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      Mumbai, India | Email: santoshi@thestyledge.com

All about my first CONTIKI! (From Amsterdam to Germany) - #NoRegrets

May 24, 2016

 

My journey with Contiki finally began! I was excited ever since I had my first conversation with the Contiki team regarding this trip, and when the time had finally arrived, I was filled with mixed emotions.

For those who are still not aware of what #Contiki is – they are firm believers that life’s’ greatest experiences are made better by the people you share them with. You’ll explore amazing destinations with a group of 18-35 year olds from around the world who share your passion for adventure, good times and creating memories that define what it is to be young, wild and free.

The trip I took was the European Magic. European Magic takes the tried & tested favourite destinations of travelers through Europe & packs them into 1 awesome itinerary - 7 countries in just over a week. The beauty of this trip is seeing so much in a short space of time & knowing that each day is guaranteed to bring something completely different from the day before!

This was my first time travelling alone so obviously there were a dozen of things I had to keep in mind. I clearly had no idea whom I was going to meet, what the whole trip was going to be like, etc. Like I had a list of questions to be answered, and yes they would definitely be answered once I got there! I have been to trips with family, friends or through college. So I always had that comfort zone, like someone I knew in the group...and being in the comfort zone is so different because you really don't have to care too much. Here, I was told to take care of a zillion things, plus I'm being honest here, yes I'm a very careless person, and I'm also dependent on people if I have them around me...but here, it was literally just me, a situation where I had to be independent, pay attention to what's happening, be disciplined & also careful with my belongings...like I had to be well organised for every situation. That was definitely something that I was going to learn there, but more to that...Contiki is all about having NO REGRETS whatsoever and it's all about living the present moment! I'm a person who definitely believes in living in the present! This is so important for you to experience life to the fullest. Well if not now, then when?
A journey of learning life lessons, experiencing places with people from across the world, sharing your journey with them, and taking some amazing memories back! These thoughts kept me excited and I was looking forward to this new adventure! I definitely got very emotional when I left for the airport because I was nothing but a ball of nerves. While my parents were definitely worried as I was travelling alone, and they hoped for all good memories & good people, I on the other-side was nervous, excited, overwhelmed, grateful & curious about things and situations! I have always loved travelling and being an architecture student, travelling has been a part of my journey so far, where I have learnt so much about life... And when I came to know that something like this is going happen with me, I really couldn't express my feelings...What you manifest is what happens, this is indeed true… This collaboration was definitely one of my manifestations, and it was happening! So grateful!

 

So let's see how everything began for me…

After reaching the Mumbai International Airport, I finished all the formalities and was all set to get to Abu Dhabi for a connecting flight to Amsterdam, yes my first destination of my #Eumagic trip was Amsterdam!

After almost 12hours of travelling, I touched down in Amsterdam! I reached the airport and took the shuttle service to the hotel where I was going to join the Contikiers who were coming from London. On reaching the hotel, I came to know that they are going to be there in a couple of hours, so well I was the first one to be there! I was like damn...I just can't wait anymore! Haha. The excitement was real. We were staying at this hotel called Blue Square Amsterdam. Everything was literally so blue and the place in and around the hotel looked so chill, so I thought of strolling in the area to kill time as I waited for my fellow Contikiers to reach. I quickly started exploring the beautiful Amsterdam, grabbed a sandwich and soon came across the Contiki bus! Sigh! I finished my sandwich so quickly because I really didn't want to be a mess in front of everyone, haha! Well that definitely wouldn’t help me make a good first impression. I entered the hotel lobby with all strangers around me... And then I met MEGS! Our Contiki tour manager! This woman, this woman! What do I tell you, full of energy, positive vibes & always smiling! She was so welcoming, I already felt so comfortable... She explained the Day Sheet to me. So well, that's a Contiki thing, they make day sheets starting from #Day1 till the last day for us to have a look on how our day's going to be like! The way Megs did the Day Sheet was so cool like, they were super cute, interesting and fun! Indeed a creative girl with so much awesomeness! You can have a look below of how cool our Day Sheet looked like! 


