Melanie and I are traveling again.
It's been a few years since our last major foreign excursion - traveling from Bolivia to Mexico in 2011 - and we are ready again to try our hand at international travel.
The largest difference between now and then would be time. We had the time to do anything and everything on our last trip. We were gone 5-6 months and spending a week here or there; doing whatever we wanted was completely feasible. Our itinerary was massively flexible. We once spent an entire week on the beach in Nicaragua because we had some good books to read.
This trip is planned out, to an extreme degree. All thanks to Melanie's fastidious organizational abilities. Unlike other trips, this time we actually know where we will be staying and have most things paid for ahead of time. Dubai and Zambia have some very touristy locations that have allowed us the luxury of paying for these items ahead of time.
Though not everything has been planned out beforehand. The whole reason we are traveling to this corner of the world is to visit our good-friend, Kate. The village that she is working in (for the Peace Corps) is quite remote and lacking (as far as I know) in any tourism infrastructure. This is actually our most anticipated part of the trip - having the chance to visit a rural bush community in Africa. The local language is Mambwe, which is spoken by the people of North-Eastern Zambia and Tanzania. English speakers are few and far between. We will rely on Kate for translating and the universal language of pointing, smiling, and acting out the rest.
It's been a while since I was in a country where I could not speak the local language, yet it shouldn't be too much of a problem. We are slightly nervous, but we wouldn't change anything about this trip.
Once we meet up with Kate, we are going to have a few once-in-a-lifetime experiences that, while being costly, are a must do. We are going to visit Victoria Falls, go on a legitimate Botswanian safari, and hopefully take a fishing trip on the mighty, majestic, and massive Zambezi river.
One week from right now our plane will be leaving O'hare International Airport for Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Videos and pictures aplenty will be shared upon our return. Until then -
C'est la vie.