Travel Tease: Africa

A Random Addis Sidewalk Scene

Before coming to Saudi, I thought to myself:  WOW!  I’m going to be nestled right beside the African continent.  I’ll have the opportunity to check out this fascinating mass of land that I’ve barely ever stepped upon.

Back in ’04, I managed to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, into Tangiers, Morocco, where I passed about eight hours. I was there with the person I was living with at the time.  For her, the experience was an unpleasant culture shock.   This ex-girlfriend felt uncomfortable and wanted to head back to Europe.  Because I was  enamored with Spain and her, I was completely content to go back,  although, I was fully in the mood to explore Morocco.

Besides that day in Tangiers eight years ago, I’d never been to Africa or any of its 54 lands.

Now I’m sitting in my Saudi hotel with a two week break thanks to Hajj or the pilgrimage.

Recently, I booked a RT ticket from Riyadh to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The direct flight takes less than three hours and cost $427 RT on Expedia. I was slated to travel in Ethiopia for the two week break.

There were confusing visa circumstances that I’d thought I’d researched thoroughly before purchasing this affordable  and non-refundable ticket.  It was then deemed that if I’d gone,  I’d potentially be overstaying my multiple entry visa in the kingdom.   I don’t want to bore you with the circumstances.  The situation is complicated even though it shouldn’t be.

To make a long story short, to play it safe with my visa status in this land where I’m now working, I managed to salvage a day and a half in Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa.  Because my ticket allowed me to change the dates, the best I could manage was to spend a day and a half in Addis.

I’ve just returned.  It was surely better than nothing and there’s a bit to come on that.   But, like on the day in Tangiers eight years ago,  I feel teased by the great African continent yet again.

Have you ever been teased by travel?  

10 Responses to Travel Tease: Africa

  1. Al says:

    Cool, I look forward to the full Ethiopia posting. Are you planning to travel a bit within Saudi during your time off?

    • Earthdrifter says:

      AL: Thanks! I hope to get the post up very soon. Once that’s finished I want to figure out a journey into the unknown and desolate terrain. Oh how I need more Arabic. :-)

  2. Mark Wiens says:

    Yes, even sometimes after spending a week or two in a destination I feel teased… that is when I don’t have enough time to explore or learn more about the culture. But still, even just a quick taste of a location is interesting too. Hope you get to explore Africa more in the future!

    • EarthDrifter says:

      MARK: Thanks for the inspiration. Yes! The taste was super interesting and in turn has generated a great deal of personal interest in that fascinating part of the world. I definitely hope to explore more of Africa.

  3. Pru says:

    Definitely looking forward to hearing about your trip! Glad you got to go for at least a day or two.

  4. Mamma says:

    I also look forward to hear more about your trip to Addis Ababa, and hope to see some pictures!

    • EarthDrifter says:

      MAMA: There will probably be bit more photo-wise but not too much this time around. The place was so new that I wasn’t as bold as usual. I’ll almost surely be able to salvage something though.

  5. What a tease indeed! At least you made it, a day is definitely better than nothing. Africa is somewhere I would also love to go, I have been to Morocco and Egypt which were wonderful, but I’d love to see ‘real’ Africa too. Look forward to hearing about your day-and-a-half!

    • EarthDrifter says:

      SARAH: Thanks! Well, I’d love to get to the real Morocco, Egypt and Ethiopia etc. Africa is immense and probably a harder travel experience than other continents, but most likely more rewarding too.

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