When I was in my early 20’s, I met a guy who traveled globally with his family’s business. When I asked what was the most beautiful place he’d ever been, I was surprised by his answer. South Africa.
Since then I hoped to someday go there to see this ‘most beautiful place.’ Of course, for a young gal who’d never been out of the country and had only seen a handful of states, that seemed like a faraway dream.
Fast forward almost forty years. I’ve traveled quite a bit in our country as well as internationally. I’ve checked many places and experiences off my bucket list and even had to start a new list a couple times.
This year as we turned 60 (Yikes!) my friend Susan Reece and I decided to celebrate with a bucket list trip to South Africa.
Someone asked Mama if I was going to South Africa on a mission trip. Susan and I joked that the only missionary work we were planning to do was to put some money into the South African economy! As you know, my tagline and life motto is, “Enjoy Life and Do Good!” For this trip we went full out on ‘enjoying life!’ You only turn 60 once, right?
Elaine Baylos, a travel agent who’s from South Africa and lives in Atlanta now helped to plan our trip. It was amazing! Like four mini vacations strung together since each leg of the trip was so different. Someone asked what I’d change if doing it again. For a first-time visit, I’d change nothing! (Yes, it was that good!) For a second visit I’d omit some of the places that I’m glad I saw once and spend more time exploring others. If Cape Town weren’t so far away I’d make it a second home!
We flew Delta direct from Atlanta to Johannesburg. That’s a thirteen hour flight so we splurged and upgraded to Business Class where we had the amazing sleeping pods. They’re expensive so I won’t be using them for regular travel but if you’re on a long flight and want to actually get some sleep they’re the way to go!
Our itinerary included Johannesburg, Medikwe Game Reserve, Cape Town and Livingstone (Victoria Falls.) We arrived at the Johannesburg airport happy and well-rested–thanks to champagne and sleeping pods—and were ready for our big bucket list adventure!
Tell me about it!
· Do you have a bucket list?
· What’s something you plan to check off next?
· Have you been to South Africa?
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