Candles are lit. Shhh, we are almost ready. Time for an expected surprise. We flip the switch and start singing. She opens her eyes and gasps at the number of people she sees. We have all travelled near and far to be here with her and to celebrate a legend in all her glory. She feels so loved and protected with all those important loving and looking out for her.
That would be the start of my post if Covid-19 wasn’t a global pandemic.
Instead, we are trying to decide what to make for a less glamourous supper while talking over the rawr of the city life. Burning all the incense and essences to avoid the iconic smells of dustbin day. I didn’t struggle to explain that image as it is a less desirable reality. I’m not complaining about my lifestyle, but I am thinking about what was here before me.
75 years ago, we had a beach 50 meters from my current lounge. Instead of the intoxicating smells of the ocean and the sound of the waves breaking rather we settle with smells of paraffine boilers and sounds of impatient Capetonians.
We are faced with a global pandemic and life as we know it will never be the same. I can ponder all the things that may happen or I can reflect on my mistakes that have brought me to the point of rebooting my thoughts. Maybe our planet needs some time to buffer to produce top quality.
Wild Earth Safaris has given me something different to obsess over.
The company creates entertaining Live Safari drives during the African sunrise and sunset. To all my readers from different time zones, I’m sure one of them is convenient to tune in for. The best part is the commentary. The guides are educated, and comical. Bringing some light to the dire situation we are all facing. They answer your questions and add value to the whole experience. They roam around the Kruger National Park in South Africa and support the conservation of many animals. The latest that I have been glued to is the newly born Hyena pups!
I have been reminded of the importance of responsible travel. Seeing those full bellies and wobbly legs of our new pups enhance the motherhood in me to protect. They are vulnerable and rely on their guardian guidance while they learn to scavenge on their own.
These innocent little pups are apart of something bigger, being apart of many different mythological stories.
From the many evolutions of different Hyena’s to fight as the last 4 living species on the planet of their kind. I commend Wild Earth Safaris for exposing us to this mindset. I challenge you to look through a live video of lion cubs playing or Hyena pups wandering around, enjoying their innocence with a safe distance.
On a more realistic view, hyenas are frightening, they are hunters and scavengers. In some cultures, they are thought of as negative ways and instead of preserving them, they are exploited for cultural medicines. I wish I could protect them. Them being the innocent beings out there.
One of me and so many of them, I don’t feel like I could ever have a big enough impact. I don’t want to break the circle of life but I don’t want to destroy it either. Like any instinctual animal, they protect besides seeing that in other wild animals that’s what we will need to focus on after this pandemic.
I want to create an obligatory instinct of protection through responsible travel.
The power to make one person feel special loved and looked after on one day, imagine the power we would have if we all felt that way about our planet. We all are protective of our own culture and people but struggle to open ourselves to others.
Today I would be sipping a steaming cup of perfectly brewed coffee overlooking the countryside of England. I would be surrounded by my new family that will feed the need to protect rather than the conservation of the land I’m standing on. Enjoying the sound of the birds and the humid crisp air along with the green landscapes, what is stopping my urge to protect that more? I would be complacent in a quiet, calm English setting. A moment of nature telling me its all right, calming my anxieties and giving me enough to grow. A moment that I would never think needed protection.
Life will never be the same but we also don’t know if this is true. All I feel is that we need to protect. Protect our planet so it can look after us. Are you proud of who you are when you travel? Are you open to another experience? Are you ready to preserve what we have left? Responsible travel is prolonging what is.
Written by Amy Peacock