A Dream Come True: Africa, Here I Come!

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!)

Image by Cheyanne Green (RaeRae’s best friend)

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!)

Next, if you have any tips for Egypt, Kenya or South Africa, now would be a good time to send them my way.
Last, pray for my health and safety and for peace for my family when I’m traveling. While I certainly feel like I have a force field of angels around me, I know it’s hard for those back home not to worry when I’m globetrotting all on my own.
So that’s it. I’m about to board the next flight. Fasten your seatbelts & stow any carry on items under the seat in front of you…. here we go!
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  • October 05, 2011

    Africa – wow!! Congratulations. What an incredible opportunity. I hope to make it to Tanzania and Zanzibar one day soon…

    • October 05, 2011

      I was hoping to tack those on to my current trip, but I may not have time. I hate rushing things! We shall see how it all unfolds…

  • October 05, 2011

    Sounds like a blast, loved Africa.

    Had grandiose plans to see most of it, spend 4 months in Tanzania. At times it was tough but some of my fondest memories are from there.

    • October 06, 2011

      I’m hoping to swing Tanzania this trip, but then again I don’t want to rush it, ya know?

      • October 06, 2011

        Know exactly what you mean, had grandiose plans but no regrets on 4 months in Tanzania.

        • October 06, 2011

          That said, Zanzibar is probably the most beautiful and memorable place I’ve been on this planet.

  • October 05, 2011

    After reading this….
    Why is there water coming from my eyes?
    Your grandparents are extremely proud of you!
    Have a great time, Hurry back home (sometime), and do your thing safely.

    Love Monga & Papa

    • October 05, 2011

      You guys are the best =) thanks for being two of my best supporters!

  • October 05, 2011

    Sounds like quite a trip, can’t wait to read about it.

  • October 06, 2011

    Wow, that Egypt itinerary sounds amazing, as does Kenya! And obviously you know I LOVE South Africa (and am so bummed we’re missing each other by a month!) and can’t think of a better way (or place) to say bye bye to your 20s…

    • October 06, 2011

      I am bummed, too! Wish I could drag you along (kicking & screaming!) for my birthday adventure =)

  • October 06, 2011

    Oh WOW – can’t WAIT to follow you along on this one – I’m dying to visit Africa

    • October 06, 2011

      I’ll keep you posted! I have big hopes it’s going to be really brilliant!

  • October 08, 2011

    Good luck and be safe!! 🙂

  • October 08, 2011
    Angie B

    WOW Egypt!! So dang cool!! I love me some Kenya & SA too so I’ll be following along once again. Where any of the Kenyan or SA peeps helpful connections? (It was earlier this year so if a re-connect is helpful, I can shoot over email.) For now, Go Walk Like an Egyptian!!

    • October 20, 2011

      Yes! I’m staying with Sammy! And I may be hooking up with the SA peeps, too, if I can swing it. So thank you!

      • October 21, 2011
        Angie B

        OMS!! how fun that you’re staying with sammy! please say a BIG HELLO from me and enjoy the time in kenya! i know you will!!
        (and i can’t wait to see pics & read the posts!!)

  • October 09, 2011

    Good luck and have fun. Most of all be safe – the protests in Egypt are getting a little more violent right now, but I presume you will depend on your guides to keep you out of that.

    • October 11, 2011

      Got quite dangerous in Cairo the other day but we were at the train station about to leave for Aswan so avoided being a part of anything crazy. Scary though.

  • October 26, 2011

    I hope you make it down below Egypt. Egypt is amazing. But Africa is something else.

  • November 07, 2011

    Love Africa, especially South Africa
    Here’s all the posts we’ve written.
    You will hve a blast. so jealous

    • November 07, 2011

      Thanks for the link – adding it to tonight’s reading list =)

  • November 23, 2011

    Been to Kenya & South Africa multiple times so would love to offer up any advice I can 🙂 How long are you in Kenya for? I land in Nairobi Dec 4th!

    • November 23, 2011

      Am in South Africa now – just had 3 weeks in Kenya and it was great!

      • November 23, 2011

        Awesome. Where all are you going in South Africa?

        • November 24, 2011

          Cape Town, Hermanus & Gansbaai. Already almost time to leave though!

  • November 24, 2011

    Congrats! I’m sure it’s going to be amazing.

  • June 06, 2021

    Hi Autor,

    This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  • July 30, 2021

    I travelled South Africa in 2018, and it was a great experience.

  • July 30, 2021

    My South africa was a trip in a lifetime.

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