As a proud South African, I often find myself searching for the negative perspective of being born and raised in southern Africa as a form of therapy to bring my patriotism to symmetry. When I think about it long and hard enough there are a couple of factors that come to mind, as can be expected, some days there are more than others. These factors may vary in magnitude, but my conclusion to the deliberation has, over the past couple of years, remained single and constant.
The fact of the matter is that I struggle to find destinations outside the geographical sub-region that really excites me. Yes, of course my mind moseys to other destinations such as the wilderness of Alaska in summer or the Seychelles, especially if I could have a Bonefish fighting at the opposite end of my fly-fishing rod, but these thoughts seem to become extinct once I start to consider the exploration and adventure possibilities right on my doorstep in southern Africa.
I clearly remember the first time we travelled to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. It was my inaugural camping experience in a region where wild and dangerous beasts roam. As it is for many that travel to and within Africa, the large mammals proved to be my initial attractions. Somehow, that deeply primitive fascination never dissappears and, over time, proves to be rather generous as it produces more room for alternative natural interests to developed. It could be the night sky, the 950 odd bird species or even the geology of southern Africa that captures my fascination next. One thing is certain, my relationship with adventure and nature has only grown stronger since that eventful expedition.
Regrettably we live in an era where the majority of society claims that the World has become a small place. I beg to differ. It is no conspiracy that the World has remained much the same size over the past 4.6 billion years. The single evident transformation however has been that of the human spirit. The majority of society have lost touch with nature and the World is, as a result, rapidly shrinking in their psyche.
The more you pay attention to your adventure and natural interests, the larger your World will become. According to me, southern Africa is forever becoming bigger. Its becoming bigger with a spirit of adventure while the rest of the World is apparently shrinking.