As long as we are on the road together, I'd go anywhere with you.
Written onboard a flight LHR-JNB with the sun rising over the African savannah. I think I can nearly hear the lions roaring 35K feet below.
I know that it may sound crazy, but in many ways I was just as excited for, if not more excited to spend a whole night and day in Arizona with the man that I love before departing together for Africa.
The idea itself seems crazy to think that for the next 25 nights, he and I will be curled up side by side in our sleeping bags listening to the predawn bushveld come alive. A small mattress the only thing separating our backs from the ancient African ground wrapped up in his arms, I feel safe, powerful, and unaffraid despite the fact that right outside of our tent there could be a leopard or spitting cobra waiting to say good morning.
This is how I imagine it to be. Of course this is pure speculation at this point as I am nestled cozily next to my love into a window seat on British Airways flight 057 from London to Johannesburg watching the morning slowly awakening the world below.
Honestly, I'm not quite sure even what day it is as I stated before that time has sort of become obsolete and this journey is better measured in segments of travel. So this is part 3 of 4, only one more leg to go before we reach our final destination of Windhoek, Namibia.
Part 1 of 4 was my flight down to Arizona to spend the night with D, soaking up one another's presence as it had been nearly 5 weeks since we last saw one another. In the morning we drank coffee and sorted through our gear, repacking, shuffling items around, and stopping every so often to look up at one another and say "Babe, we're going to Africa today" just to feel those words roll off of our lips in an effort to convince ourselves of the reality of what lies ahead. Without much effort, by 3 o'clock the bags were packed and everything was in place for our departure. Shockingly, we even had a little time remaining to sit on the cool ceramic tile next to our bags and sip on a cool gin and tonic.
As D and I have the utter misfortune of living 1,500 miles apart from each other, the time that we do have together is limited and precious. So for us, sitting side by side on a 10 hour flight with nothing to do except talk, hold hands, drink free international flight cocktails, and watch movies together felt like a gift from the universe which we squeezed every last minute from. Sleep, who needs sleep?!
In the afternoon of Day 3, we touched down at London Heathrow International Airport for an 8 hour layover. D had arranged for his mum, dad, and sister to meet is in Coventon Garden in central London for a traditional British meal of fish and chips and a pint of beer in a proper English pub. Having never been to London or anywhere else in Europe really, I was ecstatic to hear the "cha-chink" of the friendly custom's official stamping my passport, granting me access to explore a new country even if only for a few hours.
We hopped on the tube, which you must pronounce as "choob" as not to sound like a tourist, and made our way into Central London past all of rows and rows of quintessential brick flats lined up along the way. I couldn't help but look for a jolly dancing chimney sweep hopping from roof to roof, singing as he skipped across the rooftops covered in soot. After about an hour or so, we popped up out of the tiled station and I found myself standing in what looked like a perfectly accurate London movie set! The tiny wet streets were packed with young, fashionably but sometimes oddly dressed Londoners, dodging black taxi's and red double decker busses as they went whizzing past. There were street performers on every corner showcasing their fondness for metallic paint and sitting in awkward positions for long periods of time, jugglers, and even one man who had an incredible talent for playing a giant orange traffic cone.
After a lovely meal of fish and chips with D's family we headed over to the pub for a pint of beer. I chose a local IPA and D had a local Bitter. Unfortunately our time was very limited and we only had time for one before we had to hop back on the "choob" and make our way back to Heathrow. I am really looking forward to my return layover in London as I will definitely make the trek back into town and do a short and dirty sight seeing mission. Shameless selfies abound!