I am an avid traveler and to be honest being home so much due to COVID felt uncomfortable for me. Prior to March of 2020 I was always on the go but made sure to take at least one major international trip a year. So being told to stay at home and even worse having a state mandated curfew was hard for me.

But during that time I was able to really narrow down what my bucket list was and more importantly what places I wanted to visit. After years of planning I was able to take a true vacation and spend 10 days on safari in Kenya. Coming back now and seeing how refreshed and revitalized I am, I know that all of the planning was worth it. 

From sharing about this trip I got so many questions mainly around two topics:

1. How did you plan for this trip from a financial standpoint and

2.How were you able to take this much time off

To summarize both of those: planning.

Ironic I know since my job is primarily working as a financial planner. But without writing down all of the steps I need to take to get to Kenya and budgeting the financial side of things this trip wouldn’t have been possible. 

From a financial standpoint my planning included sacrifices. This is a truth that I don’t think a lot of people like to hear. We hear the word “sacrifice” and run away because we don’t want to give anything up. The reality is that we are always giving up something in pursuit of something else. 

This trip required a lot of money both before and during the trip. Kenya was a pricey trip between the airfare, safari transportation, medical expenses, and money needed during the trip. This meant choosing where I wanted to spend my money before leaving for the trip. Eating out less, spending less on clothing, cutting out unnecessary expenses. But as I sit here reflecting on my trip I don’t think about the trips to Chipotle or Sweet Greens I didn’t make. I am in awe rewatching the video of the mother elephant crossing over Amboselli with her six month old baby. 

In addition, I had to spend a lot of time working extra hours in the weeks leading up to the trip. I knew my access to the internet would be limited and in all honesty I could feel that I needed a break after a busy last few months. This meant late nights, missing events with friends and family, and lots of prep. When I arrived at the airport at the start of my trip I was exhausted from working all of those hours. But without all of that planning (yes, I said it again) I wouldn’t have been able to fully relax and unwind. 

As I reflect upon the sacrifices and work that went into preparing for this trip I wouldn’t change a thing. Those long nights and home cooked meals were all worth it to cross an incredible item off of my bucket list. 

Caroline Tanis