T-4 Weeks: On Packing and Minimalism

Camino Gear

Camino Gear

I leave in four weeks from today! Which means I’m starting to have apprehensive feelings, so I’m placating them by hyper organizing my gear and scrutinizing my pack weight-don’t worry I’m not about to cut my toothbrush in half, which theoretically, people do. And admittedly, I’m getting sick of training. I love hiking, but because access is limited I have to hike around the city, which gets old really fast. And I don’t want to burn out hiking-wise before even starting. Luckily, the two weeks prior to departure are about tapering, so I have full muscle recovery before setting out. So only two more weeks of wandering around the city.  Continue reading

Next Up: Ethiopia.

Ethiopia

Mid-December we head off to Northern Ethiopia for three weeks, with a stop over in Istanbul! After our last vacation to Nicaragua, where we seriously honed in on our travel style, I’m incredibly excited for this adventure. I’ve wanted to visit Ethiopia for the past four years, and I can’t believe we have the opportunity to go. Two 4.5 hour flights and we’re in East Africa, that still seems impossible to me as a native USA west-coaster. We’ll be doing the classic northern loop and are beyond elated at the prospect of certain adventure, mishaps included. Continue reading

How to NOT Plan Ahead.

“We’re sorry, there’s no availability for your dates”

This is how I spent the past few days. Reading this infuriating little message, mocking me.

Sitting at the dining room table with my family we discuss our winter plans. It’s probably a bit late, but we should be able to find something right? Wrong. Well, sort of. According to every search I tried, exhausting everything I could imagine, anything worth while south of Mexico, was booked, unless we wanted to shell out a few k/night for a private villa-we did not, or pay exorbitant rates at some obnoxiously gigantic “family friendly” resort, also-we did not.

Continue reading

Debating Projects

I’m having a bit of trouble deciding what to do once in Ghana. In the past, I’ve volunteered through major international companies. The main problem with this is the cost. Program fees can run (for a month) into the $3,000 range. I was lucky to have a huge discount in Peru, this time however,  that won’t be the case. There are many smaller organizations, operating at a fraction of the cost, but obviously have their own drawbacks. OR, I could just land in country and decide then! Thinking back to my time in East Africa, I would feel entirely comfortable just showing up and figuring it out. BUT, I don’t know West Africa, and it is less traveled, so meeting other travelers not tied to volunteer organizations is much harder. I DO need to figure it out soon though, 60 days is fast approaching and a very common cut off point.

If anyone out there has any advice, or suggestions, I would LOVE to hear them!