So on Friday evening I fly to Nairobi on the first leg of my African adventure. I was OK about flying to Nairobi until the events of last week; and even though I’m only changing planes in Kenya, I can’t help feeling a little nervous now, particularly when Man of the House suddenly asked me if I’d made a will.
When a friend and I were recruiting for a new magazine launch a few years back, a recruitment expert told us we should ask potential candidates: ‘what’s your attitude to risk’? It was a fantastic way of identifying the right candidates for the project, and it also reminded me that I’m a HUGE risk-taker, in all aspects of my life. I have a strong ‘fight or flight’ mentality, and I’m never afraid to meet challenges head on – or walk away when I know it’s the right thing to do. And that’s particularly true of travel: my attitude to travel has always been: feel the fear, do it anyway, because life is so short, you have to live every minute to the full, right? It’s the reason I went backpacking with friends across the US when I left uni, staying in some alarmingly dodgy places and going wayyyy off the beaten track; it’s the reason I learned to scuba dive and snorkel, tried surfing and kayaking and parascending and skydiving at sea, snowmobiling and ATV-riding and all that adrenaline-junkie stuff; it’s the reason I pushed myself to climb to the top of Angkor Wat even though I suffer from terrible acrophobia.
As a mum I don’t take risks with No 1 Son’s life, apart from taking him in a helicopter, because that’s up to him to do when he’s ready, but I will push the limits in my own. I’m no Bear Grylls, of course, but I think if travel takes you outside of your natural comfort zone, and introduces you to something (or someone) new and unexpected and utterly wonderful, then it’s definitely worth experiencing.
Although I’ve decided not to do a balloon ride over the Serengeti, I think that my African adventure probably has plenty of potential excitement, but hopefully not too much drama in store. And that’s before I’ve started taking the malaria tablets 😉