Friday, July 20, 2012

Post-deposit reality

Now that the deposit is paid and I've officially committed, the reality of what I've just committed to set in.  I think it was the combination of getting airfare, which with its very limited options revealed to me just how far and how isolated from the rest of the world Tanzania is, coupled with looking at an internet friend's photos from this same trip last year, really brought the reality to the forefront for me.  I was just struck by how rudimentary and how simple and how not first-world what I saw in the pictures was.  Good lord, another challenge.  But I think that I've been so mesmerized by the wildlife part of the safari that I didn't think of anything else that I might see there, experience there, learn there.  But I also think that's what I am looking for.

I think I posted earlier back that I didn't feel like I needed to prepare much for Berlin.  I've been blessed to have been to Europe enough that it's like executing the same game plan again.  And again, and again.  I just know how things work and I pretty much know what to expect out of the experience, except maybe for the language.  And I know I'll survive with minimal stress or mental effort.

I expect that Africa will be a lot like China was, except maybe on steroids.  It probably will be culture shock.  It probably will set my world on end while I'm there and leave me a changed person when I come back.  I guess what I'm saying is that despite how comfortable I am going to Europe, how easy getting ready for and going there is for me, I'm finding that I crave more.  I first pushed myself out of my comfort zone in Russia.  Then China.  Now Africa.  Some people go on vacation to escape reality and relax.  I go to....what, exactly?  What is it that makes me want to do this?  Is it a perverse sense of wanderlust?

I'm in now.  I have 208 days to prepare myself for this.  And like the trips before this, I already wonder how this one will change me.

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