Mission Accomplished! Time to go!

Now that “Travels” has completed it’s makeover, it’s time to actually . . . travel.  I suppose in a way this next trip will be test driving the vagabonding concept.  I’m travelling “from” Mad Ave in the sense I originally intended: leaving the madness for awhile to go exploring.

My exploration will take me first to South Africa, then on to Scotland.  While that itinerary may make no sense, I can explain.

This trip started with a phone call.  Bridget, a friend of mine, is a big fan of a band called the Glengarry Bhoys,  a Canadian Celtic band that often plays in the Buffalo area.  They were heading over to Scotland and decided to invite 30 of their closest friends to come with them. Now, I wouldn’t exactly call myself one of their “closest” friends and I’m still not sure if I’m expected carrying the speakers and handle the mixing board.  But Bridget wanted company and that was good enough for me. Even though I have already been to Scotland (with Bridget, by the way) following a band around the country playing ceili’s in random pubs sounded like a unique way to visit again.  So, I’m off for what is turning out to be an almost annual trip to somewhere in the UK.

Then, the chance of a lifetime comes along. About three years ago, AFAR magazine launched. Having worked on and off in the travel industry on the advertising side, I received their premier issue. I loved it immediately. The editors vision was clear in the first few pages.  This magazine was written for those of us who travel for the experience.  We travel to meet new people, try new foods, visit unique parts of the world – even those parts that most people pass over while going from one place to another. We do it simply to experience something that might make us look at our own world a little differently.

Last year, the AFAR franchise grew to include AFAR Experiences.  These guys know that their readers aren’t satisfied just reading about places, they’re really going places, so once  a year they invite readers along on a trip.  After their inaugural trip – to Cairo – this year the magazine has invited readers to join them in Johannesburg.

Now, I have been to Johannesburg.  Terry and I and two friends went to South Africa for Terry’s 50th birthday.  We flew into Johannesburg, made it through immigration in our Ambien muddled haze and met our greeter from Zulu Nyala, who loaded us and our luggage into a van for our six hour ride to safari country.  My entire experience of Johannesburg that trip was to get off the highway to load up on some wine for our ride (in hindsight not such a great idea given the Ambien was still running through our bloodstreams).  This was all pre-World Cup, so the chance to go back and actually spend some time in Jo’burg will be, well, a different experience.

So allow me to introduce you to the new www.TravelsfromMadAve.com and kick it off with a trip around . . . half the world.  Please follow me.

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