How and Why my First Trip Abroad was ...."Alone".
The concept of being "Alone". is different for everyone. I've always been somewhat of a loner. Calculating my time away. A lot of that mentality has to do with being raised as an only child.....I became very comfortable with my own space. I remember sleep overs at friends houses and as fun as the night would be, I'd look forward to the morning when I'd go back to my own bedroom with mom not too far away.
Now don't get me wrong I love my girls..... but if you've ever taken a trip with your friends it can be exhausting too. Having to accommodate everyone; lets eat here, who wants to do this, how do you feel about that...ok she's tired, lets head back to the hotel. I could go on and on.
Very unapologetic-ally, I decided that if I was going to spend well over a thousand dollars to see a country Id only dreamt about my time there would be just that .... A dream, and girrrrrrl I was right. Forced from comfort, meeting new people without the convenience of hiding behind old friends. Finding quiet moments to sneak away from the crowd. Spending free time sleeping In, waking up and getting lost.....on purpose.
I'll admit to anyone that direction-ally challenged doesn't even begin to explain my illiteracy when attempting to look forget read a map. But there I was in the middle of Fucking Rome navigating directions and stumbling across diamonds.
I don't need new, but I appreciate the lesson in Exposure, and one thousand percent I am a, I just know when I know kind of woman. Even as a girl I had known the world was bigger than what my eyes could reach. So I guess my love for traveling began with hopes of what I'd one day be able to see. It's safe to say that I've been on this traveling adventure since I was 18 when I moved to Houston for college. Soon followed local trips to Dallas and Austin, my 21st birthday in Chicago, University trips to Atlanta and New York City, New Years in Los Angeles, welcoming year 25 in DC, and of course your not a self proclaimed traveler if you haven't spent a weekend in Las Vegas.
Diamonds Found Below
At the start of the year a close family member of mine Introduced me to EF College break I was OBSESSED! EF offers abroad experiences all over the world literally! Italy, Greece, China! ...Ok click here and check out the website for yourself- and you better come back and finish this post (pleaseeeee Hahaha) !!!
Love, I researched for months, reading reviews, watching Vlogs, price checking daily, and waiting for the perfect opportunity.
My "Alone" trip was not completely. "Alone" . Weaves out the bag! It was my first abroad trip and I wanted to have the convenience of having a local there to guide me, and the comfort-ability that the most important details would be taken care of on my behalf. Flights, hotel accommodations, transfers / in city transportation and guided sightseeing. Yes I whole hardheartedly believe in paying for convenience, but from beginning to end exceptional service is what I received.
In the midst of last minute preparation, with less than a week until my flight was scheduled to leave for Italy, Harvey paid a visit to Houston. I was so nervous that my trip wouldn't happen. Immediately I was on the phone with EF demanding some type of reassurance. In no particular fashion, my call was randomly received by one of their representatives... from that day forward she would be the person I'd speak to, up until the hours before I would board she made sure I had the most up to date flight information, and everything was going as planned. Ya'll this woman woke me up at 9 am the day of my 4pm flight, and sent me a final text before I boarded that evening. Above and Beyond.
EF's Tours consist of travelers from all over the states, guidelines require you to be atleast 18 and no older than 28. My group consisted of 29 people the youngest ( Baby Hannah) was 19, the majority of us were mid 20's Id say 25 to 27 range. I soon learned that the kind of people attracted to these tours are those who are welcoming, risk takers and aren't afraid to blur the lines. People I may have never had the chance to interact with I'd now call a friend. They have a couch waiting here in Houston and I have pillows in New York, Seattle and shout out to my fellow nurse friend, down the road in Galveston, TX.
Would I travel with a tour again?
100 percent yes! and specifically again with EF College Break. Before booking my trip I heard all the negatives of traveling with a "big group". "Tours are too touristy, no free time or down time". For me, I like to move around, see as much as I can, meet new people and have time to unwind. Traveling with EF gave me the "inside scoop", a way to really understand the culture and history; not just oooing and awwing at artwork and scenic views..... But to embrace it, learning how and why it came to be. Also, it didn't hurt that we were welcomed to every city with thoughtful gifts from EF... Prosecco in Venice (my new Fucking favorite), Gelato in Rome, and a locals winery tour on the country side of Florence.
I couldn't possible fit it all in this one post, check out visuals!
Its been just over a week since I've had to return to reality, and I tell everyone who asks and even those that don't...My Trip to Italy was one of the best experiences of my life. Choosing to travel "My type of Alone" continued the investment that I am putting into myself. My trip was filled with moments of self discovery, followed by I can't believe I'm actually freaking here to why do I ever need to go back. We ended the tour with a farewell dinner in Rome, another courtesy of EF College Break and hosted by our amazing Tour Guide. He gifted us all with a personalized postcard with this quote that I'll keep close as the journeying continues ...
Contemplating how to end this post and realizing there isn't one... this is only the beginning for me and I hope the same for you. Let me help you out...remember when I said I wanted this blog to be our extra push? Well, I dare you, I TRIPLE DAWWWG DARE YOU to try it - yes it really is that deep. Love, It doesn't need to be far, or even to a place you've never been. The secret is going without your usual blankets. Honestly I don't even think you'll be surprised at what you'll find. We already know its going to be amazing. What you will be, is proud that you were brave enough to go after it.
If you have any questions about my tour that could help you plan yours, feel free to contact.
As the Italians would say... Ciao, Bellissimo (bye beautiful)