Trip review part two: EF College Break

The group of young travelers you are about to meet come from different parts of the country. They have varying hobbies, interests, and passions. But they do have one thing in common. They all love EF College Break.

Like most who travel with EFCB, these people will never forget their one-of-a-kind experiences. Here are a few of their stories.

Sarah W.

My journey with EFCB began in Dublin. I walked up to a group of smiling faces that were just as eager to explore the beautiful country as I was. Andre, our tour guide, immediately started to make us laugh and loosen up, because let’s be honest, going on a trip with a bunch of strangers can be intimidating at first. I fell in love with the city right away and at that moment, I knew I had been bit by the travel bug. I couldn’t wait to see more.

Immediate friendships were formed. We all bonded over our fascination of other cultures that differed so greatly from what we were used to at home. There were so many incredible sights to see and adventures to go on. London in particular had a never-ending supply of things to do. One day, we decided to go see Abbey Road and this quickly became one of my favorite memories. During that adventurous day we learned how to ride foreign public transportation and to never, ever press “Delete All” on your camera. After almost being hit by numerous cars (because it’s still a street, after all) we eventually stepped in a harmonious line over the crosswalk of Abbey Road to get a picture of our own.

If someone had told me before I left that this trip was going to change my life, I would have thought they were crazy. But as I boarded the plane to come home with tears of joy in my eyes and the fondest memories in my heart, I knew that it happened. The trip changed my life. I walked away with a whole new family and the best of friends I could have asked for.

Caitlyn B.

“Want to go to Australia?” That question is what lead me to EF College Break last year when my best friend approached me and expressed a desire to travel. For me, the answer was simple. If she wanted to go to Australia and New Zealand, we were going to go.

We decided to take advantage of the “go ahead” option that EF College Break offers so we could see more of New Zealand. We bungee jumped in Auckland, went on a Dolphin cruise in Paihia, and black water rafted through the glow worm caves in Waitomo. If you do go on this tour, I urge you to “go ahead” and black water raft, as well. The experience was surreal. Imagine jumping off waterfalls or being in a cave, floating down the water on an inner tube looking up at the ceiling and seeing hundreds of tiny glow worms. This one-of-a-kind experience is definitely one for all thrill seekers.

After a week of adventuring on our own, it was time to meet up with our tour group. Meeting fellow travel enthusiasts has to be one of my favorite things about going on tour with EFCB. I love how 20 plus strangers can come together with the common interest of travel and leave after two or so weeks as a family. This group was no different. After the first couple of days we began to do feel comfortable around each other and do more together. When touring with EFCB, a bond is made that is unlike any other.

Overall this trip was the perfect balance between city life and adventure, ideal for adrenaline junkies and city folk alike. I had so much fun on my tour “down under,” from trying the classic Aussie meat pie to seeing the Vegas of the Gold Coast (aka Surfers Paradise). But the most rewarding part of this tour was meeting and getting to know all of my new friends. If someone asked me the number one reason why I love EF College Break, it would be just that. I love the nights that turned into mornings with friends that became family. We all left Australia with a new outlook on life and memories we will most likely never forget. Traveling has become a passion of mine and I thank EF College Break for making it affordable and worry free.

Vince L.

I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about touring with EF College Break. It was the first time I was traveling to Europe. I was traveling alone. I wasn’t quite sure what I was in for. All of those worries quickly disappeared about 20 minutes after meeting my tour group. Everyone was easygoing and welcoming, which made it easy to be myself. The “Wow, I’m in Europe” feelings started to emerge and I knew this was going to be an amazing few weeks abroad.

In retrospect, there were so many amazing memories, some of which I still recall through videos or photos. Walking through London’s crowded Underground, seeing some of the most breathtakingly beautiful landscapes in Switzerland, lavish monumental art and history you can physically touch while enjoying a leisurely stroll on the streets of Florence. Not to mention the food. World-class gelato paired with the best Grappa that Tuscany has to offer. Delicious lemon parsley frog legs with a side of snails, which I never imagined I would eat, combined with a full flavored French wine.

This tour has not only changed me as a person, but helped define who I am. As a lone traveler I was forced to step outside my comfort zone and learn how to better socially engage people that I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to converse with. As a professional, it has helped me maintain confidence in front of people and made me think about how to approach different situations accordingly. This trip was an amazing life experience. I have met some great people that I still have ongoing friendships with today. I would recommend EFCB to anyone with the slightest curiosity to travel near or far; there’s nothing to lose.

Jena S.

There seems to be an overlying theme for travelers that have toured with EF College Break before. They leave for the trip unsure, and more often than not scared, for what the next few weeks will entail. They embark on an incredible adventure. Their lives are changed.

When going abroad, you will acquire both life and professional skill sets that you will continue to use well after you return home. Traveling will awaken your curiosity and provide a different global perspective. You will be immersed in a foreign culture and undoubtedly forced to take on new responsibilities. You will become independent in ways you never knew and you’ll have more confidence upon returning from your time overseas. What seemed impossible before is just a small bump in the road now. You conquered the subway system in Tokyo, how difficult could an interview or meeting with your boss be? You’ll be inspired and renewed, which will pay off in creative new ways, whether you’re in school or well into your career.

Since returning from that tour, I have studied abroad, worked abroad, traveled, volunteered, and simply lived. However, my favorite (and most convenient) way of travel was certainly with EF College Break. If you are perhaps an inexperienced traveler, or like me, too lazy to map your trip, EFCB is ideal. To put things in perspective, I toured with EF College Break in summer 2010 and backpacked southeast Asia in summer 2011 with a few friends. While my pals and I did a good job planning, we were certainly not prepared for everything that came our way. Buses didn’t run on certain days, trains were of questionable quality, and finding a hostel usually consisted in stumbling into whichever establishment was closest, spilling our forty-pound backpacks in the lobby and, naturally, all of its contents.

Looking back, touring with EF College Break was a much more efficient form of travel. Whether you go alone or with a group of friends, there really is no easier way to discover new cities and countries. You even have the option to go ahead or stay behind if you find the urge to explore a bit more. Best of all, you get a small taste of several cities, providing you with a realistic sense of what places you might want to return to or simply avoid at all costs.

Whatever the case, we’re sure that no matter the tour you choose, the cities you explore or the people you meet, you’re bound to fall in love with EF College Break, too.

Check out part one of our EF College Break review

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