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.
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!
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
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?