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Published: August 12th 2007
The city we're leaving behind.
Holy cow, only another 4 days left of work!! The departure date is coming up so quickly…ahhh! We leave on August 27th on our year long adventure to Africa.
A lot of people have been asking us questions like:
- Where did the idea start?
- Why Africa?
- A FULL Year?
- Where in Africa?
- Where is your first stop?
- How can you afford to do that?
So we thought we’d try and answer your questions as best as we can: Where did the idea start?
This is a trip that Kathie dreamed of while she was studying to be an Accountant; it was always one of those dreams for the future. Then Kathie met Jordan shortly after she began working in November 2003, and for some reason the topic of travel kept coming up in conversation. Jordan was also keen to do some traveling, but was naïve enough to be unaware of exactly what he was getting into.
And so the idea was planted in our heads - we would take a year off as soon as Jordan obtained his P.Eng, and Kathie, her CGA designation. We set a date of February 2009 as something to aim for and work towards.
Well it’s not yet February 2009 and after chatting with one of Jordan’s cousins last August long weekend (2006) we decided to bump up the departure date of our trip to February 2008 and then after more consideration, bumped it up again to August 2007 and taa-daa! Here we are! Why Africa?
Why not? Kathie always says that it’s because of the animals! Jordan didn’t give traveling to Africa much thought until meeting Kathie. The more he read about it and the more he learned Africa seemed like an amazing place to go for his first extended trip abroad. Africa is so vast and diverse with all kinds of exotic wildlife, climates, and cultures. Some of our trip’s highlights will be the Sahara Desert, the Egyptian Pyramids, the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda, the Serengeti, South Africa and its wines, the Namib Desert, and more that will surely be unexpected. A FULL Year?
When we were initially looking at all of the travel brochures, we thought 6 months Africa and 6 months South America. But then as we learned more and more about Africa, 6 months just didn’t seem like enough. So we decided to extend the African portion to 9 months, and then spend 3 months elsewhere. We sat in a Chapters book store pouring over travel guide books trying to figure out where to spend 3 months. Toughest decision EVER. We considered everything ranging from 3 months in Argentina/Chile/Peru, 3 months South East Asia, 3 months Australia or New Zealand. But everywhere we thought about going, it was either going to be monsoon season (SE Asia) or winter time (S.America or Australia). We settled on spending our last 3 months here in Canada, enjoying the summer camping, kayaking etc. So we booked our 35 week overland tour with Dragoman with the thought of potentially spending a couple extra weeks in Cape Town, South Africa at the end of the tour. If all went as planned we’d be home by Canada Day.
Then our travel agent suggested we attend this Adventure Travel show at the Metropolitan Center in January to learn a little more about Dragoman (our tour company) etc. Clever move on her part…
We discovered that with our current trip plans we were going to miss seeing the endangered Mountain Gorillas in Uganda/Rwanda.
So we talked it over, reviewed our finances, created an extensive budget, and decided let’s go for it! We extended our trip to include Namibia, Botswana, Rwanda and Uganda. How exciting!
Voila! A year in Africa! Well it’s not quite a year, we don’t actually end up arriving in Africa until the end of September, and so it’ll only be about 10.5 months that we’re actually in Africa. Where in Africa?
Every where! We’re going to be visiting about 26 African countries. Starting with Morocco then traveling all the way down the west coast of Africa to Cameroon. Flying from Douala, Cameroon to Cairo, Egypt and making our way down the east coast all the way to Cape Town, South Africa. We’ll spend a few extra days in Cape Town before heading up through Namibia and back through to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Then we’ll make our way from Vic Falls to Nairobi, Kenya via public transit. Should be fun! From there we join the final leg of our tour that takes us through Uganda and Rwanda to see the Mountain Gorillas. Finally we depart from Nairobi to go home potentially via some nice relaxing tropical destination like Hawaii…our return ticket is not yet booked… Where is your first stop?
Our first stop is actually Bermuda for a week to visit Kathie’s sister who lives there. So that will be nice, she has a couple of boat trips planned for us while we’re there, otherwise we’ll probably just hang out at the beach.
Next we’re off to France and will spend 2 weeks traveling in Northern France, visiting Paris, Mont St. Michel, and D-Day beaches; as well we’ve been invited to attend Kathie’s “brother’s” wedding in St. Quentin. So we’ll stop there for a couple of days to visit before heading over by ferry to Dover, UK which is actually where our overland tour with Dragoman begins on September 22. How can you afford it?
Ha, Ha, Ha! That’s the funny part! We can’t! But really we can’t afford not to go either. It’s the trip of a lifetime, and who knows where we’ll be in 5 years. The longer we wait the more difficult it will be to take a year off.
When we initially booked the trip we each set a savings goal to meet, which we’ve successfully met. We also have a very detailed trip budget and hopefully we’ve been very conservative with what we think we’ll spend, and still be able to come home with a little money.
Jordan & Kathie
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