Sunday, July 5, 2015

Man Trip 2015: An Awakening in Africa!!!

First, let me explain a few things.  I have not blogged in several years because this is an outdoor adventure blog and I moved to Eastern Europe over 3 years ago and haven't been able to hunt or fish since leaving Texas.  But, I have continued a tradition that I started in 2011 that I call my annual "Man Trip".  What is a Man Trip you ask?  Well, I am married (to a beautiful and wonderful women) and I have two fantastic daughters, but sadly none of them really enjoy my outdoor activities (unless it includes a spa treatment or visiting a mall) so, I invented the Man Trip as an annual solo adventure.  My first trip was to Alaska in 2011 where I went salmon fishing and camped in a van down by the river (you can see my blog posts on the subject from August of 2011).  Then we moved to Budapest, Hungary in 2012 and there wasn't time for a Man Trip that year, but during 2013 and 2014, I had time in the summers, while my family flew back to the U.S., so I went to the Scottish Highlands and Istanbul.  They were great trips, but weren't  really outdoor adventure blog worthy.

This year will likely be my last summer in Europe, so I wanted to come up with something unique, but nothing really struck me as the right destination.  Then one day I was sitting at my home office, cruising the internet on my iMac and looking through my long list of old book marked "favorites" and I came across several Africa safari sites that I had looked at in 2013.  That year I had researched the subject of photographic safaris heavily and landed on a specific safari company and destination, but the available dates for a safari hadn't matched up with my limited availability.  I also decided that the shots and pills required weren't worth the hassle and that the risk of traveling to a dangerous place wasn't a good idea.   Well two years later when I looked at the same site and there just happened to be one opening with the same safari company for a 5 night walking safari on the perfect set of dates!  I immediately sent an inquiry email to confirm the availability and gather information.  I was so excited about the possibility of going to Africa that I was checking my email every 5 minutes to see if I would receive a response.

That same afternoon I received a response confirming the availability and asking if I would like to reserve the spot.  After a quick consultation with my wife and a thorough check of my work schedule, I confirmed!  Gone were the worries I had previously about the health precautions as they were replaced with an awakened excitement for the outdoors!  In addition to being an outdoor nut, I am also a movie nut and I think there is a movie quote for nearly every situation.  The quote that immediately came to mind comes from Paul Atreides in the movie Dune where he goes through a ritual that should have killed him, but instead he is revived, stands up and screams to the heavens, "The Sleeper Has Awakened!"as he has a renewed sense of purpose.  Similarly, I feel like something dormant in me has awakened and once again have an excitement for the outdoors, photography and writing!

As I write this, I have now returned from this awesome adventure and I will blog several posts about the whole experience.  I hope that this will help others that are thinking about going on a walking safari and that you find the stories and pictures entertaining.  More to come!!!!