Sarah's Gap Year travel blog

I'll tell you one thing- planning a six month trip through five countries when I've never booked a flight without my dad's help is no easy task. Every time I think I've got everything figured out, I get another email telling me that something else has gone wrong. This week has been especially stressful as I am finally feeling like it's almost time to leave, but I still don't have everything in place. And on top of that I'm working all the time so I'm barely home to work on my trip! But while some things have fallen apart, others have come together. This week I received an email from Global Volunteer Network saying that as of 2012 they are ending their partnership in India due to economic reasons. This partnership was the last month of my trip, so I was left with a flight to Delhi and nothing to do there. But I have emailed Leon Thind, the man who is organizing my trip in Southern India, and asked him if I could participate in one of the programs his company offers in Northern India for that last month. He was thrilled and it looks as though I will now be staying in Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world, and doing a variety of volunteer jobs for that last month. I will fill you in on the details once I have them. I have also received a fair amount of good and bad news from Dixie. The good news is that the building of the borehole is supposed to start very soon- possibly even this week- and will be well under way if not finished by the time I get there! I have also talked to quite a few people who have said they will be more then willing to take me into Dixie while I am there and show me the borehole sight, the schools, the community, and the other projects the Buffelshoek Trust has completed. I will also be meeting quite a few community leaders while there which I am very excited for. The bad news is I'm not quite sure how I am getting to Dixie. I have a flight to Nelspruit which is a nearby village, but I have no one to pick me up and take me to Djuma where I am staying. People have offered to book me a driver, but this is a couple hundred dollars I don't have. I also am still trying to figure out a ride from Djuma to Ulusaba which is where I am volunteering with Pride n' Purpose. I have a variety of people who are working on this for me, but nothing looks promising and it's so soon! This is probably what I am most stressed about in my planning right now, but I know like everything else we will figure it out, even if it means going over budget and asking for help from Mom and Dad. Everything else is about as finalized as I can make it at this point. Sure, I have a lot of questions: What if my flight gets cancelled? What if I get sick? What if some one forgets to pick me up and my phone doesn't work? How much Internet access will I have? How homesick am I going to get? But that's part of the adventure. If I knew everything that was going to happen, what would be the point of going? And though there is a lot to be stressed about right now, I haven't once stopped being excited. I still can't wait to land in Johannesburg and start this incredible journey. So for now I'm just doing my best to prepare and waiting for another email to either put something in place or give me another obstacle. Putting this trip together has definitely been a roller coaster ride, but let's face it, I've always been the kind to love a good roller coaster.

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