Preparing for the trip: Africa ’09

Well, traveling to a new country is always exciting. Before my first trip overseas 12 years ago this month, I stressed and planned and anticipated for nearly 12 months before the trip. Granted, I backpacked for three months across Europe as a new college grad, so I was, shall we say, a little over-the-top about it all. But I still like to feel that excitement, anticipation and expectation that the trip will somehow open my eyes to new perspectives and return me to good ole Kentucky a little different than I was when I left.

This trip is bringing back a lot of those same emotions. First, I’ve been Europe a few times — I lose count, but I traveled there on three separate occasions last year alone. I love Europe, but it doesn’t feel exotic anymore. Africa: Now that’s exotic! And exciting!

I’m a fearful, hopeful and nervous, but I’m taking it all in as good signs. I’ve spent the last week preparing my wardrobe, in an effort to not only be respectful but mindful of the cultural differences I expect to encounter. The blonde hair will likely be shrouded or covered most of the time, and the knees and shoulders will not be exposed. I’ve also taken my recommended doses of vaccinations, so I don’t anticipate any hospital or health clinic visits.

With a few euros in my pocket, I should be good to go!

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