The Next Big Adventure

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If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a post early in the year where I touched on what countries I thought I’d be visiting in 2017. In it, I mentioned that I’d be visiting Bolivia, and well – that was true at the time. The day after the election, I decided that the best way to pull myself out of my funk was to book a flight. I maintain that this is true. I had had Bolivia on the brain for a while and was able to secure a flight for early April using frequent flyer miles. Done and done, right?

Well, no. As excited as I was about the trip, some conversations that AJ and I had in New Zealand made me think about really prioritizing my travel for 2017. I hate being vague, but this is the last year where we really have any sort of clue about what our lives will look like. There are a lot of things that could change in 2018 (and not just kids – but job stuff, location stuff, everything!), so it makes sense to be very intentional about how I choose to spend my time this year. And that brought me back to Africa.

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There are no elephants in Bolivia. (Photo by Adventure Nation)

Like the Inca Trail, Nepal, and New Zealand, visiting Africa and doing a safari has been high on my bucket list for many years. While there are a lot of things on my bucket list (basically the whole world), I’ve been consciously working on checking off the more “difficult” items while I am still successfully avoiding the responsibility of children. I figure it is not very practical to go trekking in Nepal for 2 weeks with zero cell phone service when you have young kids, you know? An African safari is along the same lines – very far away, not cheap, kind of a long trip, and limited access to communication. Therefore, it makes sense to do it while I can.

And while I’ve been thinking about Africa for a few months, I always came back to the logistical struggle. How much would it cost? When do I have time to go? Who would I go with? How do you choose a safari? What are the best countries to go to? Even for me, a person who loves to research and plan travel, it felt overwhelming. Serendipitously, a woman we met while in New Zealand had recently done a safari and recommended a great tour company and was able to tell me a ton about her experience! After putting some hours into researching lots of different companies, looking at all kinds of safaris, researching which countries I want to visit, and figuring out which flights I could get using frequent flyer miles (after canceling my flight to Bolivia and getting those miles back), I finally booked the trip!

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Baby rhinos, I’m coming for you! (To take pictures of you. Not to hurt you. I promise) Photo by African Fusion Travel

Drumroll please…I am going to Africa in early June! I’ll be going on an overland camping safari through South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, and I am so excited. We’ll have a good mix of doing game drives (where you actually ride around and look for the animals) and other activities, like canoeing in the Okavango Delta in Botswana and visiting Victoria Falls! I truly cannot wait and I know it is going to be the experience of a lifetime!

Whoa! @thetrexrunner is heading somewhere HUGE in June. Hint: It's gonna be pretty wild! Find out where: Click To Tweet
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BRB, going to visit Victoria Falls! Photo from Live Science

Thanks to the fact that I’ll be camping and doing the “budget” version of a safari, it also isn’t too expensive. There is a huge range of prices out there and a safari style for every type of traveler, so don’t take a safari off your list just because you think it is too pricey. While I’d love it if AJ could come with me, this type of trip isn’t high on his list for a few reasons. First, he doesn’t like sleeping on the ground on vacation for more than one night (i.e., he will go camping on a weekend, but not for extended periods of time). Two, he gets incredibly motion sick in pretty much every type of moving vehicle, so traveling over bumpy dirt roads in a 4×4 for 8 days is not an option. Third, he is still a little skeptical about traveling in developing countries – he definitely prefers to have the comforts of home. So I’ll be doing this one solo, but with the group of people I’m traveling with – I just haven’t met them yet! Don’t feel too sorry for me, though – I love traveling solo, and I can’t wait for this next adventure!

LEAVE A COMMENT: Have you ever dreamed of going on a safari, or is it not your thing? Where’s your next big trip?

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25 thoughts on “The Next Big Adventure

  1. Can I ask what travel group you are using? I’ve done a few safaris, but they’ve been done on the fly when I have time off from work (I do work occasionally in Uganda, Mali, and South Africa). I’d love to actually get to see more of the continent! Thanks!

    1. Sure! I’m going with G Adventures. I didn’t want to mention them in the post because I haven’t gone yet and I didn’t want it to sound like a recommendation. I’m really looking forward to it and they have a ton of different price ranges depending on what you are looking for! SO cool that you get to work on the continent – I’m jealous!!

