Flying to Kenya and the start of a new chapter

I sit here in the sky. It’s quiet aboard my flight as it’s long past midnight Australian time and we have fourteen hours ahead of us before we land in Abu Dhabi sometime tomorrow morning. We’re crammed in like sardines so I’m finding it difficult to sleep. The little girl beside me keeps cuddling up to me until her mother smiles apologetically and shifts her again. It’s not bothering me because I know that what is a long flight for me will seem like an eternity to a small child.

And besides, I have a lot to think about. See, over the past week I have decided to actively pursue long-held dreams to be a traveler. It’s not been an easy decision and certainly hasn’t come without sacrifice. But sometimes it’s the difficult decisions and sacrifices that are the most important to make.

In the southern hemisphere spring, I will be leaving the life I’ve spent the past 15 years creating. I’m selling my beautiful big house with it’s lush gardens and spacious rooms to live in a tent for the foreseeable future. I’ve given my boss notice of my plans so I’ll be leaving my highly-paid professional job to live on a shoestring and see what new opportunities come my way. And I’ll be leaving a 16 year relationship to become a solo nomad (I will not be discussing this aspect of the change here on my blog out of respect for the only woman I’ve ever loved).

My plan is to fly to Patagonia to spend some time cycle touring what looks like an amazing part of the world. From there, I’ll travel north through Uruguay and Brazil until I’ve either seen enough of South America or reached Georgetown in Guyana. My rough plan is to cycle my way around the world. Whether I do and where I end up is still a mystery but my rough mud map is to fly from either Brazil or Guyana to the USA, where I hope to spend some time exploring the natural wonders that country has to offer before popping up to Canada. If I’m still enjoying life on the road, I might hop south west through Japan, South Korea and Taiwan to south-east Asia, exploring Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia. From Malaysia I think I’d like to fly across to Sri Lanka and cycle through India to Nepal. Right now, the ‘Stans don’t appeal to me so I might end up flying to Turkey as a jumping off point to explore Europe and Scandanavia. But who knows, the experiences of a few years on the road might change that – it’s too far away to say. But I know myself well and know I’m not a dare devil; so I’m not going to feel guilty if I skip the tougher stuff.

My planning is not intended to create in me an obligation. Rather, my rough planning has been for the sole purpose of showing myself that this adventure is possible. I’ll create no route maps nor will I set time frames. I’ve been doing that my whole adult life. Rather, I’ll borrow a guide books for South America from the library to learn a little about South America (until Friday, I didn’t even know where Uruguay was on the map) and I will take some Spanish language classes because I can’t imagine spending all that time without being able to hold a conversation. I’ve got some items I need to buy (like pannier bags), a house I need to sell and an exit strategy to execute at work (I’m not in a job where I can just give notice and leave).

I have the full support of my family and friends who all tell me they can see why I need to do this and that they also believe it’s the right decision for me. Time will tell what the journey holds. But for now I can go to Kenya with an open heart to fully experience what I see, hear, smell, taste and feel knowing that it is the first page of a new chapter in my life. One I never even thought possible until a week ago (I move quickly once I see opportunities knocking).

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20 comments on “Flying to Kenya and the start of a new chapter

  1. It’s natural that you will grieve, but you definitely won’t regret following your dream!!
    You are just awesome!!! So so so exciting!!!!!
    Go strong!!! 🙂

    • Yes, grieving is a natural process and not one that a person can rush. I miss my partner already but know that we will still be friends for a long time to come. I’m excited about my dream, though at the moment I am just immersing myself in Kenya. It’s so different here and now that I’m past the initial culture shock and fatigue from the long flight here, I kinda like it’s uniqueness

  2. Wow very brave and adventorous of you to be starting out on such an amazing journey. I look forward to reading about your travels. I too am travelling to that part of the world and hope to bring with me change and improvemnet for a small community in Kenya. Please take a look at my campaign.
    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/send-alison-and-liam-off-to-kenya you can also follow my fundraising efforts here http://alibuckley50.wordpress.com/.

    Thanks for reading 🙂

  3. Wow! This is HUGE! So very excited for you and your new chapter in life (and a little jealous). This is what life is all about, finding what’s in your heart and living, really living. Life is so short, and there are many adventures headed your way. In the meantime, enjoy your time in Kenya.

    • I imagine you are someone who truly understands the feeling of life being too short. I am thoroughly enjoying Kenya. It’s my third day and I’m finally past the culture shock and jet lag.

  4. Wow Andrew! Good for you for taking the leap! Good Luck and I hope you continue to write about it all! That way I can live vicariously through your adventures!!! Travel safe!

  5. I love how unpredictable you are! Your dreams are so big, I can’t even imagine. Please please please keep us informed with this blog, you are such an inspiration.

    • Haha. My father used the word “impulsive”. I hope I can fill my blog with lots of stories of my travels and that others enjoy reading them and keep commenting as I suspect there will be lonely moments on the road. But first, I will enjoy my fortnight in Kenya and the half year of preparation before I leave.

  6. Andy, you only live once and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Its a risk (so is crossing the street!) but as they say nothing ventured nothing gained. You have the support of friends and family which is key and you know you have a fall back position if things go awry.
    I hope you’ll keep everyone updated with your progress from time to time and dont forget the pictures…very important!
    All the very best of luck to you Andy and if you ever find yourself in “Old” South Wales drop me a line and maybe we can share a few miles on the road together.
    Best regards, Dave

    • Oh yes, I will definitely share my journey both in the lead up and once I leave. I am a story-teller and I look forward to telling more stories. But for now, I am enjoying my first few days in Africa. I will be here until 4 March and then return home for half a year to save, sell the house and prepare to leave.

  7. Wow. Speechless. Goodness. So many big changes you’ve experienced in such a short time. I look forward to reading your blogs. Do you go back to Australia before heading out? I would suspect so. Just. Wow.
    Good luck, safe travels, and perhaps when you get over to the US I might finally meet you? In the meantime, keep bloggin’!

    • Yeah. I will be returning home on 3 March. Then I will spend 6 months saving, trying to sell my house, getting together the things I still need for my trip and working out how to live without my partner

      • Wow.
        Where is your partner going to live then? I guess it’s none of my concern. You just have a lot going on.
        Good luck, I am actually quite jealous and wish I had the courage to chase a dream. . . I’m just at that point in my life where change is hard because I’m closer to retirement than the beginning of my career (actually, I’m smack dab in the middle, an even more awkward place actually).

        • Hey Sandra 🙂 I have promised not to talk about my partner and what’s happening between us but I can say that she has a place to live, has a good job and will get about 70-75% of our assets. It’s a scary situation to be in but I know I just have to do it.

  8. good luck mate , sounds like an awesome amazing epic adventure, look forward to following you (online…) along your journey

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