Samantha Tibbel (28) had her first taste of travel was when she went to Greece in 2011, to celebrate graduating from college. Working as a Tax Administrator at Deloitte in Canada.
“My desire to see the world is why I decided to travel. My dad traveled when he was young and his stories definitely helped inspire me to travel. And once I started, I absolutely fell in love with traveling; my list of places to go and see keeps getting longer. I have travelled every year since 2011!”
My list keeps growing
I chose the Best of Europe tour because it gave me the chance to see a lot of Europe in a short period of time, hoping that it would help in deciding where want to go back to. This plan backfired as I want to go back to almost everywhere we went!
London was my favourite city in the world before this tour, and that definitely has not changed at all! Other than London, my favourite city on the tour was Budapest. I fell completely head over heels for Budapest and need to back – and Budapest wasn’t even in my top 5 of places I was looking forward to on the trip, so it was a total surprise!
Experience wise was definitely the Mount Pilatus excursion when we were in Switzerland. It rained the day we were there, but even still it was absolutely incredible! And the chances we did get to appreciate the view, it was so amazing! Destination wise, my favorite was Budapest. It’s a really cool city – plus the baths are a total must do while you’re there! We only got a brief time at the baths, but will definitely be going back the next time we’re in Budapest.
Traveling surprised and changed me
I was very surprised to see how safe Europe is. We are constantly hearing about terrorist attacks and how it’s taking a risk if you travel. But that is so not the case at all, it’s just as safe as at home! I mean you need to pay attention to what’s going on around you, but that’s really just common sense.
Travelling made me braver – from something as simple as asking people for directions. Before I traveled for the first time, I would never ask someone for help to get somewhere, but while traveling when I had to ask for help, I quickly learned that I can. So it’s made me braver. It’s also made me more open to new experiences and new people – and that is definitely a good thing!
That I am a lot more capable and self reliant than I thought I was. From something as simple as directions, which I am hopeless with at home! While traveling I learned when it comes down to it I can figure out where I need to go and how to get there on my own!
If you’ve never travelled before – do it! No matter what it takes, just go – you will definitely not regret it in the least!
Ignore what you hear on the news, it is totally safe and an incredible experience! It will take you out of your comfort zone – and that is a good thing! It is so much fun, you’ll meet lots of people, and really opens your mind/eyes to how people elsewhere live their lives.
Plus I mean Europe has so much history, that it is absolutely incredible and jaw dropping to see and experience all that history (especially being from Canada which is such a young country, we don’t have that kind of history).
My next stop is everywhere
I want to go everywhere. But my two big ones right now are Iceland and Eastern Europe. Iceland because the pictures I’ve seen online are absolutely stunning and I really want to see it for myself. Plus, I want to swim in the Blue Lagoon, and see some glaciers.
I also really want to visit Eastern Europe. I was a little nervous about Eastern Europe as tourism is still such a new industry in a lot of Eastern Europe, but the bit that we go to see on the Best of Europe tour totally blew me away and completely changed my mind about Eastern Europe. Plus, they are so welcoming to tourists! I want to go all over Eastern Europe, but my big ones right now are Hungary, Croatia and Czech Republic.
Don’t be nervous! No matter what, you will never regret traveling, it’s an adventure! Ignore what you hear on the news, it is totally safe.
Expat has taken me on a few journeys
Taste of Italy tour, which we did in May 2015 and Best of Europe in September 2017, South Africa is booked for 2018. While the people are strangers upon arrival, they’re not strangers for long! You bond very quickly and become a little travel family, so it’s a very fun way to travel!
Travelling with a tour company also means you get to meet people from all over the world and all ages – and it’s fun because you talk to people who you wouldn’t talk to in your everyday life. It’s an absolutely positive experience, and a great way to give you a little family that you travel with.
The beauty of doing a guided bus tour is that they do all the work, and you just get to show up and enjoy! It takes away the majority of the work and stress of planning a trip, getting from place to place, etc because all of that is organized for you by the company, so it’s great!
It would have been a lot more work and more stressful, having to organize getting myself from place to place, booking accommodation, transporting my luggage, etc. Travelling with Expat Explore definitely made it a more enjoyable vacation.