Then I got to my room to meet my roommate, my first Contiki friend ever! Heather... She was the sweetest! We kept talking for a long time before we finally decided to head downstairs for dinner, I felt so light already, because I was anticipating things, and things were so smooth on the first day itself!

At dinner I met all the other Contikiers, well this was really exciting! Moreover, everyone had an amazing vibe, a vibe of being open & welcoming. On the first day itself I met some amazing people and made friends... Jeff, Datonna, Chloe, Sarah, Tersha... we bonded really well!  Everything was so nice and exciting! Talking about what happened on the first day, it was evening when we entered the bus and Megs shared with us some fun facts about Amsterdam with some music and stories.... we then had a cruise party overlooking the beautiful Amsterdam canals and architecture! It was so pretty, we were able to see the sunset while on the cruise and it was such a lovely feeling to be surrounded by amazing people experiencing such mundane yet beautiful things. The weather, the people and the moment... everything for me was magical and I felt so grateful all the time! Then of course Amsterdam at night has its own beauty, it's so different from what it is during the day! Oh well this was my second time in Amsterdam but this visit was a far cry from my first visit. I just felt so free & independent…that's what Contiki is all about. That night was literally one of the best nights and what happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam! Haha! Thinking about how I was feeling a couple of hours before I met everyone, and the feeling after was kind of overwhelming. I met strangers who had already started to feel like family! I have so much to share... But this would never end. Trust me!


The next day was a "Explore the City" by yourself kinda day…We went to the 'I amsterdam' sign, from there we took a tram to the city and then just spent the day walking around the streets, clicking pictures, visiting cafes and just chilling. And oh yeah, how can I not eat the waffles out there?! OMG they were so gooood! So after spending some leisure time at Amsterdam, our next destination was Germany! We reached Rhine Valley in the evening...I don't really have too many pictures here, but it was so good, like it's never a dull moment with my Contiki family. We went to the castle which was at a height to see the sunset; the view from there was phenomenal, worth the long walk that we had taken to reach there. I was just living the present, music on my phone, walking with a group of people whom I met just a day before and experiencing the best feeling ever with #NoRegrets! We then spent our night at the hotel bar to celebrate a day well spent and shared a little about our lives with each other. We were getting along, and just living the present moment!

I was enjoying every bit and couldn't wait to see what was in next. I personally feel Contiki is something we all should experience at least once, the whole feel of travelling solo with different but likeminded people and exploring places is the best thing ever. Here I end this post…and I'll continue my journey from Germany in my next post, so stay tuned and enjoy this one.

 

From Amsterdam...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So let's talk about what I wore on the first day starting with my travel look -

 

Day1 Travel -
Top - Arabellaa

Bottoms - Veromoda

Footwear - Adidas Originals

 

Day1 – Amsterdam -

Top - Zara

Bottoms - Arabellaa

Overcoat - Koovs

Footwear - Adidas Originals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Rhine valley .....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day2 – Amsterdam to Germany-

Top - Arabellaa

Skirtall - Arabellaa

Footwear- Forever21

 

Also for those who asked me about my travel essentials, my suitcase was from SKY BAGS and I carried some amazing travel kits, jackets, bags from WILDCRAFT. They are so light, portable & perfect for a traveler just like me! The backpack I carried was so comfortable; I carried so many things yet didn’t have a backache plus my stuff was super safe in it! They definitely have some vibrant and fun backpacks in store. Also, at some places we had to pack an overnight bag as we couldn’t take our luggage in the hotel, so I got these really cool travel kits and bags from Wildcraft, which looked like pouches, and they open to a duffle bag! They helped me for my extra shopping as well! OH YEA! Haha!

 

 

ARE YOU PLANNING FOR A CONTIKI TOO?

If you want to have as much fun as I did on my Contiki trip, you’re in luck! Contiki is offering 10% off 2016 on Contiki Europe Summer trips booked by 30th of  June– EXCLUSIVE to my readers. All you have to do is use the promo code PPSANTUSHI when you book! So what are you waiting for?!! DO IT! :*)

For any queries you can contact the contiki team contact@contiki.com 

 

 

 

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