South Africa 2016: Stepping Outside of My Inside Comfort Zone




If you know me, you know I am not an outdoorsy person.

I'm what the kids like to call "bougie." I refuse to walk outside with bare feet to be “one with nature.” I don’t camp or fish. I roll my eyes at the word "hike." And don't tell me I'm sweating. I glisten.


I loathe insects and most reptiles. (I give a pass to turtles, only because they are a bit too slow to be considered a threat.)  In fact, I usually carry a can of Raid with me on road trips because if something moves inside my hotel room, it will be an automatic “187” for the intruder - as one roach found out last year during an overnight stay in Baltimore.

I just don’t do outside or anything associated with it.


However, when on vacation, I mysteriously tend to become a person I hardly recognize. I hike. Get close enough to scaly, leathery lookin' creatures to snap pictures of them as they attempt to mind their own business. Eat dishes made of meats like guinea pig and warthog. Discover that life goes on without hearing, reading, or watching news. (What?)





During a recent trip to South Africa, I traveled to Mabula Game Lodge, where I stepped outside of my usual “inside” comfort zone and got as outside as one can get - safari game drives in the African bush. 






I was surrounded by insects that would scream in amusement at the sight of any type of bug repellent, and spotted by some of the largest animals you never truly want to see coming or going. And guess what?  This "bougie belle" loved every minute of it.






With the help of two amazing guides, my group and I laid eyes on four out of the “Big Five.” (We never could find a single dadgum leopard.) Watched the sun rise and set. Located the Southern Cross in the clear night sky. And downed some of the best cider I've ever tasted while doing it.





Most importantly, we did all of this for several days without getting one single bug bite.


Perhaps I should try "doing outside" more often...

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