When I moved to Laguna Woods, five months ago, I had the idea of starting my own Travel Club. Initially I wanted to start “Women Travel with a Purpose,” , but then I changed to “Travel with a Purpose,” despite the fact that women often have the urge to travel, more than men.
Maybe the “Free” South African wine and the delicious appetizers, including the home-made hummus, enticed the large attendance of 72 people at the inaugural meeting of “Travel with a Purpose.” Our enthusiastic guest, speaker, Pat Lenahan, inspired many who are passionate about travel with her presentation, “How Travel to Africa Changed My Life.”
The reason I started this club is to inspire people to travel, and remove any fear of travel, especially to Africa.
Is it Dangerous to go on a Safari?
As Jim Holden states in his blog post:“Is it Dangerous?”
“I interpret the question, “Is it dangerous?”, mostly as a fear of the unknown. No different to finding oneself in an unfamiliar part of town and being unsure if it’s safe to be there.” Jim Holden
This is exactly how Pat Lenahan answered the fear of going to Africa. She also stated that she has strayed into the wrong parts of Chicago, and other cities in the U.S., which made her feel unsafe, however, she never felt fear on any of her seven trips to various countries in Africa.
In fact, I’m more afraid of driving in parts of Los Angeles than I am sitting in a jeep with a professional guide in the middle of the Big 5 in Kenya, or even standing 12 feet from the gorillas in Rwanda. I’ve experienced several countries in the last year: Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and South Africa.
When you travel in small groups to Africa with me, or even as a single or a couple, you are escorted by a professional tour leader and at no time are you left to fend for yourself. Not even at the airport in Nairobi or Cape Town; you will always be met by someone from Holden Safaris, escorted to a private vehicle, and taken to your hotel or lodge.
When I talk about “Travel with a Purpose,” I mean learning something about the culture, the wildlife, the people, the foods, the flora, and also stimulating the senses with new experiences. As an author, who has attended many writers retreats, I’m designing a different writers’ retreat in Zambia and Zimbabwe where we will be instructed by a professional writing coach in a small group setting of no more than ten writers.
Writers’ Retreat in Zambia: A Transformative Experience
How can you not feel a transformative experience in Africa? Experiencing the beauty of Victoria Falls, the largest sheet of falling water on earth, watching the wildlife up close with your professional guide, having your morning coffee in the bush and your sunset happy hour in the bush during our twice daily game drives, watching the elephants interacting in front of the lodge’s water hole is unique. You will then have time to reflect and articulate your feelings in your journal– is this not rejuvenating? Your writing coach will guide you with a prompt, and you will have time to share your stories.
- Designing a Writers’ Retreat at these Lodges
I am thinking of using these beautiful lodges in Zambia during this 8-day writers’ retreat. Pre and post extensions will be offered to those who wish to see more of Africa; after all, each country has its own unique landscape and wildlife.
Our first lodge perfect for writers to find nooks and crannies to write.
Our second lodge on the Zambezi River, is where we shall explore the Victoria Falls. Last year, during a sunset cruise on the Zambezi river, I saw hippos in the water and 80 or more elephants ambling down the slopes of the river bank to drink. This was my favorite birthday present.
Please let me know if you’re interested by leaving a comment below or send me an e-mail at Sonia@soniamarsh.com if you’d like to learn more about a writers’ retreat for May/June 2019, or any other trips I’m planning.