Stephanie Hitchins is a 32-year-old commercial insurance underwriter from Chicago, Illinois, who joined us on our South African launch tour. She had previously travelled with us on our Irish Explorer and 14-day Europe tours, so this was the third time Stephanie found herself exploring from an Expat Explore coach seat.
However, like most Millennial travelers, Stephanie was a little skeptical of the whole group coach travel vibe at first. So, what changed her mind and how did she come to book an Expat Explore tour in the first place? One word: convenience.
“I traveled to different US states throughout my childhood, but my first international trip was my junior year of college. I always enjoyed going to different places and experiencing different cultures and meeting new people, but when it came to putting together a trip myself I would freeze up – not knowing the language in certain countries and traveling to places where I didn’t know the particular areas seemed daunting.”
Fortunately, Expat Explore changed all that for Stephanie.
“The idea of traveling with a group of strangers was a little odd at first, but you know what? It turned out to be interesting and fun meeting new people from different backgrounds. By the end of the trip, everyone feels like a little family – there are still several people in different countries that I keep in contact with. You learn so much from one another and experience so much together. This past South Africa tour, my favorite memory is in Kruger National Park, where we had a group dinner and the entire group got up and danced. We learned different dances from other countries and everyone was laughing and having so much fun.”
Best of all? Stephanie’s Expat Explore tours showed her a bunch of places she might have missed if she’d tried to plan the trip herself.
“I don’t think we would have seen as much of the country as we did if we hadn’t gone on an organized group tour. We knew of several of the locations that we went to, but there were lots of places that we visited that I had not heard of and they turned out to be some of my favorite locations! Traveling has broadened my knowledge of what is happening in the world – it opens your mind up to different countries’ history, helps you to understand different cultures, and to accept and learn from the people you meet.”
In fact, Stephanie was so happy with her South African trip that she is already looking at booking our Egypt tour. See – group coach travel works for Millennials as well! It’s time to put the notion of the boring bus tour to bed and embrace an organized adventure for what it is – a wonderfully convenient way to explore more and meet a whole bunch of interesting people along the way.
Take a look at Stephanie’s tour through South Africa with Expat Explore below: