Contiki + girlfriends + a shared passion for travel and adventure = heart warming stories about the beauty (and misbehaviour) of female friendship...
Story submitted by Gabrielle Liddle
I met my best friend Ash, at the start of our Contiki in 2016! Ash is from Darwin, NT, and I’m from Mackay, QLD, so absolutely nowhere near each other! When we got talking, we both suddenly had the realization of how small the world is. As it turns out, both of our younger sisters compete against each other in sport, and her father in law is actually my largest client! We soon became inseparable touring Europe together, and of course we also became great friends with a lot of the rest of our tour as well!
Since being back in Australia we have done multiple trips to Brisbane to see each other as well as our future husband Keith Urban! We had planned another overseas holiday, but unfortunately life gets in the way and brings more exciting things to the table! I couldn’t imagine my life without her 🙂
Story submitted by Kathryn Sherlock
Travelled on: Thai Island Hopper West
I went on Contiki after going through a break up and met friends that I will never forget. But I also made a best friend who I remained inseparable with even though she lives across the world. Most of our group were in the hotel pool meeting each other and sharing stories when Hannah, a small English girl, enters the water with a massive voice and tells us to call her China, a nickname picked up on a previous trip. With infectious energy throughout the trip, China and I became closer then ever and shared so me crazy memories.
Since the trip every morning and night we chat on what’s app and she is moving to NEW ZEALAND!! We are going to Bali in July to have a holiday, and then she is moving over after that. I am beyond excited and cannot believe my best friend that I made in Asia is moving so close!! I cannot wait and cannot thank Contiki enough!
Story submitted by Brittany Anne
Travelled on: European Highlights
I was the quiet Canadian travelling alone in 2012 on European Highlights, and little did I know my new trip BFF would be the friendly loud laugh of an Aussie. She had a necklace with her name on it. There were so many people to meet and I remember thinking that will help! Not that I got a chance to forget her! Right away we were on the bus near each other and eventually she was just plain telling me I was sitting next to her. Once we had a couple nights out dancing, singing and laughing we were permanent roomies. We took it to the next level when we jokingly posed as if we were getting married like Grace Kelly and the Prince in Monaco, and ever since we have lovingly referred to each other as “wifey”.
We didn’t know what would happen after that trip but promised we would see each other again…somehow. Well, the wifeys went on Eastern Road in 2014. She did as she does and next thing you know we had matching tattoos. (After I’d been green for a half hour in anticipation). She has since come to Canada for my wedding in 2016, and regretfully given her wifey (legally) over to my husband. What’s next for us? Well you never know, and that’s the beauty of a #contikigirlsquad. She has helped me be a strong, independent woman who isn’t afraid to go somewhere new and try almost anything…although I still have a strong micromanaging problem about sticking to the map, right Emily?
Story submitted by Holly O'Sullivan
Travelled on: European Inspiration
One morning after a long night at Space Disco in Florence, I decided to crash in another room with the “Contiki Boyf” and two others, but before going to sleep none of us set an alarm for the morning – we pretty much forgot. I barely remember getting into bed that night, so waking up to someone smashing on the door was not my fondest memory. Little did I know it was my roommate Mel, the ultimate roomie who had realised I hadn’t come back in the morning. She packed up my suitcase and all of my belongings, messaged around looking for me and made sure the bus didn’t leave me behind. Then she came to bang on the door to wake us all up. We all woke up in a panic but we all made it onto the bus and onto Switzerland – SQUAD GOALS AMIRITE?!
Story submitted by Kimberlee Roberts
Travelled on: Great Britain & Ireland
I had originally planned this Contiki with a friend who decided to pull out on my birthday. So, as you can imagine I was very worried and nervous about taking my first major trio solo. But that all changed when I met 4 incredible women from Adelaide, South Australia, who took me into there group and we all became inseparable. We shared so many memories together and I had the best experience of my life because of those women, and Contiki gave me the opportunity to meet those women. I was meant to come home on the 25th of January but ended up doing a spontaneous Contiki to Austria with 2 of those women – yet another experience I never would have had if I hadn’t met these ladies!
Story submitted by Brenna Jensen
Travelled on: Ultimate European plus Egypt
I went with my best friend, Ali, this past summer on the Ultimate European, hoping to travel the world and experience new cultures. We ended up meeting some of the most awesome girls. We’re from Canada and four of our new besties are from Australia. Not only did we experience once in a lifetime opportunities with these girls, but we made lifelong friends (and we now have couches to crash on if we ever end up in Perth, or Melbourne). Because I’m a teacher, I ended up taking on the role of Contiki Mum on our trip and these girls were like my own kids. Sewing up wardrobes, curing the hangovers, and drying tears when we had to say goodbye. These girls are a lot more than my squad, I feel like we bonded in our 47 days together and I don’t think that living across the world will break that. Thank god for social media! #contikigirlsquad #contikimumtakescareofherkids
Story submitted by Coleen Maloney
I booked as a single female before I went to university. A cousin of mine, who I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years, ended up joining me after we bumped into each other unexpectedly. We had a blast and ended up meeting some awesome gals from the U.S. We had all gone through some relationship heartbreak and one girl had lost her mom right before the trip. We got to see some amazing sights, collected many photos and ended up going home with some crazy inside jokes.
