I hinted on my Facebook page that I had some exciting travel news to announce, as soon as everything was squared away. Although visas are still processing, at this point I'm confident this trip will not fall through (besides, I'm sick of holding back exciting news). I'm excited to announce that this March I'm going to Togo!
Now I see you asking yourself, where the eff is Togo?
It's okay, you know. When I first heard of Togo a few months ago, I thought it was an island near Indonesia. I suspect I'm not the only one who has a poor grasp on African geography. That's why I've included the handy map to the right, courtesy of WorldAtlas.
Ah, now I see you have another question: why are you going to Togo?
It's a reasonable question; I just told you I first heard of Togo a few months ago, and now I'm announcing a three week trip. The short answer, is that I am going to visit a good friend of mine who is currently in Togo in the Peace Corps.
The long answer is that I caught the travel bug and I can't turn down an opportunity to go somewhere new. When I don't have a trip planned, I yearn to travel. Traveling broadens your horizons, it changes the way you see everything. When you return from a trip, you're not the same person you were when you left. I want to be the version of me that has come back from a trip to West Africa.
This will be the farthest south I've ever gone, and my first time on the African continent. It will be my first time in a country where I don't share a language with the majority of people. The cultural values of Togo are different from my own. The country is less affluent than anywhere I've been before. I will do my laundry in a river for the first time; cook fufu for the first time; saluteur a rural hospital for the first time. I expect to see values, interactions, and expectations which are fundamentally different from what I am used to. I expect to make a fool of myself at least a dozen times. I expect I'll get a sunburn.
It's an adventure. I never could resist an adventure.
Of course I'll be bringing my camera with me on the trip, and I've already bought additional camera memory and other storage to make sure all the photographs make it back to the United States. I'll have lots of new things for Annushka Münch Photography when I return.
"Alright," you say, "but when are you going?"
I'll be leaving in very early March, and will be effectively out of contact for three weeks. Not all of that time will be in Togo -- I'm traveling via Turkey to Ghana before entering The Republic of Togo, after which I may cross briefly into Benin. While I'm gone my Facebook will continue to update on #ThrowbackThursday and my tumblr will keep posting from the queue. Any purchases you make through my website will be automatically filled. However, I will not have internet access and will not be reading messages, responding to emails, or monitoring sales. Urgent questions should be sent to me before the end of February, or they will have to wait until after I return. As always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org