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First Posting (04/15/2005)

July 13, 2010

What a boring title, but I figured it was the best way to start off my postings! So, with a little over a month to go until I leave (one month, one week, and one day, but who is counting, right?), I have pretty much gotten everything settled, to the point where I could almost leave today (except that as of now, I am not in possession of my passport, because I am in the process of obtaining a couple African visas and an Indian visa). I have my bag packed, mainly because I wanted to see that if everything I have bought will fit in it (so far, so good! And, I have a first aid kit that would put the Red Cross to shame!), I have all my main flights paid for, my tours paid for (except for a couple local payments), the first portion of my European adventure with Meagan and Mike reserved, and some other contacts already made.

I got majority of my vaccinations last night, and let me tell you, it is really a tossup between whether the Yellow Fever shot or the Tetanus shot makes my arms feel heavier (I received 5 shots split between my two arms, and one oral vaccination last night)! There are diseases out there that have names that I didn’t know could have that many consonants next to one another! And so many things to worry about contracting!

  • I have been warned about petting the cute monkeys, as I could contract Rabies and need a series of 21 shots within 28 days (note to self, monkeys are the enemy!)!
  • And number one rule(s): DONT DRINK THE WATER!
  • If you can’t peel it, don’t eat it! Salads = good chance of diarrhea (hmm, tempting, but no thank you!),
  • If the water is clear and blue, but there is no one at the beach, or no one is in the water, you might stop and wonder why (good guess, not because you are the first to come upon it!),
  • And, don’t pet the monkeys!
  • There are numerous others, but these were on the top of the list.

All this planning is quite the change from my normal waiting to the last minute approach I had in college (but you didn’t read that Mom, Dad and Susan!)! I know that some will ask whether or not this much planning is a good idea, and whether or not my time is too structured. Well, for me, it is going to work, and let me tell you, there is definitely enough flex time, as most of the tours I am on, really only get me from one place to another and take care of finding lodging (something I am sure to be grateful for in places like India and Vietnam!). I have also been asked “Why am I taking this trip?” and “Aren’t you scared?” There are many parts to the answer to the first question, as well as a bit of vagueness.

I am taking the trip because I am at a flux time in my life; I am not tied down to a job or place (and I have been living with my parents for the past 8 months and have been saving), and thus have the time. I am also in search, as un-unique as this may sound, of myself, and my full potential; mentally, physically and emotionally. I kind of figure if I can handle this sort of madness, there won’t be much out there that I can’t handle. I am also going on the trip because, why not? Some people make their money to spend on cars, clothes, etc. I love to travel, and I don’t mind traveling alone. We will see just how much I like myself by the end of the trip.

As for the answer to the second question, in all honesty, no, I am not scared (at least, not yet). It may be naive, but I have full confidence that I will make it through just fine. Plus, anything that goes “wrong” only leads to lessons learned, something my Dad (whose Dad told him) has told me numerous times…basically make the best of any situation, and always see what you can learn. Hopefully this is the same attitude that I will have during the trip! Ok, well, that is quite enough for one entry (this is why I am doing postings and NOT emails, by the way!). I will keep you posted best as I can!


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