Monthly Archives: May 2011

Pre-Visit Rev Up

I have 3 visitors coming to from abroad in the next week, and I’m getting so excited about having old friends here to laugh with,  share my cabana and show around Vilankulo.

One of the best things about having guests is the pre-guest rev up, which basically means I get so excited about doing fun things with my friends, that I start to sample my list activities before they even get there. You know, just to make sure they are as entertaining and worthwhile as I envision.

For example, I have the ocean at my disposal all the time but weeks go by and I forget to hop in. Now I’m so eager to get my friends snorkeling with me that I’ve even been braving the colder winter waters and am rediscoving the sea in my front yard.  I’ll be ready to introduce them to the moray eel that lives under the rock at the reef and the new shark/ray creature I’ve yet to identify.

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Jofane Camping Trip

One of my newly announced goals is to be more adventurous. Yep, I’m trying to embrace life and jump right in – meaning I’m making a real effort to actually leave my cabana for more than work and the occasional market run.

Outing #1:  Jofane Camping Trip

I made for the hills and joined my friends Uli,  Berkhart, and Roz for a long weekend.  Uli has a little plot of land that overlooks the Save River (pronouced sah-veh) where he is planning on building a lodge. Until that day, we get to camp outside in the wilderness. Roz and I shared a tent and the guys were very brave and slept outside with just a mat and a mosquito net.

Basically we spent the whole weekend sitting around and enjoying the expansive view.  We hiked down to the river to find the local pod of hippos and stomped around snake country for several hours, braving giant spiders, their equally creepy webs, and befriending one local little boy who wanted to be our guide.

Turns out that our “guide” didn’t really know where to go either.  Everything was really overgrown and after a few hours we only found one vantage point that looked suspiciously like a crocodile entrance,  so we gave up and turned around. (Adventure does not have to include wrestling crocs.)

Everything, from the night-glow purple lilies in the swamp to the golden orb spiders hanging above the trail,  is just a bit bigger and more impressive in the bush – totally worth leaving the cabana to see.

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Reevaluting Comfort Zones

I was recently asked by my friend Sarah Branigan to answer some questions about new beginnings for her blog. The questions weren’t particularly hard – I was not expected to discuss my greater opinions on the universe or life but her questions sparked a lot of internal reflection on my year’s goals as well as several long conversations with friends.

One key question really threw me for the loop:what are some of the things you are hoping to begin this year?”  I found myself overwhelmed and somewhat disappointed in myself when I realized that many of my goals for 2011 were more about re-starting or re-focusing instead of starting from scratch and conquering new ambitions. Finally I responded to Sarah’s questions several weeks later than planned, humbled but with a greater understanding of what I plan to start this year. You can check out my answers and her blog here.

While my new goal of being more adventurous was still fresh on my mind, I found myself being critical of certain peoples’ seemingly total disinterest in leaving their comfort zones. I, all high and mighty, passed judgment on that their distant, safe, routine-filled lives… until I came to a shocking realization, that I myself might be living in a foreign land but I am just as inclined to fall into routine, socialize with the same group of people, and find comfort in the privacy of my cabana. In fact, I tend to be a reclusive home buddy, preferring to stay home to read and paint instead of partying and making lots of new friends. Just because I am living abroad does not necessarily mean that I am any more active in challenging the boundaries of my comfort zone.

With appreciation for the perspective, inspiration and self-evaluation that her inquiries sparked I offer full apologies to anyone (cough, cough … you know who you are) that I may have said some harsh things to. 

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