If you’re anything like me, by the time you get on your flight across the ocean to start your adventure you’re absolutely sure you’ve planned every last detail so nothing can go wrong and that everything will be absolutely perfect. But that’s not the nature of the beast they call ‘travelling’. No, your well thought out adventure might have a few bumps and mishaps along the way. Like getting to your first hotel to find out that the reservation for the whole group has been cancelled, turning the wrong way out of a bar in Florence and getting lost for over an hour, buying the wrong tickets not once but twice in the London Underground and scrambling to make your way to the airport in time to catch your flight, or joining a longer tour and worrying that you’ll be an outsider in the group.
Sure, at the time it’s all very stressful and it might even seem like the end of the world for a moment or two but I promise you it’s just another part of your adventure.
Because that cancelled hotel reservation in Rome turns into something the whole group laughs about as you get to each hotel, and the new hotel that Topdeck quickly arranges for the next two nights is nicer than the first anyway (and it has the best breakfast buffet). That detour in Florence takes you down little hidden streets and paths you never would’ve ventured had you taken the familiar way back to the hotel. And while at the time you worried that you wouldn’t make it to the airport in time to catch your flight home, you now know exactly how to catch the Gatwick Express from Victoria station the next time you’re in London and hopefully that next time isn’t too far away.
But perhaps it was the biggest worry that you actually needed to worry the least about: all those people you thought might see you as an outsider because they’d been on the trip longer than you and already had a chance to get to know each other? Well, let me just say, you start miss them the very moment your plane lifts off to take you home because they, along with your wonderful trip leader and driver, make the trip more than just a chance to sightsee, they make it a true adventure.
Everyone back home wondered why we were even bothering to fly so far only to stay for a week but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. How else would I get to boast about such a wide array of little adventures such as eating gelato outside the Trevi fountain, walking in the footsteps of gladiators at the Colosseum, browsing the leather stalls in Florence, driving through the Swiss Alps, or strolling down the Champs-Élysées in Paris with a bag of macaroons around my wrist. And that’s just the beginning of it. From the moment our tour started in Rome and ended at the gate in London, not a single moment was filled with regret. Well, except for maybe consuming one too many carbs in Italy but that’s what all the walking is for!
So I’m telling you right now, don’t be afraid of the mishaps or the bumps in the road and certainly don’t worry about travelling with strangers because they won’t be strangers for long. Go out there and seize your adventure, whether it’s for a few days or a few weeks. Take too many pictures, eat too much, stay out too late. You won’t regret it for a second! I certainly don’t.