Ever since, we’ve stayed connected through Facebook. 2 of the girls are married, 3 of them have adorable kids and 1 of the gals is expecting her first! It’s really awesome to have gotten to know these girls and be able to keep up in touch! My cousin and I would definitely not have the relationship we do now without Contiki. We can get together now, after not seeing each other for a while, and start exactly where we left off. I still tell people about my Ireland trip!
Story submitted by Alice Pye
Travelled on: European Adventurer
In 2015, I’d arrived in London a few days prior to starting my European Adventurer, and so a few of us that were already there decided to meet up for dinner one night. It ended up being five of the guys and two of us girls. I was from Queensland and the other girl, Gaby, was from Melbourne, and we were the first girls to meet officially from the tour. It honestly didn’t take long to realise how insanely similar we were. It was actually kind of scary. States apart, one year in age apart, but I tell you what, we could have been separated at birth. After only a few drinks we were bonding over our future life goals and then we ended up rooming together for the next five weeks and never got sick of each other if that’s possible. So when it came time to go home, we both just felt incredibly torn apart!
But, nothing has gotten in the way of our friendship. We talk everyday. Yes, everyday. We’ve also flown to see each other five times. One of which I flew down to Melbourne, hid in her pantry and scared the sh*t out of her…#noregrets. We send each other mail, yes, real mail, birthday presents and all that exciting stuff. We even have a nickname for each other, ‘Pimpy’ which stemmed from the ‘P Party’ at Contiki’s Chateau de Cruix, in France. The day before, we rummaged through thrift shops in Paris and found massive fur coats for only 10€ each. People often say they’re scared when we are together in person because we’re so similar and talk, a lot. We might be states apart, but she’s always got my back, and I’ve got hers. I actually can’t imagine life without my Pimpy. So, thanks for bringing us together Contiki #ContikiGirlSquad
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Story submitted by Ivana Plavsic
Travelled on: European Panorama
After getting into school I decided to leave my job and travel for the summer. Making the decision to go on my own was terrifying but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to have this potentially life changing experience. I spent a few days ahead of the tour in London with my best friend, but when she left me to head home I wondered if I had made a huge mistake. What if I had to spend the next 30 days with people that I wasn’t compatible with? What if I made no friends? What if my parents were right, and this was a terrible investment of my hard-earned money? But, it took no time at all to meet a group of four other girls from across the world (two were from Canada like myself, one was from the US and the other from Australia) who were just as scared but just as open to a have a moment in time that would change us to the core. Also, they let my inner control freak come out and I planned an early start for us the first morning in Paris. Being able to navigate the Metro and the pickpockets of Paris made us fast friends. I hadn’t remembered laughing that much in a very long time. These girls were smart and thoughtful and they opened up about their lives at home in a way that I often didn’t feel like with my lifelong friends back home.
Despite the time that has passed since our trip and the things that have changed in our lives – the life events that had since taken place including marriage, children, family loss – we still connect like no time had passed. This is the true magic of Contiki: the friendships that you find, the magic, and the confidence that you find in yourself that you didn’t realize existed.
Story submitted by Lindsay Smith
Travelled on: European Inspiration
I decided to go on Contiki solo to escape. At this point of my life, the past couple of years have been so focused on what my future is going to look like, keeping up with my studies to maintain good grades, and working hard at a job that I don’t truly love, just to keep up with what society says we should do. Travelling has put those outside influences on mute and really changed my perspective on how I should be living and focus on what makes me happy.
During my travels I was fortunate to have an amazing roommate assigned to me who is also from Canada! She was my rock when I needed her advice as she has more travel experience than I do, and my sidekick during our crazy night adventures all over Europe that I will cherish forever. One day I hope to explore my home country and be able to visit her in her home province of British Columbia, since I am from Ottawa, Ontario as it is a bit of an excursion. Maybe booking a Canada & the Rockies Contiki tour perhaps? ? #ContikiGirlSquad
Do you have an epic, inspiring our heart warming story about the women you’ve met whilst travelling, on Contiki or otherwise? Do you agree that women travelling the world together = pretty much the best thing ever. We want to hear those stories! Head on over to The Travel Project to find out more, and you could go into the running to earn travel with Contiki…