A Click and a Prayer
Alright fingers. Click that enter button and you go to Africa. Holy bag of excited little nerves. I had decided about six months ago that I was going to Africa with a friend to hike Kilimanjaro and the research began. To be honest, I wasn’t sure the trip was really going to happen. I decided it probably wouldn’t about every other day. But dutifully, I put aside about half my paycheck every month and anything I had left after rent and bills and lived on noodles and rice. Alright, let’s be honest, rice, noodles, and water are my staples anyway so the “sacrifice” for me allowed me to justify eating my favorite foods, devoid of judgment.
I haven’t had a real vacation since undergrad. Heck, I haven’t taken off more than two days in a row in 9 years. So the idea of two weeks … I just couldn’t see it really happening. Even after asking for the time off. Even after beginning the running, hiking, and yoga routine I set up for myself. But I just kept acting like the trip was happening – fake it till you make it or something like that. Researching flights, accommodations, excursions, gear, Africa in general … And now here I was … One finger click away from actually buying a ticket.
“No fear. No fear. No fear,” I though as I clicked the button and then immediately squealed like a 2 year old girl who was just told that not only are the ponies coming to her birthday party, but they will indeed fly all her friends around on a magic rainbow. Not an exaggeration and not ashamed for a minute that, that along with an involuntary happy dance are some of my, go-to involuntary expressions of joy.
So the next few months were full of beautiful mind style planning. I won’t bore you with the details, just know I am a little neurotic about making sure I am getting the right deal, making the right decision, have all the information, and have researched the heck out of whatever excursion I am going on. I think I went doubly hard on the planning for this particular trip for two reasons: I was scared shitless about hiking Kilimanjaro and I had a friend counting on me. Give me responsibility for another person’s “good time” and thousands of dollars and watch the madness takeover. I’m sure it was pure comedy from an outside perspective as I built spreadsheets of cost breakdowns, pack lists, and itineraries.
Let’s say that you are thinking about doing an adventure trip yourself. You know, something that doesn’t include a pool day, room service, a cocktail, electricity, or maybe on occasion, a bathroom. Oh you crazy little life seeker you – my brother, my sister – hello. I am sure you have your own maddening way of planning, but just in case you are looking for few more resources, a few extra places to spend your time on the internet, I made a post with links.