I’m not a camping girl, you will not find me in a tent unless I’m trying to impress someone (for about a day) and there is a hot shower and a bathroom nearby when I start to lose it. It’s not my natural state, I love me some serious personal hygiene- baths and candles are some of my greatest passions. But I loved Africa so much, I could’ve lived in a damn hole in the bush and been happy as a Kardashian at the plastic surgeon. No, I didn’t rough it by any means and I always had a hot shower and toilet, BUT the point is I loved it so much I would’ve sacrificed those lovely amenities. Africa is that magical.
Picture me decked out in my safari gear (trying desperately to be Safari chic) singing “The Circle of Life” from the Lion King with the birds from Cinderella circling around me- that’s how I felt in Africa. If I fell in love with a man tomorrow who wanted to move to the African bush, I wouldn’t think twice. Not because I’m outdoorsy or GI Jane, because we know I’m not, but because I loved who I was, who I could be, and truly embraced the stripped down, raw version of myself I met in Africa.
Safari was an experience I will never forget, not just because of the beautiful animals and surroundings I saw, but also because of everything I learned and will always carry with me as I go through life.
- Life without a phone is pretty great. Trust me, you’ll survive without it. Interacting with people, the animals, and nature face to face instead of through a lens or screen was pretty amazing. Not reaching for my phone was liberating. I felt happier, less anxious, more connected, less self-conscious, less self-involved, less shy, free, and more myself.
- Be patient and go with the flow. On Safari, you might be driving for hours and not see anything that you’re hoping to see, but you’ll experience so much- the fresh air tickling your face, the sun warming your skin, the unfamiliar smells, the beautiful trees, and the colorful birds. There is joy in the waiting and in the ability to just be, not scheduled to the minute, meeting a deadline, or working towards a goal.
- Stop complaining. We have been conditioned to want more and more every day. We can get anything delivered to our door without leaving the couch. Travel opens you up to see how other people live and what’s important to them and it allows you to reflect on your life. There are people with so much less, people who live very differently, people who are happy just the way their lives are, and people who wake up every day with a smile on their face not chained to their phones or trying out the latest filter.
- Life is Magic. It can also be simple if we let it. Stop focusing on figuring out how to be grateful and what to write on your gratitude list because you think it will make you whole or better. Experience the magic. Look around. Whether it’s a baby elephant drinking water OR the tree outside your window that gives you clean air, shade, and a place to play. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”