John offered a 10- or 14-day package. I’d be crazy not to take advantage of the 2-week package, right? It would take two days of flying and one day of travel by vehicle to get to our cozy destination in the Kalahari Desert, so that’s one day shy of three weeks I’d be away from home. With a working wife and two dogs at home to juggle around her already busy schedule, it was a big ask.

Why the nerves? The trip would involve roughly 20 hours of sitting in a cramped airline seat. I don’t mind flying, not at all. It’s the tight confines of squeezing my 6”1” 300- pound frame into a small space for a long time… muscles cramping, trapped between arm rests.

Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, I knew this was the opportunity of a lifetime, and after checking with my wife, I hurriedly agreed, before John had a chance to change his mind — or me, changing mine.