Photo taken at Keith Ratzburg's Wedding Just Before Departure
Some people have asked me why I am taking 8 months to travel by land to Africa. My reason is simple and complex at the same time. Tom started talking about this trip about 2 years ago and I thought that this would be too long for me to be without work. I enjoy my profession as hard as it is sometimes. I was not sure if I could be there for this trip part of the way. I was excited because I knew that this was his dream and I felt sad that I could not join in the chance to travel through the east side of Africa.
For those who have never been to Africa it is a beautiful continent despite what you see in the news. People are friendly and open to sharing what little they have with you. It reminds me a lot of the hospitality that I have experienced on my travels to Latin America. Anyway, back to Africa, I was lucky to participate in a Safari a few years ago and it was a humble experience. I felt like a visitor in the animal kingdom and had a chance to experience the beauty of seeing animals in their natural habitat rather than in the zoo. This was amazing since I had never done this.
Africa has been a continent that I had wanted to visit since I was 10 years old. I have been lucky enough to have traveled to Egypt, the land of my dreams. From there I have also traveled in Sudan and Kenya. On this trip I hope to see most of the east side of Africa. This trip was not going to be a possibility for me due to questions of money and of leaving my family for that long of a time. The one thing that made me change my mind was a death.
An unexpected death can change the way you look at life. I found out that a friend from the 8th grade passed away and started questioning my own mortality. I think that one only lives in this world once and therefore should take advantage of life at it's fullest. Therefore this made me realize that a trip like this would not come by in the near future. I made the decision almost 7 months ago and gave that much notice at work as well. I hope to realize the dream that my grandmother only started.
My mom's mom was a traveler at heart. In a time where women did not travel alone, she went to Europe and the Middle East before passing on much too soon. My mother says that I have that traveling spirit and I feel that my grandmother will be living with me all the experiences yet to come. I am taking her on this journey. I hope to share more of my thoughts and experiences with you as the trip starts to take shape.
One last thing about the trip...Go Brazil!!!!!!!!!
- Maria Perez
- Maria Perez