Finding the time and means to travel may seem daunting, but with a little research it isn’t impossible. I sat down with Carson Coffey, a solo traveler who recently went on Ultimate Break’s London, Paris and Rome trip this past December. We chatted about her first trip abroad, her favorite moments and what she has planned for her next. Read on for Carson’s story.
Morgan: Let’s start at the very beginning, how’d you find Ultimate Break?
Carson: Well, I was interested in studying abroad in Europe through my school, but it was super expensive. I found Ultimate Break online and after reading reviews from other travelers, I picked London, Paris and Rome. I was going to go in the summer, but thought it would be packed so I decided to go during the winter instead. I thought it was so easy to have everything planned out for me already.
M: That’s smart! Summer is peak tourist season in Europe. How was traveling in winter?
C: It was so nice to be able to walk around without crowds. London, Paris and Rome were three cities I really wanted to see!
M: Which was your favorite?
C: Paris was everything I wanted and more. It was the place I was most anticipating and it didn’t disappoint. Growing up Catholic, it was really interesting to see Rome and the Vatican – plus, the food was amazing. The pubs in London were also really fun!
M: It sounds like you had an incredible time! How was the experience going solo?
C: I was nervous at first, but I couldn’t find friends to go with me. I figured even if I was traveling with strangers, we were all in this together. I ended up having a great time and now have friends all across the country. One of the girls I met, MaKenna, really made the trip incredible. She was also one of the younger travelers around my age, so we hit it off and is one of the best things I got about the trip. Some of the group are talking about having a reunion in Boston this summer.
M: That’s awesome! What were some of your favorite moments from the trip you guys shared together
C: One night in Paris, we had an incredible, authentic dinner where I tried escargot for the first time! Another memorable moment was the night we went up to the Eiffel Tower. I remember looking out on the city and thinking, “Wow, I’m in Paris right now.”
Another moment I won’t forget was seeing the memorial for the victims of the recent attacks in Paris. Our trip took place only a month after it happened and it was inspiring to see how hopeful the city was. For such a terrible event, it was reassuring to see everyone united.
M: Wow, that must have been powerful. How did you feel traveling to Paris after that event?
C: People kept asking if I was scared before I went, but I really wasn’t. When we arrived there were so many police everywhere that I felt safe. On our free day, my friend and I went to the museum and then split up. I walked around the city all day on my own exploring and felt perfectly safe.
M: That’s great to hear! I’m glad you still chose to travel. Do you think you’ll take another trip with Ultimate Break?
C: Definitely! I loved that on this trip I got a taste for each city, so now when I go back I know what I want to return to and what new things I want to see. Our Tour Director kept us moving along and at the time, I wish I could have stayed longer everywhere. Now looking back, I know if I had gone on my own I wouldn’t have seen as much as I did on this trip.
I’m a nursing major so I’m looking into travel nursing programs, but I think my next Ultimate Break trip will be somewhere outside of Europe. I loved having everything planned out for me and want to try something completely new.
M: That’s awesome! We would love to have you back. Thanks so much for your time and happy travels in the future.
Hit the Big Three just like Carson on London, Paris and Rome.