1. I hate money. Like, really, its existence complicates things. Long story short: that sponsor I spoke about doesn’t seem to be working. You can imagine the distress that caused. A very kind company is having a meeting on Monday and hopefully they can help me. If not, my parents, who are amazing, might take out a loan for me. Which I’ll have to repay once I start working. Which is not ideal, considering I already have a fat student loan leering at me. But considering the circumstances, I’m happy.
2. My plane tickets were booked today. I’m going to have lots and lots of stops along the way, but that’s okay too. In exactly one month minus a day, I’ll be on that plane.
3. I had to get a second passport because some countries won’t issue visas to South African citizens before January, by which time I’ll already be abroad. Luckily we’ll be stopping in South Africa in March, at which time I’ll collect the other visas. I have to admit I’m quite jealous of the American students who only need visas for China, India and Ghana.
4. I need to get a medical form completed by my doctor. How do I convince them that I don’t have TB without getting a CXR, which I really can’t afford at the moment? Obviously I’ve been exposed in my work, but I’m reasonably sure I don’t have any active infection. Also need a prescription for malaria prophylaxis. I want to get Mefloquine because apparently it has fewer side-effects than Doxycycline. Also more expensive though, so we’ll see. Meningitis and Typhoid vaccines are also something I think I’ll be getting. Good thing I’m not afraid of shots.
5. I’M SO NERVOUS! It feels like I’m going to be the new kid all over again. I have to keep reminding myself that we are all going to be the new kids. I’ll just be the one with the strange accent. NERVOUS-EXCITED. It’s going to be amazing and scary. When I was younger, I dreamed of being able to study in America, but that didn’t come to pass. This will kind of be like that.
6. Need to make lists of things to buy. It feels so close! I wanted to buy most of the things in the States, until I checked prices online. Guys, things are expensive in the States. Heavy bags here I come.
7. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife will be joining us for part of the voyage. Pretty cool! I should probably read his book or something right? Cos I definitely want to have an intense discussion with him if possible.
8. With funds being low, I think I’ll largely be winging it in the various countries. Meeting people and interviewing them, maybe? These are the places I’ll be visiting… any tips?
*San Diego – Hilo, Hawaii – Yokohama, Japan – Kobe, Japan – Shanghai, China – Hong Kong, China – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – Singapore – Rangoon, Burma – Cochin, India – Mauritius – South Africa – Takoradi, Ghana – Tema, Ghana – Cassablanca, Morocco – Barcelona, Spain.