5 Tips If You’re Off on a Group Tour for the First Time
Last year, I went completely out of my comfort zone and trekked coast to coast across America with a bunch of strangers. Whilst it was undoubtedly the best experience of my life, this doesn’t mean I wasn’t very very nervous. I spent the night before in our hotel going through the classic ‘what if they don’t like me?’, ‘what if I don’t like them?’ whilst it finally hit me that I was about to spend just over three weeks with a bunch of people I’d never met.
As it turns out, I did like them, they did like me, and the whole experience was awesome. Therefore, I’ve put together some tips for anyone embarking on a group tour this summer, to hopefully help beat those ‘first day of school’ like nerves.
1. Have some confidence
Chances are, you probably have friends now, and you wouldn’t have those if people didn’t like you, right? You made these friends by being yourself and showing your true personality, so go in with this attitude and you’re sure to add to your ever-growing mates list.
2. Be prepared to encounter a wide range of people
Just like when you first started school/university, there are going to be people from various different backgrounds. My trek had people from the up and down the UK, Australia and Belgium. This also means that they may have slightly different viewpoints and outlooks on life, making for colourful conversations and some interesting new discoveries about life around the world. Remain open-minded and respectful of everyone’s opinions.
3. Remember that everyone is in the same situation.
You’re not the only one that is nervous. Whilst you may ultimately be looking forward to your life-changing trip, it’s normal to have doubts and your other passengers will definitely be thinking the same thoughts too. Once you meet your group, talk these out. Have a laugh at the fact that you were worried about meeting them. It will make you, and everyone else around you, comfortable to know that these nerves aren’t uncommon.
4. Try new things
You’re away from the cliques of school, or what people have probably defined you as, as a person. These people know nothing about your life, what you do, what your favourite meal is etc. so take advantage of this. That doesn’t mean you should lie of course – don’t tell them you’re the next Celine Dion if you’re not – but remember that these people won’t judge you like your mates might do if you want to try sushi, swim with sharks, or abseil down a cliff. To some extent, this trip is a chance to reinvent yourself amongst likeminded people.
5. This is YOUR trip too
Don’t get too wrapped in pleasing people, making friends, or altering your views to suit others. Whilst it goes without saying that good company makes for an excellent adventure, your experience isn’t going to be ruined if you just don’t click with one of two members of the group – you’re not going to like absolutely everyone that you come across in life! The main thing is to remember all the time (and most likely money!) you put into organising your trip. You deserve to enjoy yourself, even if that does mean one day wanting to do a different activity to everyone else.
Whilst these tips will hopefully put your mind more at ease, I’m sure many of you will still have those jittery feelings, and don’t worry! If anything it just means you’re excited and care about achieving the most out of your experience. What I can guarantee though, is that that experience will be one in a lifetime, and you’ll most likely return with friends for life.
By Mariah Feria