On a cold, gray winter day – how do I find my happy place?

Last year my family traveled to South Africa and Zimbabwe in honor of my parent’s 70th birthdays.  The trip was life-changing – magical in fact. 

How do I put this experience into words that will mean something to someone else? 

Every time I think about, or talk about this trip, the unbelievable sites, the fresh smells, the tastes, the laughter, and the scary moments, the experiences wash over me like it was yesterday. 

I can still feel the hot rain splashing onto my skin as every inch of me, except my face, is covered in rain gear.  It was a sweet, delicious rain in fact, as we cruised along in our open-air jeep.  My family surrounded me and I was utterly content.  The red and orange colors in the landscape were spectacular, the smells were the freshest I had ever smelled.  I felt incredibly alive.  All I needed in the universe was right there beside me.  I envisioned never going home.  I envisioned moving to the bush and living the life of an adventurer.  The memory still makes me smile. 

Deep conversations with our rangers, who became like family to us during our time with them.  And I’ll never forget the magnificent animals.  Seeing the circle of life in front of our very own eyes.  The dung beetles pushing huge balls of dung along the grass, the lions ruling their territories, and the elephants frolicking in the sand with their babies.  I could go on and on.  All I have to do is close my eyes and I can go back to Africa anytime I want.  I am forever grateful.

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