It was over. There would be no recommendations from Kylie. I was not good enough. Not a surprise by any stretch with our formal and distant relationship that never had a chance from the start. It was closure none-the-less though. I was thanked and advised that my services would no longer be necessary. I was not cut out to be an overland truck courier. This news was shared with me in Nairobi, Kenya - the end of the line.
Instead of being depressed by the change in plans, I was oddly pleased. It had been terribly obvious that Kylie and Angus had never thought much of me. While I had tried to make up for my first gaff five weeks earlier, of arriving late on departure day from Harare, I must admit my efforts were never top-notch. I had been a backpacker too long and used to living on my own time-line, with my own agenda. Male attentions at our various stops had led me to too much drink. It had been doomed from the start, and I suspect that I had hastened my demise despite myself. Processing the change in a little take-away over chapati and tea, I managed to find the bright spot in my failure. I was in a new country to explore!
The more I thought about it, the more excited I became. It did me no good to dwell on my dismissal, so instead I looked to the future. I had paid $40US to get a traveller’s visa into Kenya and planned to put that visa to good use. A little town on the coast by the name of Lamu tickled my fancy, as did a little more exploring of Nairobi. I would need to find alternate accommodations once my former passengers returned from the Serengeti as well. While I still benefitted from a roof over my head compliments of Phoenix, that luxury would be withdrawn post-haste. I would get a chance to say a proper goodbye to the friendly faces that I had got to know over the span of the trip though. While my tour guide trainers had never blossomed into dear friends, I did have the pleasure of having a lot of fun with Di, Tanya, Cathi, Dave, Adrian, Mette and Camille. I was happy to exchange addresses with these passengers that I had felt more comfortable with than any of the overland crew that I worked with or met from Zimbabwe to Kenya. The life of an overland truck courier was just not for me.
With a light and free heart, I wished overlanding adieu and thrilled at the adventures that now sprung forth, as I resumed my life as a backpacker once again. With my birthday mere days away and the knowledge that I would face it alone, I decided that I would celebrate my 23rd birthday in style. Friendly locals planted the seeds of strength in me, and I bought myself a bottle of red wine, a new camera and a ticket on a safari to the Masai Mara. Happy birthday to me!