In the next few months I will be traveling through much of southern and eastern Africa, and like any traveler, I have a wish list for my trip. Rather than listing every single tourist attraction I’d like to see, this is a list of personals feats – both mental and physical. After all, traveling isn’t about where you are…but how you change and what you learn, because of it.
1) Correctly identify at least one species of animal during my stay.
2) Learn how to play traditional music – doesn’t matter where, as long as it’s authentic and not a (total) tourist trap!
3) Witness the World Cup in South Africa…and actually learn something about football!
4) Learn how to cook local foods…and be able to *try* and do it again at home (in Florida!).
5) Travel by myself, successfully!
6) Stop at a random town, and just look around.
7) Resist the urge to do adventure sports…expect for scuba diving, that is!
8) Climb a big scary mountain. Preferably something that takes several days. The longer it takes, the harder it is….right?
9) Become more sure of myself!
10) Eat everything without asking what it is beforehand.
11) Volunteer through the WWOOF program at an orphanage…away from internet access and modern day convenience.
12) Camp…in the wild…and stay positive about it (Hello, Equatorial Guinea).
13) Pretend like I actually know what’s going on at border checkpoints, and therefore avoid unnecessary trouble.
14) Not be scared to talk to people and meet people.
15) Accept help from strangers, and (hopefully) not become too jaded by a few bad incidents.
16) Not calling family too much – nothing spurs homesickness like talking everyday to people at home.
17) Finish the ENTIRE trip…without ending early.
18) HAVE FUN!
I’m sure there will be moments when I wonder why the heck I’m traveling alone, with only four sets of clothing, and in a country seven or eight time zones away. This list will help remind me that life isn’t, in fact, as bad as it may seem.
Any of these strike a chord with you guys? I’d be interested to know what you think!