Reality bites...or hurts my hip and heart

Quit Edit: I’m in Amsterdam Central. So at least I made it out.

I knew the camping trip wasn't going to be a luxury day at the spa...but I wasn't prepared for how it would effect my...well, dare I say it...old (?) body. Maybe old isn't the old...and I don't think out of shape is the word either...but I have this back/hip issue...that I don't want to get too much into, but it was around for most of 2018, despite all of the money spent at physiotherapy and acupuncture. It really restricted a lot in my life. When I found out that I was heading to Edmonton, I made a phone call to the miracle sports doc I met when I was heavy into long distance running and boot camping. He's great and he's one of those guys who actually doesn't  want to see you, he wants to fix you ASAP. Within a few weeks I was relatively pain free and we had a plan for my camping trip and I thought all was well. HA! No way. Let me start with a quick rundown of a typical day of the trip...and maybe you can figure out why:

Between 04h30 to 06h30 - wakeup (depending on the day's activities). Then:
  • pack up luggage/belongings
  • take mat to Lando
  • pack up tent (often by myself. tent was heavy, awkward and I learned that I was doing it wrong for about 11 days..oops!)
  • pray to everything that you've rolled up your tent small enough so that it fits in the bag
  • bring tent to Lando
  • bring luggage/bags to Lando (my duffle bag it ended up becoming about 4 reusable grocery bags)
  • if you were on the packing team: pack the chairs, mats, tent, and luggage into the Lando. If you were late bringing your mat, tent, or luggage, you were responsible to pack it yourself. The mats are kept on top of the Lando...a good three meters high? Yikes.
  • Eat breakfast
  • Finish your duty, depending on the day: food prep, dishes, pots, etc. 
  • Help out others finish their duty
And...if you're lucky, squeeze in a shower at some point. I got in a shower most days. I also tried to rinse off at night because it was so freaking hot.

Now, some days we had a drive of three hours...and some days we had a drive of TEN hours. We would get on the Lando and drive, stopping for bushy-bushy breaks, stopping when we hit a town that had a grocery store, or stopping at a town when we had an activity to do. When we hit our campsite, it was a rush to get everything off because one of our guides had to prepare the kitchen set up for the meal. If we were provided lunch, it was cold cut sandwich (yeeessh...I would opt for a peanut butter and cucumber sandwich). For dinner (no one knew what I was talk about when I said supper), we would have a cooked meal that was always great, but I rarely had an appetite (yes, I'm certain I lost weight on the tour but gained it all back in Cape Town and certainly in Amsterdam!!). 

Then we would go and do our safari drive or our safari WALK (crazy amazing), set up our tents, rush to find a pool, I would always rush to find ice, and then we would eat supper - sorry dinner, around 7pm. 

In all of that, I would carry, lift, and do all kinds of activities that are NOT good for my hip/back injury - and then I would sleep on the group with a tiny mat. Eventually I figured out that I should sleep with my duffle bag under my knees, but that's a weird position to sleep I didn't exactly get a full night's rest. If we had an early wake up call with no immediate activity planned, I could usually sleep on the bus (if I wasn't in the front loser/loner seat), but wow, I am someone that needs my sleep and can generally not function on little sleep...but somehow I pushed through and it amazed me that I was able to push through like I did. Perhaps it was because of the wonderful experiences that I was going through...adrenaline, I have no idea. 

I'm paying the price now. I've been in Amsterdam since the 9th, and I haven't been doing very well. I haven't had the energy to run all over the city. I've been beating myself up for not seeing the city as I'd like to. I feel like I'm throwing away an opportunity that I might not have again. I'm feeling sad and thinking too much about my breakup and how...I don't know if I'll ever find someone again...and to be honest, I'm feeling depressed. The last few days of the tour group, my feelings were really hurt and I didn't know how to express them. As a result, I didn't say goodbye to the few people that I did get along with...and I see how the others got along and miss each other and seem to be like best friends, and I'm doubting, why didn't I get along with everybody... 

I know that near the end of the trip I started to withdraw. I had been in some situations where people had been downright rude and disrespectful...but rude and disrespectful in my culture...perhaps not theirs. Also, they were aged 20 to 30. A big gap from 39 years old. I'm at a very sensitive time in my life, so they were acting in their...generation...and most likely not intentionally out to hurt me, but I took everything personally, which made me retreat then even more and so forth. 

I hate the fact that these people are even in my thoughts...that I can't just move on and think about the wonderful memories of Africa...and take home the lessons that I learned. I understand why I am exhausted...21 days of go-go-go, it was WELL worth it, but man, it was tiring. But I want to wash away those negative feelings that I felt near the end. This was my tour...and I don't want to think about the other people on the tour. Just remember the good things....It's one of my weaknesses... I'm independent, but I never want to make another person mad or not like me.. and I experienced a lot that of that this trip. 

I want to take the good and not the bad. I want to remember just the good and not the bad. I want to remember that I was so f*cking tough on this trip. I really got through a lot...there was so much strength in me. But now that the challenge was gone and the challenge of living my, "real life" is here...I just want to fall apart. Africa gave me the most beautiful experiences and I had to work hard for them. If I apply that analogy to life...well, yah yah yah, I guess I have to work hard for the most beautiful experiences too...I just have...this feeling of...dread that I don't want to deal with real life. I guess that's what this all leads to. There's no more distractions. Just reality to face. Hopefully I can take my African reminders everywhere I go with me. 


  1. your tenacity in living your life is amazing, I don't know if you realize it sometimes, how you fought for your life at times and look at you now.....a heartbreaking experience and you can still find the beauty in your life.....that's being strong......xxxooo


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