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Transformations While Preparing for Africa

There is something about travel. Something about what it does to you even before you take off. Before any trip, you have to consider the destination, the culture, the temperature and in turn determine what you will need to survive. When you are traveling, as we do, it really comes down to just how little you can take to stay relatively clean and healthy and still embrace the experience. It is the transformation of character that strikes me most. How I can be so different than I am when I am living my everyday life at home. I always chuckle when I travel in Canada and am in a hotel room where something is just not quite right. Perhaps they forgot fresh towels or the bed is too hard. I am annoyed. That is Shelley, the diva (there is perhaps a more fitting adjective). Yet, I can be in a dingy hotel in Asia, using the same greyed hand towel as a bath towel for 3 days and I declare the hotel, “not too bad”. I like that Shelley better.

For Isaac it is not nearly as much of a stretch, he is a boy; he is young and has plenty of experiencing roughing it, sleeping in sub zero temperatures with his Venture’s group (yuk). He is tougher than me. Plus, he trusts me. He trusts that I will keep him safe. That’s a mom’s job. Still, I am always impressed that he accepts the differences and thrives in each new situation.

As I pack for this trip, with pride over how our packing has downsized over the years, I am excited at the potential challenges that will push my limits. On Thursday, we are heading to East Africa visiting Kenya and Tanzania on a safari with our adventure travel companions from Calgary. April brings the long rains to East Africa and so we know we risk hitting wet weather, muddy roads and more mosquitoes. More serious, is that I am forced to abandon almost my entire wardrobe in the interest of safety. Apparently there truly is a reason for the traditional safari colors. Pale browns, greens and beige are the few colors that do not attract the mosquitoes or tse tse flies that bring dengue fever, malaria and sleeping sickness. Everything I own is black! But I guess I must pick health over beauty (or deception of thinness) and so our bags contain only light colors. I am also stepping away from the comforts of daily access through internet. We know that only some of our stops have internet and that connections are slow. So while I will be writing daily, it is unlikely that there will be daily posts or many pictures until the end.

Even with these hardships I am more excited for this trip that any other. Besides the obvious, the allure of an African safari with the giraffes and elephants, I am anxious for the break from work, from grade 10 woes and most of all, the break from this never ending winter. I am excited to travel with my son and to be reunited with Lorna, Kajal, Jackson and Sharon. Despite traveling during the rains we are optimistic that this year will be typical meaning heavy showers late in the day and through the night with plenty of sunshine in between. We look forward to fewer tourists, and the green landscapes that are the promise of the rainy season. I also look forward to sharing this experience with all of you.

Clothes for 17 days of travel (I impressed myself). I do have a change of clothes in my carry on.


My "just in case" drug bag is almost as large.


Posted by curlygirl 10:12 Archived in Kenya Tagged africa safari tanzania packing east kenya

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Sounds like an amazing trip. I look forward to reading about it and seeing your pictures when they are posted. Be safe and as dry as possibly.

by Monique Hogan

Always love seeing pictures of your adventures. Looking forward to learning about your recent and upcoming travels.

by Tammy English

Happy Trails to you both. I know you'll have an awesome trip and we will look forward to hearing all about it. How exciting!!

by Cathy Spurrell

Have a lovely trip. You and Isaac are so lucky to have each other! Are you passing through London? Please get in touch if you are.

by Sue Goulding

Sorry Aunt Susan, we travel through Brussels on the way down and through Zurich and Geneva on the way back.

by curlygirl

Enjoy & stay safe..........looking forward to any & all updates of your daily adventures.

by Brenda Diamond

You are and always will be amazing! Your son has one of the best moms on the planet.

by Sally Giles

Thanks Sally...that's so sweet. He may not always agree but we do have a blast when we travel together

by curlygirl

Love the fact that your emergency drug bag includes Ricola :)

by Sabine

A tribute to my Swiss friends:) and memories of the terrible cold we got in China last year when we really wished we had them.

by curlygirl

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