Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Week 4

Welcome to another edition of Travel Tuesday! This week's question(s): What destination is at the top of your travel bucket list? Why? What do you want to do there? Do you think it will ever happen, and if so, when/how? As usual, please link up with your travel-related posts below, even if they're a different topic than the prompt I provided.

I am so incredibly blessed to have already visited my number-one must-see destination when I studied abroad last year: Rwanda. During that same trip, I also went on a safari in Kenya, but there is still one African destination I would give almost anything to visit ...

Mount Kilimanjaro! Notice I said "visit" above, not "see." That's because when I was in Kenya this past summer, our safari lodge was within view of the mountain. It was amazing being able to see it every day, but it was also a little heartbreaking being that close to one of my biggest dreams and knowing I wouldn't be climbing it. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is second on my bucket list only to publishing a novel, and it's something I've wanted to do since I was 10 years old.

My fascination with the mountain began when I read an article about a 10-year-old girl who climbed Kilimanjaro with her father. I remember thinking: "Hey, she's only as old as me! I could totally do this." When I tell people I want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, they normally look at me funny until I explain it is the highest walkable summit in the world. This is important because it doesn't require the technical climbing skills of the world's other highest peaks, just endurance and motivation. In fact, I wasn't sure if I would be able to study abroad in Africa last year because of a potential conflict with my internship, so I did a lot of research on guided Kilimanjaro hikes and training plans, and I remember a lot of incline walking on treadmills for the training. The training plans really didn't seem that strenuous, but I had to keep in mind I would be doing that level of activity for six to seven days on the mountain. My plan was to climb the peak after my internship concluded if I couldn't make it to Rwanda during the study abroad program, but I ended up being able to do both.

Photo via Dimensions Guide

For the final part of my prompt today: Yes, I do think it will happen. It's something I've wanted long enough that I definitely will make it happen one way or another. From my research last year, I know there are plenty of English-speaking group tours to choose from, and I also know how much money I need to save. The only thing to do now is find the vacation time to go! This is also something I would definitely be willing to do solo, so I don't need to worry about coordinating my schedule with someone else's.

Bonus: If you couldn't tell from this post and others on my blog, I love Africa. I loved my experiences there and definitely want to go back one day. However, if I had to choose a dream destination outside that continent, it would be Spain. I think this mostly has to do with me wanting to bulk up my elementary Spanish skills through immersion, but it also seems like a gorgeous country. Just check out this picture:

Next week's topic: FOOD! Feel free to get creative with this, but here are some example prompts if you're stumped: What is the best food you’ve ever eaten abroad? What American foods do you miss the most when you’re traveling? What foreign cuisine do you like to make at home? How do you feel about eating McDonald's in other countries?


Jessica Bucher said...

I've never been to Africa, but it looks amazing. And I never knew that about Mt. Kilimanjaro, that it is a walking hike. I enjoy reading about your adventures and I can't wait to read about you hiking that mountain. :)

Carenpants said...

Gorgeous pictures! I can definitely see you doing this in the near future!

Jayme @ Her Late Night Cravings said...

Wow, sounds like an awesome adventure! I'd love to visit Africa and go on safari. Amazing!

Jayme @ Her Late Night Cravings

New Life said...

I was out of town so I couldn't link up this week! BUt I love this post idea! (In fact I may still write about it!).

Megan said...

I hope you do! And you can still link up if you do decide to write about it. :)