  2. I wondered if you were going with G Adventures, I assume the Yolo trip. It’s going to quite the adventure for you! I did the Classic trip last March. It was really incredible, the BEST part was the Okavango Delta canoe trip. While I didn’t do the camping experience, I’d be happy to share advice or answer questions about the countries, activities, and G Adventures. I also have a public album with highlights here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33607205@N03/albums/72157666508558510. There aren’t a lot of captions because I usually use this as my slide show if I am telling someone about the trip, but it will give you some good ideas. GREAT CHOICE!!!!

    1. Hey Emily! Yes, I’m doing the Yolo trip. I can’t wait to check out your album! I’d love to hear about any tips you have – things you had wish you had known before you went, what to wear/pack, etc! Would you mind shooting me an email at thetrexrunner@gmail.com when you have time?

  3. Can I just say, YOU ROCK! So awesome to be able to travel and have a supportive husband that doesn’t hold you back. AJ rocks too :-)! Enjoy!

    1. Thanks, Clarise! Yes, I’m very lucky. AJ is the best! I think he realizes that we are both happier this way – we take trips together that we’re both excited about, but if he doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t have to. By not holding me back from anything, he also gets to avoid listening to me complain 🙂 Everyone wins!

  4. Ahhhhhh! OMG. AFRICA!
    My contract work and bonus will pay for my travel this year. Depending on how those shape up, I hope to take a trip to either Turkey or Africa (very different places, but also very different costs). I’m so freaking excited for you!!

    I’m also pretty certain I’ve researched the exact trip you’re taking. Two of my coworkers travel a TON and have only had great things to say about G Adventures (I’m also looking at using them for Turkey).

    1. OMG, Ange, that is so exciting!! I am dying to go to Turkey as well and both of those trips sound incredible! There is definitely a lot to take into account about both places. I wish I had more vacation time and more money to commit to this trip but I am just glad to be able to go at all!

      I remember seeing G Adventures out on the Inca Trail and remember their group very vividly – it was the only one besides ours that had a portable toilet, haha! I have a lot of confidence in them and I’m looking forward to traveling with other young people.

  5. This sounds like my absolute DREAM trip!! I can’t wait to hear how it goes and what you think of the experience! I love all your travel stories, especially as a solo traveler-in-training (I’ve done one international trip alone and hope to do a lot more).

    1. Thanks so much, Caitlin! I’m really excited but also a little nervous, too! This trip is definitely pushing me outside my comfort zone a bit and I really have no idea what to expect! I know that no matter what, it will be an incredible experience, and I can’t wait to share it with you guys!

  6. That’s so awesome! I’ll get to Africa one day 🙂

    Right now I am obsessed with South America and trying to plan a trip to Colombia for the summer. I definitely agree that trying to plan trips to less “established” places can be super overwhelming. There’s just not that much info about there for certain places!

    1. I absolutely LOVE South America, Anne! Please let me know if you need any help with Bogota if you happen to be visiting there. I had a great guide for the very brief time I spent there, but I also now have a friend who lives in Bogota who would probably be willing to offer you some suggestions! Don’t hesitate to email me at thetrexrunner@gmail.com!

  7. EXTREMELY EXCITED F OR YOU!!!! And also jealous (in the best way possible!)
    THIS.IS.MY.DREAM. like, number one on my bucket list…I’ve been to many places…within the US and abroad. But I would trade it all In to go to Africa. Okay, okay….maybe that’s a stretch…I’ve been so lucky to travel extensively and wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.

    I cannot wait to experience your adventures!

    1. Thank you, Caroline! Just think of it like all of those experiences are setting you up so well for when you finally do make it to Africa! I can’t wait to share my trip with you and all of the planning details! It was really not nearly as expensive as I anticipated it being (although frequent flyer miles definitely helped with that).

  8. While it’s not my beloved Tanzania, I am so happy that you’re getting to Africa! And I’m a little jealous that you’re getting to see Victoria Falls. It’s on my list. One of these days.

    Have a wonderful time and take lots of pictures 🙂

    1. I definitely looked into Tanzania thanks to all your amazing stories! I really wanted to make it work, but I couldn’t get the flights to line up with the right dates for the safaris I found. Frequent flyer miles are great, but they do limit your flexibility a bit! I’ll just have to pay to go back 🙂

    1. I knew you would! Sadly I will not be staying in the giraffe place you visited, but maybe one day.

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