People kept telling me, “Sonia, you need to create your own career, your background doesn’t fit the jobs listed on career sites.” I knew that, but I continued taking classes in Excel, grant writing, and attending workshops, so that I could fit the traditional job slots. As the days turned into weeks, and then into three months, I put a ton of pressure on myself to “fit the mold.” As my friend Sylvia said, “Sonia, I cannot see you sitting at a desk filling out Excel sheets, that’s just not you.” She was right, yet I didn’t want to feel like a failure, nor did I want to use my age as an excuse for not getting hired.
So when my British friend connected me with Jim Holden, a man who was born in Zambia, and who has traveled, worked and lived all over the world, it took me a while to realize that maybe I no longer needed to look at Indeed.com job offers, and that I should focus on my contacts who may find value in my background and experience.
I stopped searching for jobs online, and started listening to those who told me to create my own career. As a result, I’m now embarking on the career of a lifetime as an independent affiliate of Holden Safaris. This is a dream come true as it combines everything I love: travel, adventure, networking, making presentations, motivating and inspiring people to discover the wonders of an African Safari, social media, writing, helping with fundraising for wildlife conservation and the education of children in Africa. I am fortunate that everything I’ve done has come together in this 3rd chapter of my life, and is bringing me back to Africa, where I was ‘almost’ born, and lived for the first six years of my life.
So why would you want to go on a Safari, and what exactly is it?
“A Safari is like no other vacation! A safari is on everyone’s bucket list. At some point in your life you have to visit the place from which all mankind originates. It is not uncommon for visitors to Africa to be overcome with emotion, observing the wildlife of Africa, living as it did at the time of our ancestors. There is a feeling of coming home.”
Holden Safaris is a boutique and exclusive safari operator offering East African Safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda, and Southern African Safaris in Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. The furthest north of Southern Africa is Zambia, bordering Tanzania. The furthest South is South Africa at the tip of the Africa continent where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Don’t forget the Indian Ocean Islands of Seychelles and Madagascar.
On May 12th, I’m attending a travel conference called Indaba, in Durban, South Africa. After that I’m going on a one-week trip to discover lodges, Safaris, and meeting the wonderful people who give back to their communities helping with animal conservation. What I love about working with Holden Safaris is that they make it possible to fund animal conservation, children’s schools and local communities when clients book one of their custom boutique Safaris. Don’t forget I served in Lesotho as a Peace Corps Volunteer, where many of you donated supplies to my rural school, and now I feel like I can continue this in many other locations, thanks to all the lodge owners we use, who make a difference.
To follow my new adventures, please sign up here (by adding your e-mail on the right side of the front landing page) to receive automatic e-mail updates about my new travel adventures in Eastern and Southern Africa. I have added Step off the Beaten Path with Holden Safaris, as my next Gutsy Living mission in life. I’ll describe each lodge with my personal touch, sharing lots of exciting photos and videos from all the countries I visit, as well as the wildlife I encounter, and of course, fascinating stories about the people and children I meet.
Please ask as many questions as you like regarding my blog posts or anything else you would like to find out about African Safaris.