Living in Missoula, Montana means you have to accept the fate of traveling for at least half a day before making it to your final destination. It is a small price to pay to live in a town surrounded by mountains, flowing rivers and fresh air. Let's get real - a half a day to make it to Zambia? No. It took me a full 30 hours to make it to my final destination. On the morning of Saturday, September 27th I began my adventure. The first leg of the trip was easy, a quick two hour flight to Denver. Here, I met up with my Dad who agreed to take this adventure with me. I am not sure he knew what he was getting himself into, but I was happy to have the company.
From there, we hopped a plane to New York City. Conveniently, my sister lives in the City so we decided to break up the 30 hours and spend the night in the big apple. It is always such a shock traveling from small town Missoula to New York City. People are everywhere, the noise is so loud it feels like it is penetrating your body, the lights are so bright you need sunglasses at night, and the taxi drivers make you so stick to your stomach that you can hardly hold down the delicious street pretzel. Though we were only in New York for a brief 14 hours, we were able to catch a show, wander through Times Square, and spend time with my sister who I hadn't seen in far too many months.
The next morning we were up at 6 AM and at the airport waiting in line by 7 AM. This is where the trip truly began - a 15 hour flight from JFK to Johannesburg. We got lucky and somehow got the bulkhead seats on the South African Airway flight. I hunkered down, kicked my shoes off, and turned on the TV. I watched a couple of movies, read an entire book, and slept. My dad, on the other hand, believes in staying awake the entire time he travels. It is his way to prevent Jet Lag. I don't agree with him. We landed in Johannesburg and he confessed to watching 8 movies.
Upon landing at the OR Tambo International airport I felt grubby. I wanted a shower, or at least some fresh air, but we had another 3 hour flight to Livingstone. We wandered the airport for our two hour layover and finally made our way to the gate. I did not see any planes outside, but lines of busses. Instead of walking directly onto the plane, you board a bus which takes you to the plane. It was nice stepping outside, as I had been breathing airport air for the past 18 hours. Finally, we were en route Livingstone, the land of Victoria Falls and the mighty Zambezi!