Almost exactly one year ago, I was leaving to head to Iran for the trip of a lifetime. But with luck, I’ve got a whole lifetime still ahead of me, so it’s time to start dreaming about the newest journey. Of course I have my bucket list of places still to go, Croatia, Romania, etc., but once again, I am dreaming of a more exotic locale for my next trip.
That’s right. Queue Toto. Africa!
I started thinking about Africa because a friend of mine is in the Peace Corps in Namibia, a country in Southern Africa, just to the NW of South Africa. Of course, I could go to South Africa, but as you know, I’m always up for something a bit different. So, I’ve decided to focus my goal on Tanzania, on the East Coast of the continent, just south of Kenya.
How did I choose Tanzania?
- It was recommended by a friend who has been there and knows me well enough to understand that I’m looking for more than just a pretty place and a relaxing vacation.
- The country is a fascinating mix of different cultures including over 120 indigenous groups, Pakistani, Indian, Arab, and European. Should be enough history and culture to keep my brain buzzing.
- Zanzibar (islands off the coast of Tanzania) and beaches. For some reason, ever since my trip to Iran, I’ve been craving turquoise water and palm trees
- Multiple National Parks and Preserves make seeing African wildlife easy and more environmentally friendly.
Now that I’ve chosen my country, I need to start narrowing down some other logistics through research and further dreaming.
- Begin by planning some sort of itinerary. I usually look at guided tours to start, review the most popular destinations, decide what is most interesting to me, and then start looking at things off the beaten path after that.
- Save the money. This is going to be the hard part for me. Due to rising rent increases in Portland (mine went up over 50% last year), I ended up buying a house. The American Dream, right? Not mine! But here I am, and now I need to balance savings for home emergencies with a travel fund.
- Save my time off. I’d love to take 3 weeks for a trip like this, so I either need to save all of my time off for the year, or I need to be prepared to not get paid for a few days. Worst case, I only go for 2, but I’m going to set my goal at 3.
- Stay motivated! Read lots of books set in Tanzania, both travel books, but also histories and historical fictions. Find blogs by other people who have traveled there recently.
Be prepared for more blogs on my planning process, hopefully they’ll be of some help and inspiration for you to explore new places. Don’t know where to start? Let me know, I’d love to help!