I only belatedly learned that the beauty of encountering a Natural Preserve Area, like the one I visited, arises in part because we do not run the show.
The environment is unlike a zoo and we are tiptoeing on wilderness, honoring a territory as true guests with all the excitement in this world, driving for hours, bouncing on a Range Rover, lucky enough to suddenly face an elephant enjoying a tree shade with a little one. Blink, and then watch those stripes black and white vanishing in the horizon: the Zebras! It is also part of the experience to wish to return because who knows what you might across? You might feel frustrated, still searching for that magic and magically elusive giraffe, but you could also get a bonus: a lonely Hippo walking by, so unusual, but quite a delightfully surprising experience!
We all learn (it benefits the Ecosystem and ourselves emotionally)
As a spoiled traveler but not so educated safari explorer, I had to learn that the animals were not going to be all in line, organized together for me to take a perfect portrait of them. I have learned that wildlife—wildly unpredictable but always breathtaking--still requires more people understanding that supporting Nature and the ecosystem is about supporting more and more freedom.
Waiting, observing, appreciating every single unexpected unique appearance, even dealing with a frustration of missing something, such as my giraffe friends, gave me a pure opportunity to feel gratitude, and this was an amazing feeling that fulfilled my soul. The imperfections became the luxury of my experience.
During the moments of quietness, observing the animals, carefully breathing, to avoid disturbing even the smallest creature around, so many sensations bounced around my body and mind, taking me back to my childhood. This emotional upsurge made me feel so grounded, and somehow, simply excited, curious, and present. I will forever strive to transmit such sentiments to more people, especially children.
It is more than enough for me to justify a vacation like that, especially at this moment in our lives. We are oversaturated with everything from joy to worries, so the possibility of having more free time with family and friends is always welcome and pursued. Getting to know a completely different culture and, on top of that, being part of something so special by supporting the sustainability of the environment in general and also the local community is an outstanding experience.
Let us encourage such experiences by realizing them as much as we can!