From Carry-On to Backpack.

Not only is this upcoming trip to Africa a journey that will break me out of my comfort zone in terms of traveling, but, it’s also breaking me out of my usual packing routine.

For years, I have traveled with my trusty black Delsey carry-on suitcase. It has made the journey with me to Bermuda, New Zealand, Fiji, Miami, The Bahamas, Thailand, Vietnam, and Aruba. It’s helped me pack for two different seasons on my trip to New Zealand and Fiji, been dumped into puddles that smell like fish in Vietnam, survived every mode of transportation imaginable, and overall, has never let me down in terms of packing everything I want into the smallest piece of luggage possible, even for trips lasting a little over three weeks. But, my beloved carry-on suitcase will not be making the trip with me to Africa.

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Egyptian Expectations.

As excited as I am to head to Africa in a little less than four weeks, it hasn’t exactly all come into focus. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to head there, and now it’s actually happening. It’s almost unbelievable.

In my current mind, it’s all about being one with nature, seeing the animals, visiting Victoria Falls, climbing the sand dunes in Namibia, hiking Table Mountain, and cage diving with Great White Sharks. This is what I have been thinking about most when my mind wanders to my latest adventure. But, at the very end, what I keep forgetting, is that I will also be visiting Egypt.

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Reflecting on Resolutions.

Never before have I stuck to a New Year’s resolution as I did this year. Maybe, that’s because the resolution I made was an easy one to keep. Rather than making resolutions to lose weight or go to the gym more often, I promised to live each day as I do while traveling, keeping a few goals in mind for the year. Those goals were to travel solo, visit Africa, take more chances, be more adventurous, and make more friends. It’s only been six months, but each of these has either been accomplished, or will be accomplished, in a matter of weeks.

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Get Me to Africa: Step Two.

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.

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Get Me to Africa: Step One.

It’s no secret that a trip to the doctor is imperative before a visit to Africa, and this past week, I had my first appointment with my doctor, who specializes in travel medicine. For three years, this trip has become a yearly experience each spring before my summer travels. Usually, a trip to the doctor is never fun, but when travel is in the future, I don’t mind.

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World Malaria Day.

Today is World Malaria Day.  As a traveler, I have had to take anti-malaria pills while traveling, and know just how deadly contracting this malaria can be.  The video below paints a picture of the disease, specifically in Africa, and how, with a small donation, we can all help save lives and make the world a better place.  

Africa Plans Finalized.

On Thursday night, I decided that it was finally time for me to book my plane ticket home from Africa. As thrilling as it was to purchase my one-way ticket there, I actually did have to come home at the end of my adventure. School would start up again in September and as much as I want to one day complete a trip around the world, it wouldn’t start with this trip.

Before booking my flight home, however, I had to do a bit of planning. A few weeks ago, Jeff and I decided that he would come to meet me in South Africa when my tour ended. Our original plan just included spending time together in Cape Town: heading to Table Mountain, seeing Cape Good Hope, and diving with Great White Sharks. But, we had a week together and decided it was enough time to head elsewhere after our South African escapades.

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One Way Ticket to Africa.

This weekend, I finally booked my flight to Africa, and my first one way flight ever. Even though I know my approximate return time, it was quite liberating to purchase a one way ticket to somewhere new and exotic.

My flight leads me to Johannesburg, South Africa, and then I have one more flight up to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. From there, I will join a tour from Victoria Falls through Botswana, Namibia, and back down to South Africa.

Then I will spend a few days in Cape Town – climbing Table Mountain, visiting Cape Good Hope, and swimming with Great White sharks. After a few days, the plan, as of now, is to fly up to Dubai in The United Arab Emirates for a few days. Then book a flight home that connects in Cairo, Egypt, with enough layover time to do a bit of exploring and see the pyramids.

Aside from the one way ticket to Africa and the tour back down to Cape Town, nothing is exactly written in stone, but now that everything is finally beginning to come together, I couldn’t be more excited for the adventure that lies ahead.

Kony 2012.

If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you’ve probably heard something about Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda and Central Africa.  If not, you can learn about him in the thirty minute video below.  In short, Kony is known as being one of the worst war criminals, capturing young children and turning them into sex slaves and child soldiers, for no purpose other than to gain more personal power.   Continue reading