Road Warrior Update from Dar es Salaam

Not every day on the road is rainbows and butterflies for us. Please try spending every waking moment with your spouse for 6 months and tell me its smiles and unicorns all the time. Most of you reading this at your cubicle right now are probably thinking, ‘Cara, shut up! I’m here grinding 9-5 and you are off prancing around the world.’ Touché, sir.

As I write this, we realized that it had been exactly 6 months since we left our jobs in Virginia. While we have absolutely zero regrets about it, some aspects of traveling on the road are much more challenging than we anticipated. Take this morning for example. We left our hotel in good spirit and took a taxi to church. I got a little frustrated when the service ended up being at 9:30 instead of 9 am like we anticipated, and it also ended up being in Swahili instead of English as it was advertised.

After a beautiful service, complete with 5 baptisms, I was still in a cruddy mood. ‘Happy wife, happy life,’ right? I guess the opposite is true also. Jeff and I were pretty fed up with each other- I was mad that his social anxiety got in the way of asking someone about the church service before it began, and he was peeved that I didn’t step in to help. After stomping around town only talking to each other in grunts (Note: I do not recommend this in a third world country), we got something to eat. HANGER IS A REAL ISSUE. I think today taught us that when we start to get frustrated with each other, the best way to calm down is to talk about it while eating. It’s amazing how an attitude can change once you have a little food in you!

6 months in, and we are still figuring out this whole co-piloting thing. I wish I could say that we will have it all figured out by the end of the next 6 months, but I have a feeling that this is the adventure they call ‘marriage.’ If you have all the marriage answers, please leave us advice- sometimes we all need a little help! And if you are looking for a good read about marriage and travel, check out ‘Married with Luggage,’ by Betsy and Warren Talbot.

Anyway, days where we feel burned out on travel are to be expected. But we have so many AMAZING travel days that make it all worth it. Like the other day that we spent visiting with friends. We are so blessed to know so many wonderful people around the world. I got to know a few Tanzanian’s very well during my summer here 7 years ago. It was great to catch up with them and their families while we were in Dar es Salaam!

Before leaving for Dubai, we capped our 5 week stay in Africa with a few days in Dar. Besides visiting friends, we had some great eats, and visited the National Museum of Tanzania. 

We were fortunate to learn kidogo Kswahili (a little Swahili) while we were here. We probably know more Swahili than any other language from the countries that we have previously visited. That’s the benefit of slow travel and staying in one place for longer! We feel like it took a few weeks, but we are pretty comfortable here- whether we are the only wzungu (white people) in a packed church, or a packed bus, and we can order food in Swahili (as long as it’s beef, chicken or bananas haha). Of course, once you get comfortable, it’s time to move on again! We’ve had a great stay here, but we are both ready for the next adventure- and we’ll be taking our positive attitudes with us!


Tanzania in Total:

Modes of transportation used: Plane, bus, taxi, rickshaw, safari jeep, feet

Total amount spent in Tanzania: $7635.30

Avg.: $238.60 per day

While this is by far our highest average per day for any country, we knew going in that Tanzania was going to be expensive for us based on our chosen activities (safari and climbing Kilimanjaro). That being said, we finished way under budget as I had budgeted based on some of the higher end guide companies we had found online while still in the States, and we ended up going with a budget company and having a great experience. As we are 6 months into this journey, I’m going to get a post up on the overall state of our finances soon, so keep an eye out for it!