You've heard it once and you'll hear it 100 more times, but the friendships you make on Contiki are actually something else. It's not just the shared love of travel, it's something unique and deeper that keeps you connected even when you return home. But how do you get to that stage? While there might not be a tried and true formula for making friends at school or work, there certainly seems to be a few stages in making friends on a Contiki...
The Facebook Add
Adding your fellow travellers before the trip starts is the first stage of friendship making on a Contiki. Some prefer to remain mysterious (or don’t use social), but for the majority this is prime lurking time. You start tentatively posting questions to the group, sussing out what everyone is most excited for. Yep, you can tick off the basics of getting to know someone thanks to social (and bonus, put a face to a name).
The Awkward Dinner
Usually on the first night of the trip there’s an almost official ‘let’s all hang out and pretend we know each other’ dinner. But, who do you sit next to? Yet once everyone is settled into their seats (pro tip: sit down first so people come to you), the talk starts and suddenly the ‘awkward’ dinner isn’t so awkward at all. In fact, it becomes the first time that guy you asked about packing before the trip started makes you laugh so hard you can barely eat.
The First Night Out
It’s time to have a beverage (or three) and let the funky monkey take control of this friendship train. As you hit the d-floor and laugh at each other’s go-to moves, you’ll realise you’re officially a #squad and the people around you know it too. And it feels AMAZING. It’s just like the ancient proverb says: ‘Here’s to the nights we’ll never remember, with the friends we’ll never forget.’
The Exchange Of Secrets
We don’t mean Gossip Girl type nastiness about other people, but genuine real talk where you show a bit of your soul to someone else and they love you for it. Friendship is born out of shared experiences, and that can be something as simple as having a heart to heart under the stars in Memphis about a break up, or your dreams for the future. Giving someone your trust is a BIG deal.
You already know you’re friends by now, but it’ll stand the true test of time once you elevate it with the ‘in-joke’. Giggling until your guts hurt with a one-liner no one else gets the story behind (unless they were there of course) is something only true friends can do. Even after your Contiki ends, sharing ~that~ story will be the gift that goes on giving.