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My Amazing Mega African Adventure

I have about 25 days to go till I leave for my epic trip 3 month adventure to Southern/Eastern Africa with my parents. Due to my circumstances it is a bitter sweet feeling. The start of my journey means that I will be finally ending my contract with the people I work with. My job is not like most people. I work with wealthy people as a governess, teacher, pa, travel agent, guide, driver, psychiatrist, psychologist, life coach, fixer, surrogate mum, big sister, aunty, friend and anything else that is needed. This is definitely not the normal 9-5 position and means that I always end up becoming very close to the children I work with. Therefore, leaving for this holiday means leaving the kids that I have worked so closely with for the last 3.5 years. But it also means that for a short space of time I have the freedom to do anything and live without consequences except for the fact that mum and dad are tagging along. I am sure mum will always be happy to throw her 2 cents worth in! J

I am extremely proud of the fact that my parents have finally accepted my invitations to travel to Africa with me. My love affair started 2 years ago and I would never have thought that such a passion and love for somewhere could exist within myself. The joy of being in Africa brings tears to my eyes and to share such an experience for the first time with my parents is beyond belief. I know that for many people travelling with one’s parents will conjure images that are unpleasant but I hope that my maturity will keep me calm when such times arise and the fact that they are seasoned travellers means that they can handle anything that I throw at them. Surprisingly, they have volunteered for everything that I am wanting to do including cage shark diving in Cape Town, so kudus to them both!

My parents are now 66 years old. Thankfully, they are seasoned travellers and have instilled the art of travel in their daughters. I give them credit, especially my mum who has arranged and organized all of their mega trips prior to this one which is generally 6 months at a time and includes Europe/America. This alone means that she understands the never ending drama that the research for a mega trip involves. I understood that clearly when she told me she would travel with me to Africa but only if I arranged everything, I think tackling somewhere new was just not in her in regards to the preparations needed. Luckily, I am still excited to do such a thing and also do it regularly for my job. Therefore, finding out about new places for us to explore and of course take them to places I have been to, is not a chore but a pleasure.

I am now at that stage that the preparations are complete. All hotels, transfers, activities and restaurant bookings are done and thankfully most are paid for. I am now in the process of finalizing the packing of my Africa/camera bag and the luggage for my next deployment. Mum and dad have bought all of their “pack for a purpose” items, gifts for our guides when we are in Kenya/Tanzania, first aid/medicines for a 12 week odyssey and had all the shots necessary plus more. We are on the final countdown which is when it all becomes a reality and the pleasure and suspense is tingling whenever one thinks about it.

My last minute thing is to organize our Kazakhstan visa on arrival. Thankfully, the Kazakh government has introduced last year a new visa option that will allow the three of us to enter as a tourist without the prior rigmarole. This will allow us all to enjoy a 5 days in Almaty with the family I worked with and my parents to finally see many of the places I have described to them over the last 3.5 years – the good and the bad. My contact at a local travel agency has assured that all will go well and I am now in the process of organizing the letter of invitation with them.

Now I can dream each night of what my first 3 month trip will be like. I can only think that such an epic journey will provide amazing experiences over the length of the trip which, may render one oblivious to incredible individual experiences. I want to try and be “in the moment” but of course capture the trip not only for my memories but also for my family, friends and TA so they can try and “live the moment” with me. Ultimately, I am doing it for myself and the joy I receive when I look back at my own written word, photos and movies of the experiences I have had. Thankfully, my father has bestowed on me the gift of being the family’s memory recorder and the invention of the GoPro and an iPole along with iMovie means that my creations look amazing. It also keeps me busy and the joy of the final product is beyond belief.

So tonight I will once again sleep dreaming on the cusp of a new adventure. Thinking of the experiences that will enliven my doorstep soon.

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