Tomorrow is a landmark day. It means I have just 60 days left until I get onboard the plane and head off to Africa on one of the most eagerly anticipated journeys I have ever taken and I have to say that instead of butterflies, I feel like I have a pirates war worth of cannon balls going off.
But before you all give me cookies (double choc chip and nothing less) and tell me that it’s ‘going to be ok’; I’m not scared, just anxiously nervous (yes, there’s a difference). I’m also overwhelmed with excitement (I mean, honestly, it kicks butt to tell someone you’re backpacking through Africa) but the trip has so many ‘firsts’ for me that that in itself overwhelms me.
Am I even making sense? God, give me a cocktail STAT!
My first trip was only last year. It was 3 months around the tourist trail in Asia and I didn’t go very hardcore i.e. to a Buddha temple in the middle of nowhere for meditation etc (though I did drink in a Buddha bar– does that count?). But just over a year later I’m going to one of the most troubled (and yet jaw-droppingly gorgeous) continents in the world with pretty much no idea what I’m doing and whilst I LOVE IT, it also scares me, hence the reason I feel like I have a pirate war going off in my stomach. YARRRRR!!
It’s pretty epic by anyone’s standard but for me? I’m overlanding 7 countries in just 6 weeks meeting bushmen and Masai Warriors!!! I feel like I’ve gone from ‘travel virgin’ to ‘travel Madame’ in 15 months flat and it scares the crap out of me (well, not literally, unless those choc chip cookies were bad?!).
Granted, I’m cheating a little in the sense that because I’m overlanding all the way through, all my meals, transports, equipment and storage etc is wrapped up in a box with a neat little ribbon BUT….
–We’re talking 4am wake-up calls….I can barely get out of bed and into work for 8am and even then the girls at work know that I’m not worth talking to until about 10am when I actually start to wake up (though I’d like to make it clear that I’m ALWAYS worth talking to haha).
– I have to clean a trucks worth of people’s dishes when I can’t even do mine and mums at home. You think I’m joking? When I was a teenager we argued so much about dishes and left them for so long that she eventually went out and bought a dishwasher! I may have to bring some Marigolds!
– Camping…I’ve never been and I’m about to do 41 days of it! That’s 41 mornings of ‘it’s 4.15am; smile at me one more time and I’ll punch you’ moments, 41 ‘*insert tent buddy name* OMG I can feel something moving in here’ screams and 82 ‘why the f*** do we have an extra piece of the tent’ sessions! An adventure in its own right.
–And don’t even get me started on the cooking! I can only just about manage dinner for 2 but shopping AND cooking for 15-24 people? They’re either going to eat like Kings with 2 helpings or become Oliver Twist with ‘please lady, I want some more’. Sheesh!
Let the countdown to ‘firsts’ and adrenaline fuelled fun-ness begin…