Mike and I are always looking forward. Forward to where we will explore, where we will live and how will we get there.
By the very nature of how we live we are constantly moving forward. I am doing this now while having been in Spain for only two months. I am already planning our move to our next base, the continent of Africa.
My preliminary research says we will leave here in July and take the ferry boat from Gibraltar to Morocco; fly from Morocco to Johannesburg and then take up residency in S. Africa for 3 months. We plan to be on the African continent 9 months in total. Every country in Africa has a different visa arrangement with the US and as such this will give us the unique ability to live in 5 African countries in a 9 month period.
We plan, at this point, to start by living in S. Africa where I will finally get to take a real African safari. There are 34 tour companies which offer safaris out of S. Africa, and the tour offerings are as varied as the terrain. Some safaris have you living in tents while others have you in base camps; some show animal migrations and some guarantee you will see more wild life than you will ever see in a zoo. Lions and leopards have always been two of my favorite animals and the chance to see them roaming freely and in their natural habitat is something too good to pass up.
Next we will head to Swaziland where we are allowed to stay for 30 days. Swaziland is one of Africa’s smallest countries which has four seasons and a strong culture of tradition such as the Reed Dance festival that happens every August/September.
Namibia will be a nice rest for 3 months. Namibia became a German colony in 1884 under Otto von Bismarck to forestall British encroachment and was known as German South-West Africa (Deutsch-Südwestafrika). It is reported to be one of the most beautiful coastal regions on the continent and English is the official language spoken here.
Because of man’s pure greed we have decided that we need to see the island of Madagascar, where we are allowed to spend 30 days, before the island is completely deforested of all its beauty. Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island and is among the world’s principal suppliers of vanilla, cloves and ylang-ylang (a perfume tree originating from the Philippines used in aromatherapy), as well as providing half of the world’s supply of sapphires.
We then end our time by hopping to the Seychelles where we will stay for our last 30 days. One can actually stay up to one year on the island (by constantly renewing your entry visa, but 30 days is usually enough time anywhere someone else thinks is paradise). The Seychelles are actually a 155-island country spanning an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, whose capital, Victoria, lies east of mainland Southeast Africa. The official languages are French and English and tourism is its main industry.
And after Africa?
We have begun to talk about perhaps heading to Germany, or Norway as our reintroduction to life in the EU, but who knows? Maybe the mysticism of Asia will call to us or even life on Greenland will look refreshing after all our time in Africa.
Sometimes looking forward is really more like spinning a world globe and seeing where it stops. It can be fun; spin a globe, hold your breath, and hope it stops in a new and exciting place. In any event we’ll be looking and moving forward, eventually ending up back where we began; home in the US…and we’re already looking forward to it.