While not everyone will succeed, one of the most important rules to being a (happy) expat is that you need to adapt and evolve, embracing the cultural norms of your new country and expat life. As someone who has been an expat for 19 years, I feel that it is important to understand what you are going to be experiencing so that you can make the best of it. Then, figure out how to super charge that life to make it an absolute dream come true.
Living in a foreign country brings with it a treasure trove of wonderful opportunities, including an ability to travel more. This works out especially fruitful when your new home is a busy city of millions of people and you need a total escape to stay balanced from time to time. So take those opportunities and escape! Next on my bucket list is Africa, where safaris are a massive part of the lifestyle and culture. If you want to disconnect and become one with nature then embrace African culture and try out a safari – and here’s why.
1. It recharges your battery with beauty
One of the best reasons for taking a safari as an expat is that you can immerse yourself in the full-scale beauty and magnificence of Africa. As I know from experience, expat life can be strikingly different to what we might have been used to in the past. This is especially true if you go from living someplace rather relaxed to moving to a mega metropolis. A safari would definitely help to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of expat life in order to appreciate the beauty, elegance, and the awesome primal power of the natural world.
2. Some animals are endangered
Another thing I think many people forget is the fact that many of the animals you will see on safari are endangered. This means that you may not have long to see them in the wild so the time to act is now! For instance, the black rhino and the African lion are both on the list of 10 most endangered species in Africa. So to see the Big 5 (and especially if you want to see them all during your safari), sooner is much better than later.
3. Turn respect for nature into conservationism
Most of us from big cities and urban backdrops aren’t used to being in such rural and natural settings. I think that a safari trip can help to improve our knowledge, attitude, and approach to nature, conservationism, and the natural world. After a safari you may find you have developed a newfound respect for nature and working with NGOs, and this can make your expat life even more positive and pleasant as a result.
4. Form bonds with locals
I know from friends who go on safari in Africa each year that you can meet the most wonderful people when you’re out on an adventure. Of course there are your fellow travellers but you’ll also be there with local drivers and tour guides who are working as part of the safari experience. As an expat, you know how important it is to form bonds and make friends … with both locals and other expats. And locals can offer insights and share impassioned stories about the region better than anyone else on the planet.
5. So many options
You can choose from so many incredible and life-changing safari experiences, depending on what kind of experience you most want. You can go on a walking safari, to get up close and personal with all of the animals. You could go on a self-drive safari for a more private and immersive experience. There are even fabulous add-ons you can include like going on a hot air balloon ride to enjoy the safari from up high. In fact, there are so many options that you could go on a safari once a year and still not cover them all. I know this is 100% true because I have friends who do it in luxury style and keep going back for more.
With so many great reasons to take a safari, it’s hard to understand why I haven’t booked one before now. The film Out of Africa is one of my favourites and I believe that a safari will bring me as close to the heart of African culture and its wildlife as is possible … and give me an understanding of what life was like. You know, before we humans took over and urban jungles were the only truth most of us ever know.