Part 1, Why Contiki?: Solo Travel

Hi there guys!
So I’ve had a lot of people ask me questions about my Contiki Tour last year. A lot of people want to know if it’s worth the money, what to prepare for, what to pack etc. So I’ve decided to start a blog series about why My Contiki changed my life and why I’ll be doing more in the future.

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Me in Prague 

I travelled alone on my European Whirl Contiki, which was 18 days in Europe, starting in Amsterdam or London and ending in Paris. I often get asked why I went alone, firstly, travelling is expensive for South Africans and not accessible to everyone. I did ask a few friends to join me, but they couldn’t for their own reasons, which bummed me out at first- but it actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

It’s great fun travelling by yourself on a trip like Contiki, because you’re not actually alone. Only for the first day, when you meet your group, after that, you’re travelling with a group of friends you just met, having the time of your lives. A lot of people like to do Contiki’s with their significant other, which is cool. Personally I’d prefer to do it by myself. Travelling solo forced me to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people (something I struggle with, I’m an introverted extrovert).

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My group was made up of mostly Australians, Canadians and Mexicans, three of us were South African. Everyone was extremely nice and keen to make friends. We partied so hard together on our first night in Amsterdam. Our night was kicked off with a Sex Show in the Red Light District. Like if you can’t make friends with people after something like that, you never will.

If you’re travelling with friend, boyfriend or group of friends, make sure you are not cheating yourself out of the full experience. People who came with other people tended to exclude themselves from group activities and thus missing out on all the fun because they had their own agendas.

If you want to go off and do your own thing on your trip, Contiki gives you the freedom to do that, but honestly, If you’d rather plan your own trip and stick to your own agenda, you shouldn’t book a Contiki. Contiki trips are designed to ensure everyone has the time of their lives, your tour leader will ensure that you see everything you need to see and experience everything you need to experience. And doing things with the group is where all the best memories are made, if you’re going to leave the group for half of the day, you’re gonna have serious FOMO later at the group dinner when everyone is speaking about their adventures.

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Living our best life in Switzerland

For those worried about getting alone time or getting annoyed by being surrounded by people 24/7. Relax. The bus rides are long, I often just got a seat at the front away from the group, popped in my earphones and gave my social brain some rest between stops.

So Although I was TERRIFIED of travelling alone, I’d do it over and over again without hesitation. Travelling alone builds character and maturity, not to mention it’s an adventure. And now I’ve made friends from all over the world who I still speak to all the time!

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I found out new things about myself, I felt lighter and carefree, a thousand miles away from my problems and by the end of the trip I did not want to leave Europe. I found myself over there and the chances are you will too.

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Until Next Time,
Nadine

Stealth Fitness Claremont (Review)

What’s up 20 Somethings!

Last Saturday I woke up early and started my day with a workout/grid class at a new gym called Stealth Fitness in Claremont.

About Stealth:
The gym is owned by a young man named Esmond, who completed courses in Personal Training, sports massage therapy and nutrition. Esmond spent his time after graduating travelling and working as a personal trainer and massage therapist before opening his own gym. The aim of the gym is to deliver quality service and to ensure that their members see the value in making healthier life choices. The welcoming environment encourages these life choices. Everyone is welcome at Stealth, they ensure that members feel included and looked after at all times. There are on-site bio-kineticists and sports massage therapists in addition to a team of personal trainers.
There is also a coffee shop that serves amazing pre-workout drinks and Nutritech bars for after a heavy workout.

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My Experience:
I took a class with an old friend of mine, Sune Esch. Who is a trained dancer- which contributes to a great workout due to her dance history. She understands the way the human body works and provides clear instruction as to how to perform the exercises without endangering your body in anyway.

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The class started with a step warm up, which got everyone’s blood flowing in preparation for the grid workout we did afterward.

The class sizes are small, which means that you get individual attention during your workout, which is a great perk when compared to some of the bigger gyms in the area.

I worked up quite the sweat in this class and felt that I got a well rounded workout and a dynamic stretching session at the end. Stretching is very important for me as I feel that a lot of gyms overlook the cool-down stretch at the end of a class, but this was not the case at Stealth. (check out our Instagram @20SomethingsBlog for the workout video)

The gym facilities are good, despite the small size of the gym, it’s perfect for personal training sessions and small group classes. So if that’s the type of workout you’re looking for, Stealth is for you.

On the negative side:
The music was played straight from Youtube and didn’t really fit the “workout” vibe at all. For me, music is a huge part of a workout, if the music isn’t good, I find little motivation to push myself. Of course, this could be rectified by just making a proper workout playlist to play at the gym. I have a great workout playlist I could share with them if they need it.

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If you want to try Stealth Fitness out in Stadium on Main, Claremont, they are offering free classes for the rest of October!
Check them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StealthFitnessSA/

Until Next Time!
Nadine