Future and frequent fliers:
If you want to get the full experience when traveling to another country then you have to take a few risks. I’m identifying “risks” as breaking some of those “travel rules” your doctor tells you to follow. I’m not talking about hopping into an unpainted van with armed rebels, or throwing away your malaria pills, but take a walk on the wild side and enjoy a bit of market food, for example. Markets are incredible ways to experience an entire country in about 45 minute period—you have people of all classes negotiating prices, displaying their hard work, and socializing. You may get sick if you don't use common sense (i.e. eating things you wouldn't even touch in the US) but how can you experience a country without partaking in its fresh produce? As a matter of fact, the only place any of us got sick was the Buziga Hotel, which was one of the "nice" hotels in Uganda. In no way am I suggesting you don’t watch your back and maintain common sense; but don’t sit in your hotel with your hands in your pockets! I have found Uganda incredibly safe; much safer than parts of Central America that I have been to; and I would treat it like parts of New York City: be aware, but don't be scared.
Team, think about your experience, and how the risks you took benefited you. Rafting The Nile, for example, was tremendous. Although there are inherent risks with white water rafting, I am absolutely a changed man after that trip. If anything I can swim much better, and any fears of drowning have been completely extinguished. (By the way, it turns out Geoff, our incredible guide, wasn’t in the Olympics, as he claimed. However he is the #1 Whitewater Kayaker in
Something else you need to do is make friends. And in
So I will leave you with this: don’t be afraid to explore, meet people, and live a little. We all worked about 15 hours a day, and deserved a bit of additional fun. Do it vigilantly, since you don’t want to come back in a box; but on the other hand, I would rather come back with a couple battle scars than to come back without a story.