Nervous about travelling alone?
Want guaranteed friends as soon as you get there?
Prefer having a knowledgeable tour guide from the area?
Need to sit back, relax and know everything is planned for you?
Want to leave with unforgettable memories, friends and experiences?
When I started planning my backpacking trip, I knew that I was slightly nervous about travelling solo. I had never been the most outgoing confident personality and preferred one-to-one friendships than being in large groups of people.
Not only this, I had only ever travelled to destinations in Europe and the USA and didn’t know what to expect when immersing myself in South-East Asian countries and cultures.
I decided that I would book a place in a tour group for the first 30 days of my adventure – and then go it alone. This would allow me to adjust to any potential culture shock and most importantly give me peace of mind that I would straight away join a group of like-minded travellers my age and not be left alone crying in the streets of Bangkok!
I chose G-Adventures’ 30 day ‘Indochina Discovery’ tour:
Now, I’m going to up front about this – It’s not cheap.
As soon as I arrived in Bangkok and started the tour, I quickly realised that you can do everything for a fraction of the price. If you are able to turn up, book last-minute public transport and stay in crowded hostels day-by-day, you can most definitely complete the tour in a much more cost-effective way.
– But I have absolutely no regrets about spending that extra money!
After arriving at Heathrow airport on the day of my departure, nerves mercilessly kicking away at my stomach, I straight away spotted a girl around my age waiting in the same departure lounge.
Well, this is as good a time as any to start talking to strangers!
After plucking up the courage to introduce myself, it turned out she was heading to Bangkok to join the exact same tour group as me – I had been a ‘solo’ traveller for a record 20 minutes.
We arrived in Bangkok, got picked up by the bus arranged by the tour company, checked into our hotel and spent the day together wandering around Bangkok adjusting to the heat, smells and sights. It was all so easy, we got on so well and I was instantly so grateful for booking the tour!
My favourite memory from that first day is when both of us saw a woman on the street selling watermelon blended ice drinks. We greedily bought them only to remember the strict advice we had been given not to drink potentially contaminated ice. We threw the drinks in the trash…
6 months later, I wouldn’t hesitate to drink the whole thing!
It’s so funny to look back on the old innocent un-travelled me.
We met with the tour guide and the other 16 group members that evening and I felt an intense buzz in the air as we all introduced ourselves and shared our excitement of what was to come over our first Thai dinner. I felt safe my first night in the hotel with my Norwegian roommate, confident in the plan given to us for when to wake up and what bus to get on in the morning and excited to learn everything first-hand from the tour guide – We were heading straight to Cambodia.
Have you booked a similar group tour? What were your reasons for doing so?