I’m a bit late with this monthly recap, as I usually try to post this at the beginning of each month. I just can’t believe it’s already February! Time has just flown by, and so many things have happened.
Countries Visited: Bahrain, Kenya, Comoros, Madagascar, South Africa = 5
Cities / Towns visited: Bahrain: Almost every city in Bahrain as it’s such a small country; Kenya: Nairobi; Comoros: Moroni, Iconi, Itsandra, Chindini, Fomboni, Itsamia + some other small places; Madagascar: Antananarivo; South Africa: Johannesburg, Cape Town
New Countries: Comoros, Madagascar = 2
Country Count: 77/197
Modes of Transportation Taken: Airplane, bus, minibus, the scariest boat I’ve ever taken in Comoros, taxi, car
Places I’ve Slept in: Hostel, hotel, Airbnb, airports, tent, a random girl’s house in Comoros when I was left without a hotel room for the first night
Nights without a bed: 2 (Sleeping at the airports)
Bahrain and the Best Hostel I’ve Ever Stayed In
I spent a week backpacking in Bahrain staying in Bahrain Youth Hostel, and it was one of the best hostels I’ve ever stayed in. Queen-sized beds, swimming pool, sauna, gym… I also received such an amazing hospitality from the hostel manager, got upgraded to a private room, and got a free tour around the country.
Incredibly Helpful and Welcoming People in Comoros
To continue with the hospitality theme, Comoros really surprised me. I still haven’t written a proper blog post about my trip but I’m going to do it this week, so remember to check out my blog again later this week! So far, I’ve visited ten countries in Africa, and usually, you are always charged more because you are a white tourist or people are begging for money. That wasn’t the case in Comoros even though it’s one of the poorest countries in the world. However, bureaucracy can be a challenge, like in so many other African countries. But what really made my time there were the people! Pictured above is Ridjal who helped me so much I don’t have words to thank him enough.
Getting Robbed in Madagascar
Not a surprise that this was my biggest challenge of the month. My time in Madagascar was just a big fail, as you’ve probably read. In a top of that, I also arrived there at the wrong season, and some of the roads and national parks were closed because of the rain. Overall, Madagascar was so much more dangerous country than I thought. According to travel.gc.ca, “Crime is widespread in Madagascar. Armed gangs are known to commit home invasions and kidnappings, and to patrol areas where foreigners tend to congregate. Robberies and break-ins, often violent, have increased, especially in and around the capital, Antananarivo, but also in rural and isolated areas.”
I briefly mentioned that I had a sore throat in Madagascar, but I didn’t tell the whole story and actually one of the main reasons I wanted to fly out of Madagascar after the robbery was that I was feeling so sick. It started as the mild flu, and I didn’t think anything was wrong with me. But then I started to get nose bleeding as well. My nose was bleeding heavily 2-3 times a day, and I didn’t feel like I wanted to leave too far from the hostel because at any time it would start bleeding again. This is not new for me because as a child I constantly had nose bleeding before a doctor finally did a procedure to seal the blood vessel by cauterizing (burning) it. So I flew to South Africa, and because my nose was still bleeding every day, I went to the doctor to get this procedure done again. After a few days, my condition worsened dramatically. Yes, the nose bleeding stopped, but I got a high fever and felt very nauseous. I was almost sure that I had gotten malaria. I went back to the hospital, and they did all the possible tests. It wasn’t malaria, but I had some kind of infection in my throat and something else that they couldn’t really figure out. I got strong antibiotics, and I spent my first two weeks here in South Africa just laying in bed. I was feeling so unwell that I couldn’t walk anywhere or eat anything. Luckily, the antibiotics worked, and I feel like myself again!
Yet so challenging to travel, Comoros was my favorite destination of the month. Just wait for my post to see more pictures and read my crazy travel stories!
Cape Town is one of my favorite cities in the world, and I’m so happy to be back here! You will read more about my time here in the next Monthly Recap because I’m going to stay here the whole month.
Because I’m so late on posting on Instagram, all the January favorites are from Jordan.
The Dead Sea near Amman
The Treasury Viewpoint in Petra
The Camels in Petra
Coming up in February 2017
February is not going to be very exciting in terms of traveling. I’m staying this whole month in Cape Town just resting, working, going to the gym, and planning my trip across Africa. Of course, I’ll do a lot of awesome stuff here in Cape Town, and I’ve already taken some pretty amazing shots I’m just dying to show you! I also started filming videos a few days ago, and I’m now learning how to edit them as I have no experience in editing. I’ll let you know when I publish my first video on Youtube! Also, if you haven’t noticed, I started a newsletter. You can subscribe to it on the sidebar, and I’ll then send you an email once a month with exclusive travel updates and stories! Remember to confirm the subscription after you’ve entered your email address.