The drama of traveling started before I’d even left the country. I still can’t decide if it’s good or bad luck, if it’s a sign for the way the rest of my travels in Africa will go or if it just happened for some other weird reason unbeknownst to any of us.
My flight from Perth to Johannesburg was absolutely fine, the issue was my flight from Johannesburg to Blantyre, which South African Airlines simply decided to cancel and reroute me to Lilongwe, an airport 450km away from where I needed to be, 24 hours later than I had booked to get there.
The situation worked itself out with the help of my travel agent, something I’ve never used before but was grateful this was the time I had.
The impending adventure still hasn’t hit me yet, and I’m wondering when it will. I left my friends in Sydney, left my parents in Melbourne, left extended family in Perth, caught 3 planes and was in transit for a total of 24 hours, yet I’m still struggling to believe that my backpack will be what I call home for the next year or two.
Landing in Lilongwe in Malawi, while pointless, was beautiful. Upon our descent all you could see was greenery. As we drew closer, unidentifiable spots became people walking and riding on bikes, a nice colour change against the dirt roads paving the way below us.
Landing in Blantyre was also beautiful but there was a little more concern over the tiny plane we were flying in rather than the environment we were arriving in. Driving to our accommodation felt safer and I was in awe as I looked out the window at the nature and the small communities gathered together around shops and a group of kids playing soccer. Mountains surrounded us as we drove on the half road half dirt ‘freeway’, providing sights I never want to forget.