Friday, 23 September 2016

UPDATED TRAVEL PLANS

This time last year, plans were beginning to be made. Accompanied with copious amounts of prosecco (because nothing can actually be done properly without fizz), my friend Rosie and I sat with travel magazines flicked open all around us, planning our year long backpacking trip. We pored over blogs and websites and magazines and more blogs and more websites and more magazines, figuring out where to go, where to stay, what to do... Hours and hours went into planning our trip and yet of course, because its us and we like to make things particularly difficult for ourselves, we scrapped eight months worth of plans which would've seen us work and live in Australia and visit New Zealand for an Eastern Africa road trip and three months in Cape Town.

I'm not kidding.

Let me explain...


On arriving in Perth at the end of July, we were both ready to get jobs, get settled and get earning a little dollar again. Without stating the painful obvious, Australia is not cheap so the job search began pretty much instantly and oh boy, I'd forgotten how tedious it is. After a week of pretty much constantly applying for jobs, neither of us had found anything nor were we particularly loving Perth so we made a new plan: Melbourne! Despite loving the city, once again, the job search was not going well, with unsuccessful trial after unsuccessful trial and it was becoming harder and harder to stay motivated and positive. After a few weeks, we decided to reassess because despite Rosie finding a job and opportunities arising for trials for myself, we realised that actually, this wasn't what we wanted out of this trip. The whole point of this trip was to enjoy it. To relax, to experience different cultures and countries, to meet new people, to drink and eat and laugh and appreciate life. To be completely carefree and not live in the 'real world' for a while.

So.

That's exactly what we decided to do.

We threw absolute caution to the wind and...booked a flight to Nairobi.

As you do.

Here's the NEW plan...

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First stop - Nairobi, Kenya
Flying from Sydney on the 28th, we have a monster of a flight to Nairobi whereby we will be clocking up 25 hours of travelling time. We are staying at Milimani Backpackers for a week and have also booked onto a 3 day safari with the hostel too which I am so unbelievably excited for that I could burst.

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Second stop - Arusha or Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Travelling overland from Nairobi, we are heading to Tanzania where we have decided to do three weeks volunteering with organisations in either Arusha or Dar es Salaam. Rosie and I are extremely conscious of only volunteering with responsible organisations as we are not wanting to contribute to the 'volun-tourism' trend however after joining WorkAway, a fantastic work-accommodation exchange website, we have found two NGOs/charities that we are really excited to hopefully be involved with.

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Third stop - Zanzibar, Tanzania
At the start of November, we are then heading to Zanzibar for a week, catching the ferry from Dar Es Salaam and first spending a few days in Stone Town and then either Nungwi or Kendwa. Catching the ferry back to Dar Es Salaam, we're then catching a train to Mbeya where we will just spend the one night before crossing the border to Malawi.

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Fourth stop - Malawi
From the border, we will travel by coach to Nkhata Bay, where we have organised another WorkAway exchange with a secondary school that has been set up as a not for profit, charitable foundation in a village where previous to this, there had been no school within a two hour walking distance. We will be spending three weeks volunteering here before heading down to Cape Maclear for ten days before flying to Durban.

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Fifth stop - Durban
Earlier in the year, one of our only regrets from our time in South Africa was not managing to get to Durban therefore we're making amends and spending ten days there. One of our favourite hostels we have stayed at on this trip was Curiocity Hostels in Johannesburg and with the most perfect timing in the world, they are just about to open in Durban too - all the more exciting!


Sixth stop - CAPE TOWN WOOOOOO
How could we not return to Cape Town after falling in love with the city so much in May? Flying from Durban on 23rd December, we will be landing in CT just in time to join in the Christmas festivities and oh boy, am I excited. Going back at any time of the year would be special but getting there in time for Christmas and New Year is just a dream. Furthermore, we will be working at a hostel from January onwards for a couple of months too so... Cape Town summer, we're coming for you!

It really is quite the change of plans and whilst it hasn't been easy to say goodbye to Australia so soon, I just know that we've made the right decision. What a few months this is set to be...


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