I’m going to Sudan next month. I go back and forth with liking the way that sounds, because it sounds pretty badass, and not liking the way it sounds because it isn’t actually as badass as it sounds.
We’ve dived in the Red Sea twice. Once from Sharm el Sheikh and once from a liveaboard that departed Marsa Alam and took us to Brothers, Daedalus, and Elphinstone. Having adored both of those experiences, I had the bright idea of moving farther south. To the waters of Sudan. Turns out, this is a thing you can do. Jacques Cousteau had lots of nice things to say about these waters, so many in fact, that he built an underwater habitat there. So we’re not really going to Sudan so much as we’re going to the Red Sea that borders Sudan. I admit there’s a significant difference. But no one we know has ever been to Sudan, on land or on water, so when said aloud, there’s a certain cache. Or in more than a couple cases, a complete look of confusion because the listener didn’t know Sudan bordered any water.
We get that a lot when we tell people where we’re going. I’ve become pretty adept at making my hand into the shape of continents and pointing out where on my hand is the place we’re going. And explaining what other countries are nearby. And how we get there. And that it’s safe.
And it wasn’t always like this. I lament that I wasted – and wasted in the absolutely most privileged use of the word, because travel is an incredible luxury – the first 10 years of my adulthood traveling to familiar places repeatedly. It wasn’t until I discovered my love of diving that my map landed askew and the days of a quick flight to a plug-and-play trip vanished.
But I may be selling myself a little short. Because one month after graduating college, my then-boyfriend, now-husband Jim and I embarked on what became a 10 week, 13,000-mile, 10-country trip through Europe and North Africa in a car neither one of us really knew how to drive and which had no power steering and no air conditioning.
This introduction is going on too long.
I love to travel and I do it as often as my regular job and regular life allow. I think more people should travel more often. I’m going to start telling my stories of travels past and travels future and hope it encourages you to pick a place, pack a bag, and go.