Safari Girls

Wanderlust: My notes from Africa

Kelley Wolf Wanderlust & Wonder 10 Comments

Safari Girls

Life is but a dream… That is what many of the women said after we returned from South Africa. “It felt like a dream. Did that just happen? I will never be the same.”

I first went to Africa in my early twenties, we went to South Africa, Botswana and Zambia and I too left with the sensation, I will never be the same… and I wasn’t. My experience throughout the continent of Africa (Senegal, Malawi, Mnemba, Sudan, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zanzibar) has altered my perceptions, my heart and my mission in life. I have traveled to many corners of this beautiful planet and for some reason I am always drawn to the magic of African Soil. I believe it is because it is the origin of humanity.

Africa is like going home.

And yet… writing this is hard. It is hard because words fall short of what happens when you sit five feet from a roaring lion or watch a herd of elephants break through the thicket across your head or feel the love and integrity of the Zulu community which held us with grace and hospitality that is unmatched with my eyes. Writing this is hard because I feel a deep sense of urgency for our planet and its protection. Writing this is hard because I just want to take each one of you with me and show you, I just want you to see it with YOUR eyes. But until that happens, I will be the steward of the magic as well as the complexity that I experienced.

Safari Zebra

Part of my Africa passion was ignited a few years ago when I cam across the book “The Journey is The Destination” by Dan Eldon. I will say this book found me more than I found it. Dan was a young man and an artist who sadly lost his life in a conflict in the Congo. The book is a collection of his thoughts and images and his mantra, “Safari as a way of life”. It took me a while to understand what that meant but I got it on THIS trip. When you are on safari, you are almost forced into a FLOW state. You HAVE to become the observer, you most certainly will feel LOVE and you have to make a choice to go to this place so far away. Safari IS the definition of FLOW.

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard somedays to slow down or just sit in observance but when you are on safari, you want nothing more than to sit, completely still, in total silence and watch an elephant eat a tree branch for hours. WHY IS THAT??? Things drift away. Your to-do list seems silly, your neck pain is non-existent, your goals or lack thereof are a distant thought. YOU become totally present. Each of the women asked our guides, “Do you ever get bored?”. They ALL said the same thing with the same knowing smirk, NOPE.

And THIS is what I want in my life, ‘Safari as a way of Life’. Sitting in observance, gratitude and awe without being gnawed by small and unimportant minutia. That is why Dan Eldon was a prophet of his time.

Do you need an elephant walking by or a lion to roar to remember the simple magic that lives in every moment we take breath? Absolutely not! The more I learn to relax into this knowing, the more FLOW and magic I feel every day.

I felt lucky on this trip that I have been on safari before and I was able to sit back and enjoy the joy the women were experiencing. I could hold space for the fear someone had of a lioness walking a foot from the jeep or the complexity of vulnerability with strangers. I was able to BE in my own skin so that they could be in theirs… what a gift.

Safari Monkey

The animals are cool but these women stole my heart. The first night we arrived I knew this group was special… each women went around the table and laid their hearts bare. They spoke truth and wisdom and fear and love into this room deep in the bush. I was in awe. I was humbled. I was AWAKE. We too are like the animals, we have our herd, we feel fear and loss and we fight when we have to fight. These women have traveled through unspeakable sorrow and ignitable joy! Their stories gave me life, their stories and their bravery was the salve to my heart. When I am reminded of our sameness. When I am reminded of our connection. When I am reminded of our humanity, I remember why I do what I do. If ALL of us chose to FLOW. If all of us knew we held the key to peace, we may just alter the course of the universe. When we KNOW this to be the TRUTH, we can’t live in ways that hurt or judge or condemn or damage this world.

What I can promise you is that YOU don’t have to travel for three days to the other side of the globe to KNOW this truth, you just have to decide, today, that this day and everyday you will Find Love Over Worry and you will honor what you came here to do… LOVE.

And one last note, just for fun… Because I want to bring you along for the journey, we decided to make available a handful of the items we used while on Safari. We will also be giving a percentage of the sales to a group called the Africa Fund.

Starting today, you can find the items here. Each item was created to support us on our journey to FLOW. We called them “The Bravery Bundle” because they each supported the bravery of these women to trust, leap and Find Love Over Worry. They are things we cultivated for the trip, but I stashed away a handful of extra pieces. We will continue to provide cultivated and meaningful gifts for our FLOW community!

Part 2 of my African Adventure is coming soon, but for now I’d love to hear from you. Ask me questions about the trip that I haven’t answered here, or tell me how “Safari as a way of Life” takes shape in your life.

FLOW on Warriors! I love you.

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Chandler
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Chandler
11 months ago

Yes, yes, and more yes. Love this Kelley Wolf. I, too, am always reminded of the simplicity of life. Yes, we make it complicated. But if we allow ourselves to strip it down (like the elephants stripping the trees!), it’s so exhilarating to be reminded of what we actually NEED in life. Love, belonging, shelter, and healthy food. And we are beyond lucky to have each of those things!!

Dima
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Dima
11 months ago

I love your blog & your stories. I look forward to seeing what you are up to on a daily basis. I am inspired by your love and kindness.I thank you for sharing with us your thoughts and emotions and for taking us with you on the FLOW journey. I would love to visit Africa someday. I have it on my bucket list. But at the moment I was wondering how can I live in the here and now if my life is so busy and full of obligations and responsibilities..I can’t find the time to sit still and be… Read more »

Dima
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Dima
11 months ago
Reply to  Kelley Wolf

By the way the tortoise is my favorite animal! What a great sign. I loved your metaphor. I will start with a few minutes a day like you suggested and will get back to you later! Thanks and have a great day.

Ceej
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Ceej
11 months ago

I first wanted to “go on safari” when I saw “Born Free,” as a kid, then again when I saw Gorillas in The Mist. It’s always been a dream. As Ive aged that dream has gotten further and further away. Thank you for making me feel like I’ve experienced just a little bit of that dream.

Ceej
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Ceej
11 months ago
Reply to  Kelley Wolf

Beautifully said!! Thank you!! I’ll do that very thing! ?

Margaret
Guest
11 months ago

Oh how I love you and felt your love for this journey and the women who joined you! I felt the same after my trip (and other retreats) about being in the moment when not in the presence of a lion or elephant but with the amazing things that get overlooked in everyday life. I see that in you all of the time and love that you remind me of this. ❤️

Pam williams
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Pam williams
11 months ago

Reading this made me cry. First of all Kelley aside from many other gifts you are a writer and a poet. Thank you for sharing and through your reflections and words taking me/us inside this profound experience. I’ve had those moments in life where you just stop and be and know the true meaning of being on this planet. Thank you for reminding me. I will try once again to start my day in that knowledge and simplicity. I love you sister. ??❤️