Leaving South America was more of a bummer than I expected.  We knew that 4 months on the continent was hardly enough time to explore it, but we attempted to bite off a manageable itinerary, and overall I was very pleased with our speed and coverage of the chosen destinations.  What we didn’t know was how much we were going to enjoy it – from the language, to the people, to the cities, and the landscapes.  History, culture, architecture, diversity, food, mountains, coast, desert, etc, we found it all, and we loved it.  No doubt, we will be back (and hopefully for an extended period of time).

The other bummer about leaving South America was that phase 1, continent 1, was coming to a close.  At 4 months, this was the single largest chunk of our trip, and it’s scary to think about how quickly it went.  We battled this apprehension though nostalgia of all we saw, and excitement about what was to come.  Afterall, we still have 2/3 of the trip ahead of us.

Excitement for Africa is high.  South Africa has been one of my top 3 places to visit for years now.  Our chunk of time on this new continent is the big unknown for us.  While we don’t really “know” any of the places we’re going on this trip, previous travels have provided insight into Latin American and Asian travels, preparing us a bit for continents 1 and 3.  However, Africa is a wild card – we don’t know many people who have been, and even fewer who have been on a backpacking budget.  We’re a bit apprehensive about the costs – budget travel is a challenge we’re told (save a few popular tourist routes).  But we’ve got some amazing plans coming together quickly, including a work-related luxury safari in Botswana, and visits from both sets of parents.  Africa is going to be good, I can feel it.

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