return to reality

July 18, 2019

After two months of travel with a backpack & carry on wheelie, it’s now back to reality

Being in the here and now is so easy while traveling for a multitude of reasons. When I landed in Lilongwe, Malawi on May 4th after 30 hours of travel, reality hit me. I was in Africa. I was fulfilling a dream. But how do I get navigate the airport. Currency exchange. Security. Transportation. My own exhaustion?


I am thankful for the ability to travel this far and as I return to my journal I am reminded of some Travel Tips I penned as I propelled myself forward. Here they are as a reminder for me and perhaps helpful for you.

No. 1 Bring instant oatmeal, thermos and a spork.

I remember taking my eight year old son on a month long trip to Costa Rica and the advice was to pack snacks a child would like in case they didn’t eat the local food. I carried more packages of sesame snaps than underwear! We also got tired of eating them. The reason I took three oatmeal packs with me was in case I needed food while in transit for taking the malaria pills. I learned the first time that you must have food in your stomach with this medication. In Dubai Airport they had a hot water dispenser next to the water fountains! Saved when I needed a simple meal during a eight hour layover.

No. 2 Set phone alarm timer for medication

When traveling across time zones, set your timer for every 24 hours. It was a great idea someone else shared with me.

No. 3 Be nice. Be patient. Keep moving. Bring expandable bags.

No. 4 Bungee cords.

I packed my stretchy orange cords that expand to twice their length & found my first use in the airport. I strapped my backpack to my wheelie suitcase & voila off my back & onto the case.

No. 5 Use the recharging stations.

Belly up to the bar and plug in when there’s an opportunity.

No. 6 If you hear the recharging station port sizzling, bail and plug into your own portable charger.

No. 7 Do not have less than two hours in a new airport if there is International screening for connecting flights and a distance you weren’t expecting. Case in point - Nairobi.

No. 8 Strike up a conversation with other travelers when flight is delayed.

I met Anne who was traveling to Lilongwe. She’s originally from Cardiff and has worked in Malawi for 15 plus years. She provided me with great conversation, advice and a ride to my hotel. She gave me her number as “things may change.”


Photos won’t upload. I have errors to correct before I continue … just like when you travel…. be prepared for change.

created by robertson mcclure