Greetings from 34,000 feet! Since I’m back on the road (and in the skies!) once again, I thought I’d interrupt the regularly scheduled Turkey coverage to share a quick update on my travel plans for the next couple of months. (It’s going to be I N S A N E!)
Living at home in Florida with my family since mid-August was exactly the rest I needed from the (self-imposed) demands of my nomadic lifestyle. Once I settled in and got back into a rural rhythm, I caught up on sleep, promenaded around the back yard with little sister, edited a few AP English essays, lounged on the beach, lost 10 lbs., did a bit of baking and planned a few birthday parties. Just when I acclimated to RaeRae constantly rifling through my closet, Mom always thinking up new projects and Dad forever drumming on every available surface, I noticed it was already time to depart again. No matter how old I am, how boring my hometown is or how many times I fly away, packing up and leaving is the pits.
That is, until I clear security at JAX and turn my focus from home to the next frontier, which in this case is…. AFRICA, a trip that’s long been on my heart and in my head as the ultimate adventure. I’m about to do some major checking off of my life list….
For years, it’s been my goal to visit six continents by the time I turned 30, but I never actually thought I’d have the means to do it. God willing, I will reach my goal by the skin of my teeth at 8:45 p.m. on Saturday when I land in Cairo. (Applause! I’m STOKED! Never thought it would happen! ) Before that though, I’m making my way from Jacksonville to Charlotte (where I may cheat on my diet – they have Pinkberry!) to Newark and onward to London, one of my favorite cities.
After two nights at the Draycott in the UK, it’s back to Heathrow for my flight to Cairo, where I’ll meet my On the Go tour representative and tour mates for a 13-day jaunt around Egypt. Ancient pyramids, pharaohs and The Bangles have been on my life list for as long as I can remember, so I am more than ready to get there and start walking in the footsteps of King Ramses. (Side note: RaeRae is learning about everything I’m seeing this year in AP Art History. She’s a little jealous.)
On Oct. 21, after desert camel rides and overnight trips up the Nile, I’ll fly to Nairobi, Kenya, where I’ll be staying with a family and working with local children in whatever capacity I can. If I’ve had one disappointment this year, it’s been my inability to secure volunteer opportunities as I travel. I’ve had a heart for Africa since missionaries would come speak to our church when I was in elementary school, so again, this is a major answer to prayer and a dream (about to be) realized.
This whole year has been about me saying goodbye to my 20s, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of sending them off with gusto. Now it’s time to kick off my 30s with a bang, so my last stop on my premiere jaunt to the Dark Continent is South Africa. I won’t spoil the surprise (why I’m surprising YOU for MY birthday is beyond me), but let’s just say my 30th is going to be one wet, wild adventure. Stay tuned!
Since I’ve been home, many of you have asked how you can get involved in my journey. First of all – thank you for sticking with me and continuing to read about this crazy adventure! The easiest thing to do to help me out – SHARE what you enjoy via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, StumbleUpon or even just email. There are little buttons at the top of this post – that’s the easiest place to start. The more readers I have, the more likely advertisers are to help support my site… and then I get to keep traveling!
In the same vein, do me a huge solid and COMMENT. If you like something, let me know. If you think I’m being a whiny baby, keep it to yourself. (Just kidding!) I was tailgating in Gainesville last weekend and ran into loads of college chums who said they loved my site, but I had no idea they even read it! There’s nothing more encouraging to me than knowing you’re all out there, so don’t be shy. Say hi once in a while!
Second, if the recession hasn’t crippled you beyond recognition, you could be my hero, baby, by buying me lunch or a coffee from Starbucks by donating via PayPal below. I’m also eternally grateful for iTunes gift cards sent to bigappleangie at gmail dot com. (I don’t watch much TV, but once in a while an episode of GLEE or The Office really combats the homesickness!)