There are exactly fifty-six days until I leave for Africa, not that I’m counting. But, this is the adventure I’ve been waiting years to make a reality, and that reality is feeling a bit more real as the days draw closer.
For months I’ve been telling people that this summer I will be heading to Africa. Each time it felt like a dream. But now, all of a sudden, summer is here; the days are longer, kids are playing out on the street, school is coming to an end, and I am fully preparing for my trip.
Aside from finishing up my rounds of rabies vaccines, I have also officially paid off my trip’s balance. That in itself was a reality check – no turning back now! And, most recently, I have started shopping.
Now, shopping is already an activity I enjoy, but there’s something about shopping for this trip that’s even more thrilling, like it’s an adventure all it’s own. I spent two and a half hours in REI the other day. I walked around the store with 30-pounds of weight in my bag, crawled into sleeping bags, and picked up a pair of their cutest hiking sneakers, even though this was not the easiest of tasks, I managed to leave the store happy.
All of this is a new experience for me, especially because I’ve never needed any of these items before. Normally, I travel with one small carry-on bag and don’t need to worry about bringing my bed along with me, but this time I need a bag with enough room for my sleeping bag. I think the fact that this trip is so different from what I am used to, and so out of my comfort zone, that the preparation for it is equally as exciting as the trip that lies ahead.
And, so slowly, but surely, I’m getting all of my gear together. In the coming weeks, I plan on picking up a new camera, and investing in travel insurance. Then I should be ready to head off on the road to take on Africa!