22 December 2013

Nervousness is a part of the journey

So, I've been quietly planning this trip to Johannesburg, South Africa for about 3 months.  About two weeks ago everything was perfect.  We would leave Friday December 20th right after I got off of work and the boys got out of school.  Our South African friend's brother would pick me and the boys up from the airport (AlphaPoppa's staying home) and we would spend a 5 days with them paying $125USD for room and board.  Whenever we travel we always prefer local families over hotels.  I much rather give money to a local loving family than to a hotel chain trying to offer me a fake/ comfortable American experience abroad ... no thank you.  HOWEVER, the night before the trip our host family tried to raise the agreed price on us (they'd previously agreed the the original payment was more than fair being they had a large home with a few empty bedrooms). Their only reason for changing the price was that "rich Americans should be able to pay more".  At this point I realized that money was not the issue here, it became more of an issue of greed possibly creating and unsafe, uncomfortable, living arrangement.  I wouldn't be comfortable staying in a home with a man who felt I owe him something if I were alone, and definitely not with two small children.  So now at 1am Friday morning (the day of the flight) I'm frantically trying to find affordable living arrangements.  Far from our intended host's belief we are not even close to rich and I am always on an extremely tight budget. In my crazy late night bed and breakfast search I sent emails to about 5 Bes and Breakfasts (BNBs) who more expensive than our host agreement but still affordable.  I also changed my plane ticket to Sunday hoping I could salvage the trip and all the things I had planned for us in Johannesburg.  Of course after all that I still couldn't sleep.

By the time I got to work the next morning I'd received emails from 4 of the 5 BNBs saying they don't accept children.  But the one I was hoping for. The one that gave me that good feeling said yes!  It only takes one yes, right?!  The 2B Happy Backpacker's Lodge said YES.  When I saw the name I knew it was the one I wanted and all the reviews and Facebook comments were positive.  
We collectively as a family decided that the iPad and Nintendos would stay home and each of us would just bring an iPhone.  Both spoiled brats have acquired old hand-me-down iPhones that don't have service but can use apps for games, take pix, and videos. We decided that they will use their phones for daily learning activities and to create their own personal photo journal of their trip.  For entertainment and bonding time we are going old school.  I bought a deck of cards, Uno, and Dominos.  The kids are not excited about that part at all and are not convinced that cards can be any fun.  So now we are all packed ready and ready to go.  I'm a nervous wreck hoping that everything works out fine... One would think in used to this, that by now I wouldn't get nervous.  But each and every trip I'm nervous to the point of canceling it all and climbing under the covers instead.  But I have a life philosophy that doesn't allow me to hide from the universe's gifts to me.  If I plan and everything lines up, I have been blessed, and the only thing I must do is walk my path.  Nervousness is a part of the journey.  So. Now. I. Walk.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! I'm glad everything is working out and that you found, what sounds like, an even better place for you and your boys to stay while in SA. I am proud of you and I appreciate how honestly and openly you share your experiences. Safe and enjoyable travels. :)