I thought I would blog about this because I am beyond excited for it and when I get upset about having to leave Rwanda I think about my upcoming travels to make up for it.
Before coming to Rwanda I bought a one-way ticket because I wanted to travel after the end of my program but was unsure about how much money I would have, where I wanted to go and how easy it would be to plan a trip around Africa. My plan was to head south and end up visiting one of my ADPi sisters who is working with the Peace Corps in Namibia. Unfortunately, I was told that they would not let me in the country without having purchased a return ticket as well. So I cancelled that one and bought a ticket (thank you second family) that brought me back home right after my program ended. This flight connected in Brussels, Newark and then ended in Austin.
Since I have been here I tried to convince my amazing boyfriend to come to Rwanda so I could show him why I love it so much. Unfortunately, the plans for my program were not too solid and depending on whether our visa applications are approved or not, we might be in Uganda our last week here. We were supposed to only spend 90 days in Rwanda after going to Uganda but somehow that did not quite work out so we have to try to get visas now. If we don’t get visas we will have to return to Uganda for a couple of days so that our 90 days will start over again and we do not get arrested or deported or whatever it is they would do to us. It would have been silly for him to come visit me not knowing what country I would be in so we decided that we could meet in Europe and travel around for a bit.
I leave Rwanda on May 31st and will arrive in Brussels, Belgium on June 1st. We are going to stay there for three nights then head to Paris, France. We will only be in Paris for a night and the next day we leave for Genoa, Italy. We have three nights in Genoa then take the train to Ancona to hop on a ferry. We will stay the night on our ferry as we head to Split, Croatia. We spend two nights in Split then fly to Berlin, Germany. We have three nights in Berlin and then head to Amsterdam, Netherlands. We will spend four nights there and then fly to Dublin, Ireland. We spend a night in Dublin and then go down to Limerick, Ireland for four nights. Then we will head back to America on June 23rd.
It is basically going to be the most amazing trip ever. We are taking trains for most of it and then two flights. We are going a little bit of everything as far as accommodations go. We will stay in a couple of hotels, one of the worlds best hostels, we found some amazing hosts on couchsurfing and even a gorgeous resort in Croatia. Our main objective is to see beautiful things and taste as many delicious foods and drinks as we can. Altogether it is a celebration of me coming home, my boyfriend graduating and most importantly my 21st birthday! I will unfortunately never have an illegal drink again but will spend half of my birthday in Amsterdam, hop on a plane (go back an hour through timezones so I get an extra hour of birthday), and then spend the other half of my birthday in Dublin. I really do not think I could have a more exciting birthday.
I am also very excited about visiting so many countries. In the first half of 2012 I will have visited more countries than my whole life put together. Just to add to the jealousy here is a list of them all:
Democratic Republic of Congo
(: (: (: (: (: (: (:
Our travel plans are concrete but we are very open for suggestions of what to do in each city we are going to. Having only a couple of nights in each place we are somewhat limited on how far we can go but we are willing to try anything!!
All I can think of off the top of my head for plans are visiting the Cliffs of Moher and also doing some organic farming in Ireland. Oh and eating a lot of food and trying lots of beers, wines and chocolates!