Let the Training Begin…

19 Countries, over 12000 KM, 68 Days; welcome to Contiki Training.

In three months I will be packing my bag for a trip that I can only describe as a once in a lifetime opportunity. A whirlwind of adventure that will see me wake up in one country and fall asleep in another, if I get any sleep at all.

Recently, I saved all of my pennies for a Contiki Trip, I travelled with a friend from London to Athens with a bunch of 50 crazy travellers, during a hot European summer, making memories that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

Contiki
Contiki

When I returned to Australia I started my final semester at university, still unsure of what I wanted to do once I graduated. I had seen Contiki advertise a Tour Manager position for Europe and the requirements seemed simple enough; be a confident speaker, have a European passport or be able to obtain visas, to preferably have travelled before and to be bubbly and outgoing. I possess all of the above and my most treasured travel item is my EU passport.

I poured my heart into my online application and a month later I was flying to Sydney for a group interview at Contiki HQ. With 20 people in the group interview the vibe was tense, many crumbled under the pressure when giving their speeches, myself included. I picked it up where I left off and after a long and stressful group interview, I scored myself a personal interview that same afternoon.

Never have I been in an personal interview that challenged me more. Trying to get a smile out of my interviewers was near impossible and serious thought went into each and every answer I gave. I walked out not knowing what to expect, all I knew was that in two weeks I would have my answer.

The email I had been waiting for.
The email I had been waiting for.

Two weeks later I was hurtled out of bed with the news that I had been accepted on the training trip. I laughed, cried and jumped at the good news. I’ve never wanted anything so badly before. Since returning from my last Contiki, I have had an urge to travel, to explore and to see the world from a different perspective, now I have that chance.

March will see me leave Australia for eight months and endure a challenging training trip before being offered a position as a Contiki Tour Manager in Europe. I am currently completing a huge assignment to help me prepare for my trip.

19 Countries, 12000 KM, 68 Days
19 Countries, 12000 KM, 68 Days

Overwhelmed and excited are two words I would use to describe how I feel about jetting off to Europe and when I mapped out my trip I figured out that I will be visiting 19 countries, covering about 12 000 KM, all in just 68 days. Not very many people can say that they have done that. I simply cannot wait.

So  sure to follow me by email to keep an eye on La Petite Globetrotter for tales from my crazy European adventure.

A Venitian Side Street Cafe.

Explore the narrow alleyways of Venice to experience an authentic Italy.

When I think of Italy, my mind wanders to the beautiful landscapes, the romantic Italian language and of course; the food.

On a, very hot, summer’s day in Venice, after wondering through St Mark’s Square and being utterly astonished by the exquisite floating city, it was time to find something to eat.

Our Charming Italian Waiter
Our Charming Italian Waiter

My travel buddy, Ashleigh, has a great eye for finding the perfect place to eat, so Madeline and I left it up to her. She wandered ahead and turned into a narrow alleyway. With laundry gently suspended above us, we made our way towards a soft mumble of people sitting at small tables at Ostaria Ai Storti. Ashleigh turned to me and promptly said “We are eating here, I want to eat here.” She could not have chosen a more perfect spot.

Living the Italian Life
Living the Italian Life

Greeted by a rather charming Italian waiter, we took a seat outside. Sitting next to us was an old Italian man drinking a chilled glass of wine. As I looked at this old man, he seemed to embody what I can only describe as ‘The Italian Life’. While we carefully examined the delectable dishes on offer, the old man was joined by five local older men whose exuberant characters filled the once quiet alleyway with expressive Italian.

Our food arrived and the three of us sat and spoke about all sorts of topics, before I began eating my shrimp and zucchini spaghetti I sat back, took a deep breath and examined my surroundings. I was sitting in Venice, in a small cafe with two wonderful friends and true Italians around me. For the first time in a long time, I was perfectly content and happy with my life, smiling like a fool I tucked into my meal, which can only be described as phenomenal.

Delicious Shrimp and Zuchhini Spaghetti
Delicious Shrimp and Zucchini Spaghetti

Eating local food was something we had all been eager to do. We ignored crowded tourist spots with English speakers and wherever we went we searched for small places to eat. They all gave us an authentic taste for the country we were visiting and this was no exception.

The chef came to greet us “belle ragazze” (pretty girls) and blushed when we complimented his food. We sat and watched as the old men helped each other up and wandered down the maze of alleyways, and so too did we.

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