At least for some. Adventurer types have an itch which is always waiting for a suitable scratch, so when the opportunity for discovery presents itself, it’s so long and thanks for all the fish. When a traveler mentions ambitious new plans, fellow travelers say “that will be a grand adventure!” while everyone else holds their tongues while an expression of anguish and disbelief floods their faces.
The Itch and an appropriate Scratch are the reasons behind my most recent itinerary modification. I was poking around online looking for some odd jobs to do in order to make some travel money when I found an ad with a title that read something like this:
“Seeking a film student with two brass balls for work abroad”
Well I had to click on it. It outlined the need for film crew members to join a team traveling to Uganda to film a documentary called The Jungle I Know, which means to depict the lives of child soldiers involved in the civil wars in central Africa. Proceeds of the film will be put to use helping these kids out. Also they pay money. I thought: I must try for this. Not to would be folly.
I sent an email coverletter along, not expecting anything being that I am not a film student, nor do I have any photo or video equipment to contribute other than my crummy old digital camera. I was glad to explain my travel experiences, my enjoyment of other cultures, and my adaptability. I am not one to complain when the food sucks, when the tent has a hole in it, when the mosquitoes are unbearable, and when the natives want to harass the gringos.
A week later I received an ecstatic (as ecstatic as an email can be) reply, and further instructions on getting the job. Then I was in.
It all happened so quickly that I was sure it was some crazy scheme to lure me to Africa for some absurd international kidnapping. I mean, it’s Africa, right? It’s scary there, right? Maybe, but after many emails and phone calls and visits to their website, I was convinced of the projects genuineness. So, if my travel plans were not complicated before, they are now. My new plan involves flying from Fiji to Uganda on six (6) airplanes. Check out a globe and you will find that from Fiji, the exact opposite end of the planet is the country of Mali, which is not terribly distant from my destination of Entebbe, Uganda. After at least one month of work there, I plan to thriftily make my way to Australia, some five or six thousand miles from Uganda as the crow flies.
But crows don’t fly that far. Or maybe they do, but not in a straight line or all at once. Only large aircraft do that. And maybe the albatross.
Anyway, I have a rough plan on how I will make it to Australia, where I still wish to use my work visa. The plan is silly, involving many more visas, border crossings, boats, some volunteering, hopefully a job or two. So as not to jinx it by giving it away prematurely, I’ll keep my rough plan un-hatched until I gather enough information to actually make it workable. Remember that Australia’s work and holiday visa is valid for one year after being granted, meaning that I have to make it to Oz before January 2013. That gives me just under 9 months to meander across the Indian Ocean, and I’d like to use 8 of them.