Why southern Africa

Currently: sitting at a picnic table watching the sunset next to a pool filled with splashing kids

Grammy & Preggers are back! I’m Preggers (the pregnant one, but not really. I just chose to wear an unfortunate shirt and Sophie called me out on it…). Sophie is Grammy (because that was my 19-year-old retort to her calling me pregnant).

We’ve traveled together a lot, through southeast Asia, Australia, and Peru. We’re currently in a race around the world to reach the seven wonders of the world that we’ve determined for ourselves:

  1. Machu Picchu
  2. Stonehenge
  3. Petra
  4. Great Wall of China
  5. Taj Mahal
  6. Pyramids of Egypt
  7. Chichen Itza

The race isn’t really a race anymore, since we both promised each other to go to Egypt together at the end of it all.

Ever since my India trip in 2015, my mantra has been “Indonesia 2018. Indonesia 2018. Indonesia 2018.” At least that was the plan until Sophie told me she wanted to go with me but couldn’t go anywhere with Zika.

That criterion narrowed down our options quite a bit. So we booked the Victoria Falls to Cape Town trip through Dragoman.

Victoria Falls to Cape Town
Photo courtesy of Dragoman website

This trip is a big deal since Sophie and I almost never get to spend this much time together, and this will most likely be the last time either of us are going to travel together alone.

Our big sigh of relief of finally being off the plane that had been our cage for over 13 hours was barely released before we were sitting in our next plane headed to Zimbabwe.

Sophie and I slept that entire plane ride.

The town next to Victoria Falls is small and a complete tourist trap. Sophie and I love visiting grocery stores in other countries. Weird? Yes. But think how much you learn about the food and culture by running an errand as simple as that.

DSC00631
Barley grass… apparently good for smoothies.

There several employees chatted us up. Completely sleep-deprived, we mostly just nodded and repeated back what they said to us. One guy was hinting that he wanted to become Facebook friends, and then asked us out for drinks. All while bagging our fruit. We politely declined, but it was this kind of interaction that had Sophie and I revert into our ‘tourist mindset.’

I forgot how much I dislike being that person whose attention needs getting. I like being invisible, which is easy in walking around in America.

But I’m hoping not to clam up in those situations and just shut down every person that tries talking to me. Yeah, 90% of those people are only talking to me because they want me to buy something, but I think a lot of them are also genuinely interested in a conversation with someone different from them. And isn’t that why I travel? To meet people different than my own?

So, I want to set some goals for myself this time around. Hold myself accountable to them and all that.

  1. Listen and ask questions. Write down the unique story of at least one person from every country I visit. Tour guides don’t count.
  2. Don’t use the excuse of being too tired to do something.
  3. Splurge at least three times on something I feel like I shouldn’t.
  4. Take photos of the candid moments. Those in-between moments are just as precious.
  5. Share my experiences without getting lost in the moment.

I can’t wait to share more! Victoria Falls awaits tomorrow…

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