If I got a dime for every time a parent told me to do the things I want to do now…before kids… I’d have a nice stash piling high. Many recommend traveling during this time of our adulthood. For someone who always seems to have her bags packed- I found it quite easy to embrace this mentality.

John and I have been fortunate to be invited of some wonderful trips with friends and family. The most memorable during our four years of marriage have been snow skiing at Lake Tahoe with John’s brother Crawford and his family, and a week in Cabo Mexico with some of our dear Mobile friends and two other couples. In our non-stop, pedal to the metal lifestyle, it seems as though it takes an actual invitation to slow us down and explore new territory.

This time the invitation is taking us to South Africa. You’ve seen photos and heard me talk about our good friends here in Texas, the Pratkas. The Pratka family, including the mom and dad, three sons and their significant others, signed up for the hunting trip of a lifetime in South Africa. With room for two more in the hunting cabin, they extended the invitation to John and me. The discussions John and I had for the next few nights always came back to validating the trip because “when will we ever get a chance to do this again?” We could NOT turn down this offer.

So here we are, frantically packing and waiting on last minute Amazon shipments to arrive. We leave at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning (Wednesday) which will kick off our 36 hour travel adventure. The trip to our hunting cabin goes a bit something like this: 23 hours in the air, 6 hours hanging in an airport and 5 hours driving. And that’s if all goes according to plan….

Of course, for a trip like this, there are things you’ll need that you won’t find in your closet. Check out my new goodies. All items were under $30. Thanks Ebay!

J.Crew jacket $20, Traditional Safari Hat $20
LL Bean Vest $20, North Face Hiking Boots $30


John was concerned with only one major purchase: snake boots. Some of the world’s deadliest snakes live in Africa. The Black Mambas is taller than an elephant, faster than a cheetah, and more poisonous than a brown recluse. The Green Mamba is similar, but lives in trees. YIKES!!

A few other “musts” before traveling to Africa

1.       Get ready to set aside A LOT of time to fill out paperwork to import guns into another country. While this is a pain, it is reassuring to know that this isn’t an easy task…

2.       Make copies of everything- passports, drivers license, credit cards, safari invitation letters, and the list goes on. Also take photos of what you are packing.

3.       Your check bag can only weigh 50 pounds…. (I’m anticipating some trouble here)

4.       Remember that it’s a different season on the other side of the world- I’m packing sweaters, jackets, gloves and thick socks (although it pains me to think about a jacket in this overbearing TX heat!)

5.       Electrical outlets are different over there- a converter is necessary.

6.       Download movies on the iPad for the L-O-N-G flight- I’m starting with season 1 of Mad Men.

7.       Plane necessities include- neck pillow, bose headphones, a book or two, a few movies, favorite playlists and Ambien.

8.       Study up on African Wildlife (saving this for the plane ride).

9.       Watch the movie- Ghosts in the Darkness. It’s a 1996 film featuring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer. Set in 1898, this movie is based on the true story of two lions in Africa that killed 130 people over a nine month period. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this horror film didn't exactly give me the warm fuzzies. Now, I'm about to travel almost 10,000 miles to the origin of this dreadful legend!

10.   Prepare to purchase (or rent) some random things.... My first Chinese receipt!


I could keep going, but I’m running out of time!

We are in for the adventure of a lifetime. I am truly excited to have the chance to see a part of the world I have never seen before and see many of God’s creatures at home in the wilderness. Thanks for the invite Pratkas! I cannot wait to see what the next couple of weeks hold!

 


Comments

07/31/2012 21:45

How thrilling! What area of SA will you be in? From the map it looks like it could be close to Swaziland? Hope you have an awesome time!

As for the snakes - don't forget the Mozambiquan Spitting Cobra. It blinds you by spitting venom in your eyes and then strikes! But don't worry - I've been 3 times and still have never even seen a snake. I'm sure you guys will be fine!

ps - looks like I need your help shopping! Love that jacket and vest - let me know if you ever want to get rid of either of them!

Reply
Dad
08/01/2012 22:45

Girl this is getting to look real professional. You may end up writing product descriptions for the Orvis or Territory Ahead catalogues. Great stuff. I'm a very proud father. Loved the Auburn public relations teacher's post. I look forward to hearing about the trip. Love

Reply

Thanks for share your experience on this blog.

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11/26/2013 03:56

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07/30/2013 04:17

Thanks for sharing your journey experience in South Africa. These outfits look great and I would love to have a similar one. I will try to go there for sure in my next holidays. I do appreciate your efforts in keeping this blog alive and updated.

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08/07/2013 08:09

I would like to thank you for your nicely written post, its informative and your writing style encouraged me to read it till end

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08/12/2013 04:34

I really respect people who don't afraid to go to other countries. I also like traveling and I can't live without it. Various journeys give me a lot useful experience and knowledge. Thanks a lot for sharing your story.

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09/03/2013 02:53

You got a good time to visit on such incredible places. By the way your shoes and jacket looking good.

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03/03/2014 03:09

very good journey :)

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03/28/2014 06:16

So you went to South Africa to see our animals, I gather. I see that's a big draw for foreigners, they love African animals. The irony is that all the animals that once lived in their lands, were killed by these very same people.

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03/30/2014 08:21

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04/06/2014 02:15

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    My husband and I are on a new journey spurred by the creation of two self-started businesses.  I am a proud Auburn University 
    graduate who loves the beach, boating, running, traveling, and a challenge. I am a God fearing woman and my Christian faith is a part of my daily life. I hope that you can find laughter and enjoyment with me as I share these business and personal adventures with you!

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