Travel means a lot of things to different people, but for some it plays a much bigger role in their life and can surprise them in ways never imagined. Our client Christina shares her experience of meeting the love of her life during her trip to Europe, and why it turned into the best trip she’s ever taken:
My little sister Melissa and I wanted to do something special for her 30th birthday in August of 2013. We knew we wanted to take a trip, and since it was celebratory, and she’d had a previous great experience with one, we decided to take a Contiki tour where we could meet lots of fun people from around the world. We settled on the Turkey and Greek Island Odyssey Tour, and went into our local Flight Centre to book the trip.
We landed in Istanbul August 14, 2013 and we instantly knew we were in a magical place. Our first evening we met 40 other people from Australia, Germany, Brazil and the United States, among other places, but little did I know one special Australian would have the biggest impact.
Adrian and his sister Jessa were also on the Contiki tour, and shared the travel experiences with us as we took in the sights and sounds along the western coast of historic Turkey. Visiting the massive Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, seeing Gallipoli, a place near and dear to our Australian friends, visiting the fun port towns of Canakkale & Kusadasi, visiting the ancient city of Ephesus and walking around the massive thermal pools of Pamukkale were highlights, but not all that trip had to offer.
As sun set, we’d experience the night life of the towns in which we stayed, and Melissa had an incredible 30th birthday in Izmir – we danced all night and our group became the life of the party in each bar we visited. (There may have even been some dancing on the bar!)
Mixed in all the fun, Adrian became my Turkey dance partner, then my travel partner, eventually to be my life partner! We were joined at the hip as we boarded the cruise ship to visit the Greek Islands, and toured Rhodes, Crete and saw the most amazing sunset in Santorini hand-in-hand.
Saying goodbye in Athens to Adrian and the rest of our Contiki friends brought tears to my eyes. I never imagined that I’d become so attached to people after only knowing them about 12 days!
That wasn’t the end, luckily. I returned to Canada to finish a work contract, and Adrian continued to travel Europe. I booked another flight through Flight Centre to meet him in Germany a month later, and we visited a few countries together over five weeks. He settled in England, and in the year and a half since we met, we’ve visited 14 countries together, got engaged in Australia and married in England! I’m moving from Halifax, Canada to London, UK in April.
We haven’t forgotten our Contiki friends, we’ve travelled Barcelona, Quebec City and Copenhagen with our American Contiki friends Matt and Sarah, and met up with others in both London and Australia. We all check-in with each other on a Facebook group regularly. I’ve travelled a lot now, but that trip, for many reasons, was the best trip I’ve ever had.