If you haven't travelled alone before it's definitely a rewarding thing to do. You're just in a totally different space when you're on your own. You're more open to actively making meeting new people and experiencing the culture without having your reactions constantly influenced by the same person/group of people. I've been reading a pretty good Alain De Botton book about travel and this is what he has to say about travelling alone:
"It seemed an advantage to be traveling alone. Our responses to the world are crucially molded by the company we keep, for we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others. They may have particular visions of who we are and hence may subtly prevent certain sides of us from emerging… Being closely observed by a companion can also inhibit our observation of others; then, too, we may become caught up in adjusting ourselves to the companions questions and remarks, or feel the need to make ourselves seem more normal than is good for our curiosity."
Contiki will be fun but dominated by Canadians & Australians etc. etc. but you'll party a lot and get drunk a lot ... depends what you're into! Don't just do a tour because you're scared to travel alone though, travel in America (do you mean the States?) is super-easy and there's no need for an organised tour. Whatever you do I'm sure you'll have an awesome time!
Thank you soo much for your reply I love that extract from the book, it's so very true, and puts it into perspective. I guess i have alot of work ahead of me! planning my trip - but i guess that's half the fun!
your response was exactly what i wanted to hear - yeah i did mean the states