5 things I learned traveling Africa Overland

Africa is a huge continent and it is often difficult to decide which countries to travel to, what is the best time and how you would like to travel. After many months of research, I decided to travel Africa overland. There was one problem however – Africa has a mind of it’s own. Here are 5 things I learnt on my Africa Adventure.

1. Preparation – I am not one to over-prepare and follow a trip according to plan. When I travel to a new country, I often book the first couple of nights accomodation and then decide from there how the trip unfolds. I do not advise taking this risk for Africa. Be sure to budget in vaccines. In Australia, vaccines alone cost over AUD $800. Your travel insurance may be covered by your credit card. It saves a lot of trouble to prepare, yet truth be told – you cannot prepare for the unknown.

2. Resilience – As a solo traveler, the journey may be exciting but sometimes you can get caught off guard. In my case I got sick upon arrival. I was devastated. However, when you are forced to dig deep you may surprise yourself by discovering how strong you are!

3. Synchronicity – There are things that happen that defy explanation. What we call coincidences may not fit our explanations yet confirms that there are forces at play that we may never understand. On this journey I had a chance encounter while horse riding in Lake Malawi (full story in the video above). I have been keeping a record of such coincidences since 2012 and at the very least, it makes for some memorable story telling.

4. Appreciation – Everyone around me seems to be in a rush and people often don’t often understand why I move through life slowly. When I learnt to calm down my heart rate and relax my nervous system, I discover something that changed my perception forever:

We cannot love in a hurry

Ever since, this moment has had profound meaning, whether I am traveling or not. For most, traveling is about reaching their destination and the journey is forgotten almost entirely. When asked about their travels, you may hear complains about hospitality, what foods they enjoyed or how they have photo evidence because they were too drunk to remember what happened. The question remains, did you actually travel or simply arrive at a destination and ticked it off your list? How you travel is a metaphor for how you live your life.

5. Opportunity – Not all opportunities are created equal. This is where I exercise the power of intuition. So often, we hesitate when opportunity knocks on our door. We fear that we may not have time, money or resources to spare. But what is life without a little risk, to discover something new and see what unfolds from the unknown? Although intuition speaks softly, we may find that opportunity appears when we see past the madness of the mind and listen to the intuition of the heart.

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