By the time you finish reading this rant, you will find out what happened to me in Africa. Some of it to my body, some to my brain and a big chunk to my soul.
Who am I to have these big strong opinions? Certainly no one really qualified, but I went there and I did stuff and this is what I think. So feel free to nod agreement or shoot me down in flames. It's all welcome.
Travel is almost a rite of passage for Australians. I was told many times on my travels, that “If they all went home the place would be full.” I think it is partly because Australia is a long way from everywhere (except New Zealand which is great but just like Australia just colder and every sentence ends in bro). It is also because most of us have at least one ‘motherland’ whether it is one or ten generations ago. This doesn’t mean we are going on a pilgrimage back ‘home’, but it just means that many of us think about other parts of the world every once and a while. If you think about it enough and find a mate that will go with you, then you save up, pack up, get up and go.
Most Australians do this early in adult life. After university or after working for a couple of years to save the money. Around 21 to 25. It took me five more years. Why? Well I wanted to go earlier but work, work, work. So what changed? Well I quit, quit, quit. Sold everything. A week of planning (which I was later to find was completely in alignment with my Event Tense Ratio (see below)), purchase of a round the world ticket, four more weeks of work, some last minute purchases and I was off.
So what was the plan? Roughly (very roughly) to go to England roam around Europe for about three months (including a couple of weddings), make my way to Africa for three months if I could work it out, then head to North America for three months. Nine months doing all the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I think that’s all you need to know before we get started.
Except that I was really looking forward to seeing people. Churches, fountains, statues and museums are nice but I was really hoping that they would be more remembered as places where I met or spent time with locals and other travellers than the physical structures themselves. That is why this book is laid out by people and not by countries. It was the people that I met which taught me things and made me laugh, smile, cry and enjoy the world.