I visited a country that deeply moved me today. I felt compelled to write this, I hope you enjoy.
I looked around at the sea of the dead.
Brothers, Sons and Fathers all swept away.
Left in the wake white plaques with names from A to Z.
A survivors story of the long dead;
And Man’s broken promises to offer safe habour.
A tale of the great seas rage.
Over 8000 souls lost in its icy depths.
Now all that is left on the 11th July is rememberence.
A cautionary tale to be shared with Man.
And a final grim lesson to haunt our history.
I should start this article with the caveat that I am enjoying group travel. So why this article you ask? Just as I recognise solotravel is not for everyone, the same is very true for group travel.
The darkside of group travel
- Drinking culture: get a bunch of young people together and inevitably drinking happens. In large groups this experience is intensified, creating an expectation you should get drunk most days.
- School drama: you will be spending every moment with these people, as a result clicks get formed, grudges happen, relationships start and fail etc. The resultant effect is it can feel like being back at high school.
- Privacy: I have a natural inclination to introvertion as a result my energy comes from within. What this means in practice for me and many alike is alone time can be essential for a much needed recharge. Due to the itinerary of the trip finding alone time is very difficult and you really need to actively carve out the time.
Is group travel for you?
In my opinion if you answer NO to any of these statements consider all your options, or start with a taster group travel adventure first.
I can share small living space with strangers? I don’t always need a good night sleep? I like being in groups as opposed to my own company? I am happy to be led? I like to drink or don’t feel peer pressured to drink? I able to ignore/like drama so it doesn’t effect me? I am happy to spend long periods of time travelling?
As I walked around Athens I felt a great sadness, I looked at the decay of the once great temples I thought to myself is this what the end of humanity looks like.
I think its time to caveat that statement before I get a mob of Greek’s coming after me. Ancient Greece has always interested me, so perhaps I had unreal expectations. I spent around 7 days going around Greece so very much a whistle stop tour, therefore I wont produce a guide but instead will try to give some general impressions.
What I loved
- Food, especially Mouska with Greek Salad-I would happily have it as my last meal.
- Sailing the Greek seas, with its hidden caves and clear waters its a must do.
- The picturesque white stone houses and tiny paths.
- The poor customer service, I always considered the Greek’s the most welcoming of people, but I had some truly poor service.
- How run down some of the cities/towns were- I know Greece has had some problems for a while but I didn’t realise quite how it would affect the infrastructure.
- Linked to the above how the monuments were poorly kept, specifically the lack of information of the rich history they offered.
My purpose in writing this article was expectation management, as opposed to detering a visit.
Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, group travel has been an unexpected intense experience. I am working on a follow up article- the cons of group travel.
In the meantime for you travellers or would be travellers this was a very read-enjoy.
So after travelling on my own for the first 5 months and change I wanted to shake it up, so decided on a group tour.
What is a group tour? In essence a group of strangers with the help of a guide travel around a given location, simples.
In my case 49 days around Europe with 40ish young people full of hormones, what’s the worse that could happen….
7 days in…This trip is so different from travelling on my own:
- Everything is so heightened with a constant electricity in the air.
- Relationships/clicks gets formed so quickly and the small talk dissipates replaced by the same contentment you get with a long time friend.
- Every location we visit has a sense of urgency, with the need to use every second to absorb what the new place has to offer.
- The travelling on our coach which was hash on the first day has become our constant for much needed naps, snacking and games.
I will keep you posted on the next 42 days….
So the grapevine says Paris is beautiful, so rightly or wrongly I had high expectations.
The verdict? Paris is a truly magical city and completely met expectations. When you stand on top of the Effiel tower at night (a must even if you don’t like tourist attractions) and look across the city in any direction you understand man made beauty.
What to do? I only had a day and half in the city but these were my highlights:
*Of course the Effiel tower at night.
*Notre Dame Cathedral I cannot overstate the amazing stone work and detail on this building.
*Louvre- Although a massive art gallery now this use to be a Royal home with three wings (the east wing use to connect to the queens palace, sadly destroyed now ).
*Museo De L’Armee- As an old country France has had a fair few wars so as expected the museum has a rich historical perspective.
Interesting but true… Due to parking issues around Paris a solution was developed where all cars park without handbrakes on to allow ultra close parking.
Need more proof to come to Paris, well here it is:
View from Effiel Tower
What is your favourite Paris spots?
I have been briefly back in the UK until my next trip on 15 August, unable to sit still for more than 5 minutes what do I do? Explore, explore, explore. On the rare short’s weather day it was off to a city I haven’t been, Cambridge.
I admit that I was a little anti the UK when I left with BREXIT, the daily grind of London and the famous English weather. However I am seeing England’s beauty and Cambridge showcases why people should visit. With the cobbled streets, the amazing stone work and picturesque parks Cambridge is a must visit. In particular I absolutely loved punting and this is why….
I have been speaking to a few of my female friends about my travels. A response that I often hear is I could never do what you are doing as a female. Although I understand the worries (at least from a man’s prospective), the most adventurous people I have met while travelling have been female solo travellers.
I came across this interesting article and wanted to share it.
What a daunting thought? Even writing it now I have to ask myself ‘was I mad?’ but of course we all know that I wasn’t mad at all, in fact I was mad to have not done it sooner! Being a female solo backpacker has its many perks as well as raising a lot of […]
via Guide to female solo backpacking — Face Camera Action
Female travellers tell me about your experience.
As readers of my blog know in the past I always travelled very conservative at highend hotels, big suitcases with friends/family. I would have never considered backpacking was right for me, now I can’t imagine travelling any other way.
I came across this great article from the Partying Traveller which is worth a read for those considering different ways of travelling.
Over the past three years, I’ve been to over thirty countries, but it was only recently that I started backpacking. I was in Colombia on my first solo travel trip where I was tagging along with some backpacker friends I made and I decided that my mini suitcase was going to have to go. In […]
via Is Backpacking Right For You? — The Partying Traveler
For those in doubt dive in as you may surprise yourself.
My experience of exploring the lovely Toronto, Canda
Toronto is broadly split into several districts examples of these include the Entertainment, Old Toronto, Downtown and China Town. Each district like most larger cities has its own identity to fit most personalities.
Just like most cities its worth spending some time planning what you want to do. A big difference in Toronto however is the massive transient community both in terms of temporary immigration as well as travellers. The massive advantage is there is always people wanting to explore ( I personally use the couchsurfing App to
My personal favourite spots:
– Around the Habourfront centre: there’s always varied activities happening in the summer from beach parties, to opera to the best of Canadian cinema.
– Around Kensington Market: plenty of cool restaurants and bars to explore.
– Around Queens Park/University of Toronto campus, some old (at least in terms of North America) and stunning architecture.
Let me know your favourite Toronto spots.