Now that a year has past since I left for my trip, I have finally finished my travelogue. These
pages document the most significant trip of my life. In the process of planning for the following trip, I
read every travelogue I could find. I loved how the travelogues were so personable. I felt like I was on
the coach and I was part of those tours. The travelogues were an invaluable source for my preparation process.
Because of that, it was my obligation to create this site. I hope to pass along at least some of the advice I took from
similar sites before I left.
Most travelogue authors do not offer an introduction. This leaves the reader guessing who it is they
are reading about, where they are from, why they are traveling, etc. Guess no longer. I am Justin, an American,
specifically from New Jersey. At the time of the trip, I was 22 years old. I have always harbored a
desire to travel, despite growing up in a family that didn't travel. Prior to the trip you are about to read about,
my travel resume was laughable. It consisted of a north-south range of Montreal to Miami and an east-west range of Boston
to Cincinatti. I know. Pathetic.
Then I realized an opportunity arose. I finished college, secured a job, saved the money, and accumulated
the vacation days. My dream gradually turned from a fantasy into a possibilty. After visiting a travel agent
and reading endless amounts of literature, the possibility turned into a reality.
I chose Contiki, a tour company based out of New Zealand, catering strictly to people in the 18 to 35 year
old range. I liked the idea of traveling with the same group of people for the duration of the tour. Contiki's
message boards were mobbed by almost unanimous praise of the company and the tours it offers. The countless amount of
travelogues I stumbled across shared this unanimity. I further narrowed my choice to the European Experience tour.
I think it offered the best destinations of Western Europe for the amount of time I had to work with. My tour's itinerary
included ten countries. I would use three different currencies, speak five languages and travel over 3,000
Based on an experienced friend's recommendation, I booked the trip for the month of May. He stated that
I would get the best balance of weather during this month. I wanted the contrast. I wanted to see the bathers
in the French Riviera and the skiers in the Alps. My friend was right. May is the perfect time of the year for
In addition to future travelers, this site was created for my tourmates and the people I crossed paths with
along the way. Those people made my trip what it was, an undeniable lifelong memory. A year later, I think about
this trip every single day. Some of those people have a direct influence on how I view the world today. You all
know who you are. I cannot thank you enough.
Please email me
with questions, thoughts or whatever. I love answering questions and helping people plan something similar for themselves.