We’re beginning a new month at BootsnAll and with it comes a new theme. This June we’re focusing on Southern Africa as a destination and travel as education for a theme. In that vein, we’ve got some great pieces chock full of great stuff to learn in exotic destinations.
Here’s what you may have missed:
Have you hit midlife and had the wind taken out of your sails? Are you waking up in the morning and wondering if this is it? If this is all there is? Work, family life, community service, tv of an evening, sports games, wash-rinse-repeat? You’re not alone. There are lots of ways to reinvent at mid life, but travel is a popular one. Read along and be inspired:
“You’ll get to the point where the pain of not living your dream is greater than the comfort of your status quo. You’ll come to understand that every day you waste is gone forever. The fear of end of life regret will begin to wake you in the night. You’ll look at your kids and realize that they’re almost gone and that you can’t get them back. You’ll find your why and it will light a fire in your soul that will either kill you, or transform you like a phoenix from the ashes. You’ll be forced to the brink of a decision that will determine the course of the rest of your life, and you’ll have to make that choice.”
An African safari is a bucket list item for most people and one of those trips we tend to do only once. What’s the lasting memory of the adventure? Your photos. Dani Blanchette dives deep in this awesome post discussing how to get the best pictures on safari. From gear to technique, she’s got you covered:
“You’re going to want to capture the beautiful landscapes as well as large animals that can sometimes be quite far away, so having a great zoom and wide angle lens, or camera that can do both, are ideal. If you’re really serious and want to make absolute sure that your photos will come back safe and sound, bring a second camera. It’s horrible when your camera dies mid-trip (I’ve had it happen) and you can’t do anything about it. Sometimes mixing point-and-shoots and DSLRs are good; sometimes you want 2 high end cameras.
It all depends on your budget, your needs, and your photography level.”
We’re all learning as we go, right? Life is a great teacher. So is travel. But what are the big lessons? Jenn Miller tackles a few of them, not the least of which is:
This is your life:
“This is your life. This. Right now. This breath. When the last breath is gone, you can’t get it back. The next breath, as out of reach as the moon. The only moment you have is the one you’re in. Take the breath. Live the breath. It’s all part of the path: the joy, the pain, the preparation, the suffering, the happiness, the things that suck, the things that bless your socks off.
This. Is. Your. Life.
Live it. Don’t waste it. Be in your life, don’t wish it away. Change the things you don’t like. Set your own sails toward the destiny you design for yourself. Chase hard after your dreams. Very little is truly out of reach. But whatever you do, wherever you are, don’t miss the lesson in it. Don’t miss the moment by pining for something else. There is nothing else. This is it. Make it epic.”
Everyone who has traveled will tell you that the world is an excellent teacher and we learn things traveling that we just cannot within the four walls of a classroom. And yet, most people would not consider travel a vital part of a formal education. Jenn Miller pushes back against that notion and makes a strong case for every child to spend some time in the world as well as a classroom.
“It’s in our interactions with a broad swath of humanity that we come to find our place in the world. Not in being trapped within one social context. Travel will socialize you in a way that changes you forever. Skin colors begin to blend into one. Accents, while giving you hints about a person’s origin, will become a sort of music to your ear, instead of something that makes someone “weird.”
You’ll begin to learn the real meaning of tolerance as you find yourself and your own narrow set of beliefs on the side of the minority, and you discover what it means to be at the mercy of the majority. Tolerance extended is a beautiful thing. You’ll learn about compassion from the old, the weak, the sick, and the children of the world in a way that humbles you… or at least it does me… when I consider how much those with so little are willing to give.”