This could be my shortest post ever, but I like to mark time with writing. Tomorrow I leave for Zanzibar. Zanzibar, Tanzania - Tanzania, the East African country. Most would know Tanzania because of Mt. Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa) and Serengeti National Park. Zanzibar is an island off the coast, in the Indian Ocean. This tiny island is known for its crystal cool beaches, white sands and its place in history as a spice trade center of Arabic, African and Indian cultures. A few of you die hard rock fans may know it as the home of Queen front man, Freddie Mercury.
I am getting ready to go to bed so I can be rested for my journey tomorrow. This is an almost solo trip. I will be meeting people (who will most definitely become new friends) who are also journeying solo, for what will be the trip of a lifetime. This is my Mark Twain, Paul Theroux moment. There is a lot that I am already thinking about as a traveler and a writer – being American, being Black, and being a Black American in Africa. I am also thinking about a conversation that I had with my grandfather last night as we visited. He mentioned the many other places he and my grandmother wanted to see, including Australia and New Zealand. There was also a conversation that I recalled from years ago where he mentioned wanting to see the Great Wall of China, and travel to Hong Kong. My grandparents were truly interested in seeing it all, and as much as they did get to see, which was more than most people; there was never enough time for them to see it all. Once my grandmother’s health and mobility declined, their wanderlust would have to come to a silent end. And as much as my grandfather is still in amazing health for a nonagenarian, even at his best, he said that he is not interested in going anywhere without my grandmother. So this is for you Benjamin and you too Frances. She was the reason I squeezed the trigger on this trip. While I was spontaneously considering this trip, I was in the same room with my mother. I had no intention to book a trip, let alone even knew anything about it while I was on the computer. It was more or less happenstance that I discovered it. There was one spot left, the picture looked CRAZY. Surprisingly, my mother was very supportive and told me to go for it, but her telling me that my grandmother would have said to go for it, that is what sold me. Frances would have told me to go for it. Absolutely.
The flight time to get there is over 20 hours, but that includes a few hours of layover. But my first leg is 13 hours straight to Ethiopia. I am excited for the adventure that is waiting and hope that I don’t lose my mind on the long flight. I will say goodnight for now and I look forward to sharing my travels in the near future.
*I only found out a few days ago that there are whale sharks at Mafia Island (part of archipelago), but I think I am not going to be there for the season to see them. Swimming/seeing one is on my bucket list.