So close yet so far

Today marks a big day on our sabbatical journey – the day when the countdown becomes hourly versus daily. Yesterday, we were 4 days away. Today, it’s 72 hours. It’s hard to believe – we’ve come so far and planned so much, but there’s still much to do and it’s also a surreal time. I can’t comprehend the fact that we’ll be scaling a mountain in a week. As I’m watching Brad trying to fit huge hiking boots in to a tiny space in his bag, I can’t comprehend how we will ever finish packing. How will I send my last email and turn off my computer for a full month? So many questions. Sidenote – see my packing pile disaster evidence in the pictures? That’s my life for the next month.


Since our last post, we’ve come a long way! Finished all hotel bookings, got Heptatis A and polio vaccines, took a very weird “live” typhoid vaccine for 8 days, and continued our training. Malaria meds start Saturday, and altitude meds start on Monday. We have so many meds in our bags that we probably look very sketchy…luckily, I doubt many people are in the black market for the weird malaria and asthma meds we have. In other news, “Madeleine the cat” went to the vet to prepare for her month-long vacation at Auntie Jenny’s house. She left with a large bill, a directive to lose a pound in the next month (Apparently she’s overweight…which surprises no one. Especially my dad, I’m sure!), and an order to come back and get a tooth pulled. More to come on her adventures. However, at least she’s allowed back to the vet for her tooth situation given that she scratched the vet across the face and made her bleed during her shots. The vet politely told me she was “a spicy and sassy cat”. Sigh.

In more news, we have WONDERFUL coworkers who I have to give a big shout out to. Brad, our best friend Nick, and I are doing the climb and safari together. At the end, we are visiting Amani Children’s Home, which is a fabulous Tanzanian school for children that Nick’s mom introduced us to. Many of these children have suffered the unimaginable. We told our coworkers about this school and the great work they do, and they banded together to buy SO MANY great things for us to take to the kids! See the loot below – can you believe it? Over 50 pounds so far – Brad is currently trying to fit it in a duffle bag and really struggling. I can’t even pick up the bag! I am in awe and cannot wait to share these things with the kids.




Ok, time to sign off. More to come before our trip as we wrap up the last minute things, then again when the adventures really begin. In the meantime, Brad’s awesome dad sent this blog to us. It’s great! If you are thinking of doing Kili, check it out.



Africa or Bust


Welp, we are officially 7.5 weeks away from our sabbatical and the loose ends of planning are tied up and ready to go. Now, it’s just time for us to get excited…and make sure we are in tip top shape for climbing the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. No biggie.

Part of our planning process includes setting up a blog for friends and family to keep up with us while we are gone. Thus, we’d like to welcome you to our new blog! We will be updating this blog via our iPad throughout our trip so people know where we are, and to make people super jealous of our awesome 4 weeks off of work galavanting around the world. The company we work for gives you 4 weeks off every five years to go to a country you’ve never been to. Doesn’t count as vacation time or sick leave – and we get some money to help with flights and hotels. Double score!

Our itinerary:
August 5-16: Tanzania to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, go on safari, and volunteer at Amani school
August 16-19: Budapest, Hungary
August 19-21: Bratislava, Slovakia
August 21-24: Dubrovnik, Croatia
August 24-30: Kayak, bike, and white water raft through Montenegro
August 30-Sept 1: Dublin

More to come…