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Faith and Fear: Ethiopia In The Beginning

EXCERPT FROM DIARY:

"Ethiopian Airlines" "emerging destination" "Ethiopia holidays" "travel to Ethiopia" "sights Ethiopia" "history Ethiopia" "Ethiopia travel" "solo female travel" "solo female travel Africa" "solo Africa" "travel Africa" "emerging destinations 2013" "Cox & Kings" "travel Africa" "Africa destinations" "cool countries to travel" "Anisha Shah travel" "Anisha Shah journalist" "Anisha Shah Ethiopia" "Anisha Shah BBC"

I’m at Heathrow airport, virtually shaking. What the heck am I doing? WHY, HOW, WHAT…every question is flying through my mind. I’ve only recently managed to take my first solo travel steps ever – to Vienna and Zurich – the comfort of Europe. Now, to leap to travelling solo through Ethiopia feels somewhat crazy! A little voice deep inside keeps telling me I can do it, but it’s very much buried under a mountain of doubt cast from everyone else’s reactions to my telling them I’m going alone….to Ethiopia.

Why Ethiopia?

It’ relatively untouched in terms of tourism, relatively unheard of for tourism, yet considered the cradle of humanity, boasts impressive scenery and landscapes, deep-rooted historical sights, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and incredible cultures so deeply embedded, I’m both intrigued and keen to learn more. My Father grew up in neighbouring Uganda and his passion for African music, food and culture has been infused in me from a very early age. Time to find out for myself. But more than all this, it’s THE PERSONAL CHALLENGE.

Personal Challenges?

* Going alone – as I mention, I’ve only ever gone solo to Europe so far

* Being alone in a completely foreign country in which I’ve really no idea just what to expect

* Safety – If I can get through whatever security issues arise there from alone or being in Africa, most likely a combination, I’ll return feeling I can take on the world and have newfound faith in myself – something that’s very very important to me

* Become a stronger and more independent person

* See a different side to life. Having just returned from a spectacular month through Myanmar / Burma, I have a real taste for somewhere emerging and hugely interesting

* Being able to cope alone – I can’t emphasise how much of a driving factor this is personally. I need to know that I can be alone and be comfortable and confident alone. I never get a chance in daily life to be completely isolated. I hope I relish this opportunity as much as I keep imagining I could.

* Push my boundaries to learn who I truly am when things get difficult or challenging. I want to know how strong I can really be. At home, how many of us have to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones? When do we ever really leave behind our safety nets of family and friends? I never get this chance. And many would say, with good reason! I want to prove them wrong and prove to myself that I can be the independent girl I feel I truly could be. On this journey, with no-one there to ‘protect’ or shelter me, watch my back or look after the money, aid conversations, make friends, eat with: all the little things…this will be a game-changer.

Whatever I learn about myself on this journey will shape the way I feel towards myself and steer my self-confidence in a huge way! I know i’m putting a lot of pressure on myself but I can’t help it. If I fall flat, I’ll be devastated! This trip could absolutely define the person I become at this stage, and define the person I want to become.

I have faith and fear…

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6 thoughts on “Faith and Fear: Ethiopia In The Beginning

  1. Ah I totally agree with every item on your list, especially becoming more independent. Traveling alone has been the best thing I ever did to give myself confidence and form the person I am now. I hope your trip is going well! (based on your other photos I can see it is!) I’m excited to see more 🙂

    • Absolutely! I was the last person to have ever considers solo travel. Now I’m hooked! Best life education & self-awareness.
      Love hearing from other girls like yourself who go it alone & love it!

  2. Incredibly brave of you to do this! I’d love to hear more about traveling alone; other people’s stories about it encourage me to try it for myself. Those diary entries can be so very informative…

    • Thank you for the advice! I’ve actually been and returned and you were right – all was fine. This post was my thoughts pre-travel. Post-travel: I’m a different person!

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