After going on a bit of a tangent, I am back to the 2010 plans.
— Nov 2009 —
I went through the brochures as the STA travel agent told me to. He had suggested an overland tour as a cheaper option to get me from one stop to another instead of adding more stops to the RTW ticket. That appealed to me, as it would to any budget-conscious traveller, but I had my reservations. This was going to be my first epic solo trip. I didn’t want to be stuck on a coach bus with a bunch of randoms. It wasn’t going to be a challenge if everything was taken care of for me. In the end, I decided on the Barcelona to Rome Topdeck Tour*, via Nice and Monaco. This tour was good that it had both compulsory and optional activities and a lot of free time to allow the traveller to explore the city on their own. And how could one go past the idea of tapas and sangria to pebble beaches to glitz and glam with the stars and finishing up with pizza, pasta and gelato. I was sucked in.
With that in mind, I went back to the agent and we played around with travel dates. I needed to fit in a few extra days in Barcelona before the tour and figure out how I was going to end up in Venice to meet the BFF. Too much thinking for one lunch break!
That day I parted with $5,500 and a piece of paper. The piece of paper said Perth-Singapore-London-Barcelona, Barcelona to Rome Topdeck tour, Rome-Venice-Milan-London-New York-Perth.
Now to apply for leave. And hit the shops for a new suitcase!
*I checked the Topdeck UK website and it’s no longer available this year. It’s similar to this tour for Days 1-8.