Travelling again – the where and why

I’m so excited to be travelling again!

This morning I left Canada to begin a 6-8 month long backpacking trip during which I hope to visit countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. My flight takes me from my hometown of Montreal, stopping briefly in Washington DC (USA), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Harare (Zimbabwe), before reaching my destination of Lusaka (Zambia) 29 hours from now. Whew!

There are two main reasons for the trip:

first, it’s an opportunity to see more of the world with my girlfriend and travel partner, who will join me in a few weeks. :) Africa in particular has many diverse and fascinating cultures about which we know little, and thus we plan to spend the bulk of our time here, traversing the continent as much as we can. Our ambitious itinerary includes stops in South Africa, Kenya, Burkina Faso, and Mozambique. Later in the year we hope to make it to the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and parts of Asia and then Australia. But of course our plans may change as we move about. I’ll be documenting our experiences through stories and photos on this website, as I have done in the past on other travels.

Second, I aim to augment my recent studies in public health with real, practical experiences in community-based development projects, and particularly in the area of water and sanitation. Africa as a continent is one of the most under-served in this area, with only 61% of people having access to clean water and 49% with access to sanitation facilities, though these figures vary widely by country, rural and urban areas, and income groups. For more details on these figures, read the 2012 update report from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme on Water Supply and Sanitation released in March 2012. Many countries have vast growth (actual and potential) and opportunity for those with relationships and knowledge of local markets and industry. My blog will aim to shed a bit of light on the challenges and successes in these areas.

If there is any other reason for this trip, it’s simply because I can. Travelling is one of my dearest passions: the learning that comes from meeting new people in strange places is my motive, my goal to simply become more aware of the world in which we live.

Carpe diem friends!

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