£2626

Friday 2 December 2011. The day I booked my first solo trip.

Feeling after walking out of STA? Something along the lines of “Oh. My. GOD!”. Over a week later, and I still cannot believe it I’ve actually done it. I’ve taken the plunge and I’m going to be breaking away from my life and everything I know starting, wait for it.. 22nd February 2012. Let me start from the beginning.

So 1pm on the friday, I show up to STA Norwich, slightly nervous and apprehensive. I’d done all my research and I knew the availability for the things I wanted to do was tight. And it may have also been pay day for me, but by no means was I able to pay for everything I wanted to book right then and there. So you understand why I was bracing myself for rejection, disappointment and more disheartening things.. But miracle of miracles, things started to go my way.

Charli asked me, when did I want to leave this time? February I said. She took a look at the trip I wanted and told me that it wasn’t available for the time I wanted.. Unless.. I wanted to do it in reverse.. FOR CHEAPER. Um, yes?! We then set about having a look at the next part of my travels. I told her that I had tried to reserve the one I wanted online but hadn’t heard anything back. She confirmed they hadn’t recieved anything yet. Disaster right? WRONG! There were still places left! Then it was onto money. I asked how we go about paying for the trips and Charli told me I would have to pay in full for the tour, as it was leaving in less than 3 months. My heart sank, I only had enough for one and not including any flights on top of it. But hang on.. The other tour was leaving in MORE than 3 months time.. Pointing this out, I found out I only had to pay the deposit to secure my place! Done and done, I was over the moon!
But what about my flights? Probably the most important part of travelling, actually TRAVELLING to the places I wanted to see. I knew this part would be expensive. After inputting all the destinations and dates, Charli came to a figure of around £1600. That’s where the master plan of saving while you book slightly unravels. I only have the money in parts, adding to my savings every payday, and I still had 3 more to go before I reached my full travel money potential. But my wonderful dad offered to lend me the money for them right there and then so that I could be safe in the knowledge that I actually had transportation. I’m sure at some point I will tell you how much my dad means to me and helps me out in day-to-day life.

Walking out of that travel agents with a date, a means and tours booked, I suddenly felt lighter than air. You have noooo idea how hard I’d worked on my week off, how much research I’d done and how many headaches I’d gotten from being on my laptop too much. On top of travelling, I’m applying to university again for next year and to Camp America for the summer. It’s a lot of writing and finding references.

As for travelling, put it this way.. I’m already getting ideas for my next trip.

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