The first two rules of travel:
1) Plan carefully.
2) Expect unexpected changes to the plan.
In three days we leave on the trip of a lifetime–three weeks in tent camps in the heart of southern Africa. We have planned this trip for over a year. Every detail has been examined and re-examined. We have packed and re-packed; we have checked and re-checked our flights; we have read and re-read all the information provided by the company organizing our trip. In short, we were prepared.
Or so we thought.
Today, while writing down the dates of our many flights into and out of six countries, we discovered that–oops!–our flight out of Johannesburg at the end of our trip was scheduled for a day after everyone else left. How could that be, as organized and diligent as we both have been?
A quick call to the tour company confirmed the truth: The end date of the trip in their literature is the day travelers are due back in the U.S.– not the date they leave South Africa. Who knew? Obviously, we didn’t.
What to do, what to do? Well, there was nothing else for it except to enjoy an additional day and night in Johannesburg. And so we shall.
One of the many gifts of travel is the opportunity to learn flexibility, to enjoy the adventures you did not plan and never expected. And to smile through it all.
And so, on Friday evening, we leave Ecuador on our way to Africa. Along the way we get to spend a little time in Madrid, a little time in Dubai, and a lot of time in four of the great national parks of Africa. We find ourselves wondering what other surprises lie in store.