I start my plane trip to Kilimanjaro at midnight tomorrow (Saturday) night.
I think what scares me most is that I’m not feeling very well these days. This is probably a combination of the side effects of the anti-malarial pills I’m taking and what I’m sure is the beginning of a cold. Because I’m not feeling well, I haven’t been able to exercise all week. I’m feeling dizzy and weak most of the time and that’s when I’m at sea level here in Cairo. So how will I feel when I start exerting myself at any altitude, let alone high altitude?
I also normally get a feeling of semi-dread before I travel alone anywhere. I’m used to feeling that. It’s never easy to get up and leave the children. Always when I travel without them I wish they were with me. And (almost) always when I travel with them I wonder what got into me to consider taking them with me.
Once I arrive at my destination I feel free. It’s always a good feeling to get to know a new country and different people. I like getting to know my new hotel room and setting myself up in it. I’m usually quite happy while I’m away as long as it’s for a week or ten days. Anything longer than that and I start getting bored and edgy. I find it odd that leaving a hotel room after staying in it for a few days also brings me that sense of semi-dread. It’s like leaving something you’ve become accustomed to and knowing you won’t see it again.
I’m always relieved to be home and back with the kids. It’s so good to have roots and a place to come home to. A place you know is yours and people you know love you.
But…BUT…it’s usually only ten days until I start feeling the need to move again. I can’t deal with routine anymore. It kills me. It depresses me.
I’m starting to think that I survive on the stress of getting together travel arrangements, making sure the house is in order before I travel, making sure I have everything I need for the trip, then the traveling itself. I complain incessantly about all of that. But it never depresses me. A lifeless, routine existence does.
So, I have my normal pre-travel jitters. I’m hoping whatever it is I’m coming down with is something I can deal with at high altitude. I’m hoping that just looking at a beautiful, high mountain will pick up my spirits. I’m hoping my trip is a pleasurable experience and that I come back with memories and interesting stories to tell.
I’m done with almost all of my packing. I’ve bought almost everything on my list. I couldn’t find ski goggles, but hopefully my sunglasses will do the job. I have the exact amount of weight that is allowed for travel on Kenya Airways. I might actually be one or two kilograms overweight.
Tomorrow I fly to Nairobi and from there directly to Kilimanjaro Airport. I have a transfer awaiting me to take me to my hotel in Arusha, which I should reach around noon on Sunday. My roommate, an American woman, will arrive sometime later that night. I hope she doesn’t turn out to be a super-bionic power woman. I hope she has the same concerns as mine. I hope she’s just a normal person whom I can relate to. Monday is a free day where we make sure we understand our itinerary and have ourselves packed for the hike and maybe drop into the city for a short visit. And then Tuesday, August 11, we start our hike.
I ask for your prayers.