Here it is less than two weeks before we leave for Africa and I am in the throws of final preparations. It brings on that old familiar feeling, the squeeze of dwindling time left to check off everything still remaining on my many lists. I'm a list maker. I find them very helpful. They not only allow me to keep track of details, but best of all, they relieve the stress of trying to remember everything important. If it's on the list I won't forget it! Of course the issue becomes having too many lists, or scattered lists. One has to be able to write down the task or item at the time, or else you're left trying to remember what it was you wanted to add to the list of things not to forget! I have been using the Notes app on my iPad to keep some lists. It's worked out pretty well but it's not perfect. My mother made an astute suggestion today gleened from years of her own list making. When I complained that I was always thinking of things just after I went to bed at night, she suggested I put a piece of paper and pencil by my bed. Simple but effective. At least then you're not keeping yourself awake trying to drill something into your brain to be remembered in the morning!
One of the things on my list is to write a blog post. I need to practice doing this on my iPad as that is how I plan to do it while on our trip. So far so good. Of course I had planned on writing many more posts in the months leading up to the trip, but life intervened and other things have taken precedence. So here it is eleven days out and I'm giving it a go. Last weekend Michael and I took a drive up to Silverton, CO, about an hour away, to see the fall color in the mountains. We are so blessed to live near such beauty. It was spectacular and I did some photography with my new-ish camera to get in some practice there too. I will include some photos in this post so I can practice that aspect of blogging as well.
The technological aspects of this trip we are taking are more complex, and more sophisticated than any I've ever done before. In some ways, things are easier at the same time because of the spread of technology and communications across the globe. I decided to do a blog instead of emailing updates to friends and family as I've done before. I did a blog on one other trip, but was not travelling around so much and I had my laptop that time. This time I decided I didn't want to carry a laptop, so instead I will be doing it all from an iPad. This is facilitated by a solar powered, wireless, bluetooth keyboard which I love, and a nifty tripod stand to hold my iPad in a vertical position that's easy to view and type to. The technology doesn't stop there though. I'll have my iPhone with a local sim, a backup power pack, my bluetooth earpiece, a wireless, bluetooth speaker for musical fun, and my camera equipment. Whew! It's a lot. And really we're going to some places to be off the beaten path and away from our normal routine. How contradictory!
Still, it's nice to know we can be in touch if we want to be or need to be. And I hope that my blog will allow friends, family, and anyone who is interested, to live vicariously through us and perhaps be inspired to plan their own adventure. I know I've experienced that for myself from reading about other peoples adventures.
Recently I've been working on packing my bags in preparation for this trip. I'm trying to keep what I take to a minimum while still feeling prepared. But there are also the luggage weight and size requirements of the small planes we will take to get to our safari destinations to consider. You are allowed to bring a total of 20kg with you, and your checked luggage must be a small, soft duffel. This is so that it will actually fit through the hole into the cargo area of the small plane. You'd be surprised how much all that technology weighs! Actually it's not that hard to comply. The safari lodges we are going to offer inclusive laundry service for just this reason. Of course the safari is only a portion of our trip and while we are on the coast, the climate will be a bit different. For this reason, and because I want the ability to bring back potential purchases, I am bringing an aditional suitcase which I'll store while we go on safari. The logistics for this were surprisingly easy but still required some forethought. We'll leave the extra bag at the Johannesburg airport with a bag storage service designed for just such a need. Then we'll pick it up again on our way through to Port Elizabeth. In Botswana, I've been told that Wilderness Safaris will store our bag in Maun while we're out in the Delta at their lodges. I'm sure we're not the first people to have extra bags to store.
Meanwhile the excitement is palpable for me. It's soon, very soon. We have to get through the very long flight, but then we'll be in a whole new land, and really, the flight is part of the adventure too.
Until next time…