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Should I stay or should I go?

Taking My Hardest (Travel) Decision So Far

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View West Africa on askgudmundsen's travel map.

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I’ll admit it right off the bat: This is a case of traveller’s first world problem. The fact that this is my hardest decision I’ve had to take as a traveller just shows how easy, convenient and possible it is to travel – even in challenging places such as West Africa – once you’ve got used to living out of your backpack despite all the uncertainties that follow this particular lifestyle.

The Ride

The Ride

Dan, the Australian overlander who I’ve been driving around with for the past two weeks have given me an offer that’s hard to refuse. He’d offered me to join him all the way down to South Africa. I wouldn’t even have to pay half of the costs of gas, just pitch in whatever I would be able to. Saying “no, thanks” to that sure is difficult.

Central Africa

Central Africa

The dilemma is that I would probably have to rush through some of the countries here in West Africa. That is, I would have to give up how I’m currently visiting West Africa – the region I came down here to experience in the first place. The point of spending a year in an area many other travellers blast through in three months would slip my grip. This, to see Central and some of Southern Africa – regions that I’m confident that I would otherwise come back to on a later date anyway.

The choice I’m facing is – in other words – between giving up my current style of travel. Abandoning the hope of seeing and experience everything I came down here for, versus getting more countries under my belt and visiting Central Africa in a way that would be far cheaper and more convenient than I could ever hope for.

Guinean Public Transport

Guinean Public Transport

There are other pros and cons to this offer, of course. I would not only have to give up the pace of m my travels. I would have to change for moving around with locals in public transportation to driving a new fancy jeep. I would have to become part of a team, instead of travelling solo as I prefer. Also, rushing down the through Central Africa, will probably make it less likely that I return in my pace. Simply because I would prefer to visit new places rather than semi-known locations.

I would have to take out around €2,000 to finance extending my trip another three months. But that isn’t something I worry too much about. Having completed my master's, I would come home to “grown-up money” while still having the expenses of a student/traveller. In order words, it would be relatively quick to pay off the loan.

I'll just keep doing my thing

I'll just keep doing my thing

Instead, we’ve postponed the entire decision. Dan and I have parted ways for a while now. I’m heading into Sierra Leone and Liberia, while he’s going to spend a month working on his car, relaxing and taking a break from travelling for about a month. This means that, for the time being, I can continue to move at my own pace. We’ve then agreed that come December we’ll see how far we have travelled. We both expect to have reached Ghana at that point. However, depending on my progress, I’d possibly still visit Ghana before Burkina Faso. If that’s the case, Dan would go east and then south towards South Africa, while I would continue my own trip and head north to Burkina Faso at the end of December.

So my plan right now basically comes down to hoping that Dan slows the fuck down, get stuck somewhere or simply begins to travel slower than he’s previously done. At least so slow, that I don’t have to rush anything to catch up with him. Because if we both are ready to leave Ghana at about the same time, I’m hopping on a jeep to South Africa…

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Posted by askgudmundsen 13:48 Archived in Guinea Tagged travel public_transport africa travelling guinea west_africa overlanding decisions central_africa

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