by Kathleen Ismail, Boston, MA
Kathleen's Dream Trip
My granddaughters and I have excited conversations about our impending trip to Africa and what it will entail. We envision camping in tents on the desert plains where we hear the call of lions at night as we snuggle safely protected in our tents. We plan to eat dinner on tables out under the stars with distant sightings of elephant herds as they continue their migration march across the sand. We dream longingly of encounters with lions and tigers, giraffes and elephants and we want to be close enough to fill our nostrils with the dander of their hides. We want to see birds and zebras, crocodiles and wilder beasts and we want to bathe in the sounds and smells of the Serengeti.
I adore these conversations with my granddaughters as we dream of our trip with endless excitement. I also relish the thought of the ongoing enjoyment generated by post-trip memories that extend the shared pleasures of our journey. Sometimes it's a picture, a cherished souvenir or simply a triggered memory that re-engages us to a common moment shared during our journey. It is these memories that unite our hearts, bond families together and create family history which is re-spoken often in fondness and shared with generations to come.
Kathleen's Travel Tips
• Pack light. Traveling is about fun and discoverynot a fashion show. Negotiating airports, transportation changes and other movements are less of a challenge if you have limited luggage. (Remember, undergarments may be washed and rinsed at night.) My recommendation is one suitcase small enough to be a carry on if necessary. This suitcase along with a backpack is enough, trust me!
• Thoughtful clothing selection is the key. Two key things to consider: (1) Mix and match and (2) no wrinkles, please. Dark pants or skirts with several more colorful tops allow for a different look each day with limited clothing. Packing clothing that does not wrinkle will allow you to look fresh each day. And only two pair of shoes is really enough.
• Respect your host country. Different cultures may require some research into local customs. For example, in some countries women may be required to wear more conservative clothing. Remember, when traveling, you are representing your country and your impressions will impact the locals' views of your country. Additionally, it is only respectful when visiting a guest to honor and respect their customs and ways. Do your research first and if you don't like the customs and/or culture of a specific country, then don't choose it as a travel destination.