Travelling to Africa: Making the most of your expectations

pasted image 0 (2)You are about to make one of your biggest dreams come true. You have put a lot of dedication to making your voyage to Africa a success, probably, even putting down on paper, what you really expect. But more often than not, our expectations are only an imaginary depiction of what we have read, watched or heard about this second largest continent called Africa. As I present you with a wrapped gift of my best land, perhaps Jovago’s guide on how to get the most of your expectations will help make your itinerary to Africa the most memorable.

Know your purpose

“Just to travel is rather boring, but to travel with a purpose is educational and exciting.” – Sargent Shriver

What is it that is driving you to wander into the unknown? Is it to impart vigor or to re-establish your harmony with the universe? Whatever the reason, make clear your purpose of travelling to Africa. Back home, you can look back and tell whether you fulfilled your resolve.

Travel with them

 “I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain

Plan to have your friend(s) as part of your jaunt. Whether your significant other, family or the ‘boys’/’girls’, travelling with them not only creates memorable moments but also strengthens the bond and closely knit clique fabric that would otherwise be slack. Remember, travelling far together can help take off all your spite, envy, selfishness, unforgiveness and fears about each other. Come back light and enjoy a ‘happily ever after’.

Have enough dough

“When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” – Susan Heller

I said enough and not excess. Wise itinerants travel within their planned budget, but Africa is a land of many surprises. With its beautiful destinations, you are likely to convince yourself that you need to add just one more last stop to your bucket list. In the event this happens, your best chum will definitely be those extra monies you put in the secret pocket of your duffel.

Mug up the best

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley

Africa vaunts some of the best tourist destinations in the universe. You have chosen this path, but you are uncertain of where it leads; yet, it inspires you to travel it. Erase every memory and imaginings of what you think of Africa; travel blank and fill your mind and heart with the best that this land has to offer. Learn and discover that Africa is not just about the negative stories often portrayed by the media, but a territory full of warm hearted people; who laugh, cry, eat, worry and despite their odds, still put a contagious smile that is forever irresistible. Make new friends with them and though it’s a less travelled trail, it will make the whole difference.

Appreciate customs

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” – James Michener

The best way to integrate with your African hosts is by positively enjoying every bit of them. Indulge in their rich culture, traditional cookeries and most importantly, respect will be expected of you. Make your voyage glamorous but take only memories, leave only footprints.

Not every best destination is in the cities

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.” – Fitzhugh Mullan

Some of the most stunning places in Africa are likely to be found in the remote areas. Here, rough terrains and dips make part of the adventure. Do not frown, enjoy the expedition, encounter the wildlife, be wowed by the beautiful sunsets, magnify all your human emotions and simply enjoy life.

Re-experience your memories

“Better far off to leave half the ruins and nine-tenths of the churches unseen and to see well the rest; to see them not once, but again and often again; to watch them, to learn them, to live with them, to love them, till they have become a part of life and life’s recollections.” – Augustus Hare

As long as Africa meets your expectations, which it always will, then we shall see you again; soon. Remember, we only have one chance to live. What we do with our chance, is all that counts.

Credit: Josephine Wawira, Jovago

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