About 2 years ago I coming to the end of my Advanced Diploma of Photography and trying to figure out what to do with myself. My mum suggested I go experience a ‘European Summer’. I love traveling so this idea was very appealing.
Fast forward 24 months and I’ve just returned from adventure in Europe. One moment I’m dreaming, planning and booking the trip, next moment I’m on the plane, headed to the other side of the world. In that two years I worked and worked some more to save the moment I needed to be able to experience Europe the way I wanted to. I also, finally, completed my Bachelor of Photography, all while working two jobs. Knowing I had this great adventure waiting for me got me through some very tough days.
I chose to travel solo for the first time as I knew this would be a great opportunity to do some soul searching and gain some perspective. It was also a way to out myself outside of mycomfort zone and really challenge myself. I booked the longest contiki tour I could as my way to experience Europe.
45 days, 17 countries, 52 people and 1 bus.
Day one we all sat on the bus, headed for Paris, as strangers, by day 45 in Amsterdam we were family. The experiences of this trip I wouldn’t want to experience without this amazing group of people. From crazy late nights partying together, to super early mornings to get bags to bus, the contiki cough and disgusting public toilets, we got through it all together.
Ate too much yummy food and drank way too much alcohol but it was al, worth it. To think of the amazing sites across Europe that I got to see makes me so glad I pushed myself to go on this travel adventure. I already can’t wait to go back.
I tried escargot in Paris and climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe to take in views of Paris at dusk. Picnicked in France’s wine region and swam in the pool at the French chateau. Tapas and sangria and wild partying crazy Barcelona. Swimming in the ocean at St Tropez in the French Riviera along with checking out the Monte Carlo Casino in Minaco for a night. Returned to Italy, where I may have been before but it made me so happy to be back. Of course I consumed lots of Pizza, Pasta and Gelato. One of my Favourite days of entire trip was cruising around Corfu on George’s Boat. A day spent partying, diving into the clear blue waters around the island and lots of water activities like parasailing and tubing. A week spent partying in the Greek islands. crazy nights pub crawling until all hours of the morning in Ios and relaxing in beautiful Santorini. I will definitely be back to the Greek islands they were stunning. Turkey was amazin and such a cultural experience. I’m so glad we got to go there. The bazaars in Istanbul were beautiful and we got to to spend some time getting scrubbed down and refreshing ourselves for the rest of the trip at the Turkish baths. Can’t forget the food. Turkish food is a new fave. So much Turkish delight was eaten. Brief stops in pretty towns in Bulgaria and Serbia. Budapest in Hungary and my Birthday. What a way to celebrate my 24th birthday. A dinner cruise indulging in Hungarian food like what I’ve grown up eating and partying it up in the massive ruin bar. Then there was the epic, fun night that was Sparty’s. So glad I made it there! Lots of screams of joy and terror at Austria’s oldest theme park Prata, where I challenged myself to go on rides that I’d never go on at home. Up late partying at the tight, white and bright party at the contiki site in Hopfgarten before getting up early to mountain bike ride and go paragliding around the Austrian Alps. So many beautiful views, I want to do it all again. White water rafting when on our way to Munich, where I drank 1liter of Beer at Hofbräuhaus. I won’t be doing that again any time soon. Switzerland was of course beautiful. Stocked up on lots of Swiss chocolate to take home for the family. Tops off in a blizzard at the top of. Snow covered mountain. Wine tasting in St GoR along the river Rhine. Cheese tasting in Edam. A night spent in the red light district of Amsterdam. Need I say more.
45 days is a long time to spend traveling, but for me it wasn’t long enough. Time went by in a blur of laughs, sleepless nights and adventure, with 51 people I’ll never forget!
(So many photos were taken on various devices, these were all take on my DSLR)