Corlette is home but Stephen Rowe is a citizen of the world and a Contiki tour veteran

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe, 33, hopes to complete 65 Contiki tours by the time he’s 35. He’s pictured here on the Great Wall.Life has become one long Contiki adventure for Stephen Rowe who knows more than most that the lights could go out without warning.

苏州美甲学校

Corlette’s king of Contiki WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe, 33, hopes to complete 65 Contiki tours by the time he’s 35. He’s pictured here on the Great Wall.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe does dress-ups in Japan.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe zip lining in Costa Rica.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe in Hobbiton, the New Zealand film set of Lord of the Rings.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe and his Contiki family in New York.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe at the pyramids on the Mexican Grande tour.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe in Budapest in 2016.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe on the Grand Northern Tour in front of Mount Rushmore.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe and the group on the Big Indochina tour.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe with some friends he met on a Peru tour.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe singing karaoke on the Vietnam boat tour.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe in a Russian metro tunnel.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe in Moscow.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe and a bit of bus shenanigans.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe on his 35th Contiki at the Taj Mahal.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe and the guys from the Japan tour.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe in, you guessed it, Las Vegas.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe at Niagara Falls.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe throws himself into one of the many Contiki games.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe at the Valley of the Kings, Egypt.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe at the Great Pyramids, Egypt.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe at the Acropolis, Greece.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe overlooking Edinburgh, Scotland.

WANDERLUST: Stephen Rowe at a football match in Brazil.

TweetFacebook Travel diary Merely a few of the thousands of photos Stephen Rowe has from his 40-plus Contiki tours+26Merely a few of the thousands of photos Stephen Rowe has from his 40-plus Contiki toursMORE GALLERIES

facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappThe Corlette man has overcome testicular cancer, been hit by a car and was left paralysed in a second crash, all by the age of 26.

The latter incident finally forced him out of the NSW Police.

“I came out of a coma after the hit and run and that’s when the doctor told me I was clear from the cancer,” he said. “I just laughed.”

He was 24, working general duties in Sydney, and soon enough tragedy would strike him again – in the shape of a four-wheel-drive.

“They told me I would never walk again,” Mr Rowe said. “I said‘get stuffed’ and I walked out four months later.”

His affection for Contikis began with the European Panorama not long after his cancer diagnosis at 20.

The relationship got off to a rocky start. The tour date got pushed but Continki upgraded him from a shared room toa single, for his troubles.

Now 33, Mr Rowehas completed 42 Contikis. Calling in from Costa Rica, he says he hopes to complete 65 if not 70tours before he’s 35.

“Despite all my injuriesI wouldn’t say that I’m medically retired, I’ve just worked hard enough, saved andinvested well enough,” he said.

“I wanted to travel so I decided it was time to retire andjust travel the world.”

The next tour begins soon in Texas, heading east on the Boot-scooting Blues tour on which he’ll turn 34. But not before a detour to Detroit and Vancouver to catch up with friends he’s made along the way.

“It’s the friendships I’ve made along the way as much as it’s been about the sights,” he said. “I base my favourite tours on the groups and for that reason I say the British Ireland tour is my favourite,tied with China and Japan.”

Other than the friendships he treasures the photos. All 150 gigabytes of them.

“It’s a little thing but I’ve been working on my smile on the left side, there’s still some paralysis there,” he said.

“I’m not your typical bloke, I don’t drink and I can sew, I carry a sewing kit with me everywhere. Another reasonI like to do Contikiis because I hope to fall in love on oneof them; I want my very own Disney romance.”

Stephen Rowe

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