“Start Again”- Contiki Training Part Two

Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker said “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

If there was one thing I learnt from training with Contiki it was that we would train with discipline. Continuously repeating ourselves and by learning through our failures and turning our goals into accomplishments throughout the sixty six day training, no matter how small.

Our first week was held in Hopfgarten where we all piled into our rooms as quick as we could. Next we were given the near impossible ‘reckie’ (short for reconnaissance) task of going down to town, a twenty-minute walk at best, and finding out all that we could about the area as well as getting back to the accommodation and finding out everything that we could about the accommodation. We were given forty-five minutes for the task, a task that would take any normal person an hour and a half to complete.

Here is the thing about our training, they didn’t want ordinary, they wanted us to push our boundaries and go from ordinary to something that resembles extraordinary, without getting cocky.

Not one of us completed the task successfully; we had failed, not as individuals but as a whole. This would not be the first time we failed.

Every morning we were tasked with completing tour codes, reciting ten different tours offered by Contiki and stating how long each tour stayed in various European cities. Now reading this you may think it was a piece of cake, on the contrary it was so nerve-wracking. We all dread that moment in school when we are asked to get up and present something that we know we have not prepared. The seemingly simple task of reciting and repeating tour codes took that feeling to an entirely new level.

We all sat in absolute silence, not daring to make eye contact with our first trainer. The cliché about being able to cut the tension with a knife was dead on and never mind hearing a pin drop on the floor, you could hear the heartbeat of the person sitting next to you. You dreaded hearing your name called, not because you didn’t necessarily know the sequence but because you did not want to mess it up in front of your trainer.

I remember the moment I was first called up to recite a forty-five day tour. I am not one to get nervous but I was shaking. I fumbled more than once, each time I was incorrect I was told “Start Again”, this method made me completely forget my train of thought and made me stumble more until I was ordered to sit down.

I lost so much confidence in myself, I was so close and to have to start over several times taught me something about myself; I wasn’t willing to give up not on myself or my trainers. Now this may sound brutal; losing confidence but we were broken down to be brought back up, we needed to be disciplined in order to make our goal of becoming a tour manager a reality and one my best accomplishments to date.

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3 thoughts on ““Start Again”- Contiki Training Part Two

  1. Thank you so much for writing these posts about Contiki training. I was interested to hear what is involved and how intense it is. Looking forward to more posts!

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    1. When you say Hopfgarten, are you referring to Hopfgarten, Austria where the Contiki trip runs, as the town that you had to walk through to complete the task? Also, I would really appreciate a small in-depth article on your Contiki interview if you can, your posts so far have been great, thanks!

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      1. Hi Anthony,

        Yes I most certainly am referring to Hopfgarten. I will do a quick article on the interview process now with my experiences and perhaps a couple more helpful articles.

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