Vascillating between "this is going to be so cool!" and "what the hell am I thinking?" last night, I tried to dig a bit deeper to find out just why I want to give up my comfy life and go do something way different. Here's what I came up with:
1. Because it's an adventure, and you don't get many of those these days. How many people do you know who truly live life as one big adventure, squeezing every moment for all it's worth and finding the excitement in the ordinary? How many people do you know who WISH they'd had one big adventure, but never took the time to do it? I'm not going to live with regret - I want my adventure, and I'll do what it takes to get it.
2. My son needs it. He's grown up "city-fied", lazy, soft and expecting everything to fall into his lap. He needs to see that there's more to life than that. Some folk struggle. Sometimes you need to make a plan to survive, and mostly it takes a lot of hard work. I want him to experience the African bush the way I did growing up. I want him to do something new and different and way outside what everyone would expect of a 13-year old. I want to get him out into a different way of life, where the boredom and routine and frustration and peer pressure of teenage years can dissipate into wide-open spaces. I want him to learn about other cultures and how to communicate across language and location barriers. I want to teach him hands-on respect for his environment, and what it takes to live WITH and not against nature. I want him to come out of this experience a stronger, wiser and more balanced kid - and to bring some amazing life-learning to his future.
3. I need it. City life gets me down. I long for the open road and endless horizons. I want to know that I possess what it takes to get my son and myself safely through the continent of Africa without starving or breaking down or being overwhelmed. I'm still seeking serenity (see my other blog), and know my soul will find it in Africa's dust, heat and bush. I need a slower pace of life, living in tune with my surroundings, taking time out to think and look and be. I need to grow strong and self-sufficient and confident in who I am - for too long I've let others define me.
4. This could be my only chance. If I let it slip away I'll never do it. While I have the strength, the health, the mind-set - I've got to do this. I don't want to get to retirement age and sit on the verandah with bad eyesight, bad knees, and a huge big regret that I never got around to fulfilling my dream.
5. I want to see the world! I've always said if I win the lotto I'm likely to blow it travelling and experiencing and seeing all those out-of-the-way places that are awaiting exploration. And why fly when you can drive? I love driving, even long-distance. It's in the journey, as well as the destination.
There are probably a good few more reasons, but let me send this one out into cyberspace while Blogger still works...