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Nervous about travel in Africa? Here’s why you shouldn’t be

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Thanks to “gilesmeetsworld” for sharing…

When most people think about travel, Africa doesn’t usually come up as an option, and admittedly originally it wasn’t top of my list either… I think this is because not only are people unaware of all you can experience there, but sometimes the continent can seem an intimidating place to travel. I recently wrote a guest post on WanderingOutsideTheBox (linked here), about why Africa should be your next travel destination, and it made me realise that I should be writing more on my experiences in Africa so that I can show others how incredible it is to travel there.

I want to convey what the reality of travel in Africa is like, and try and go through common fears or things that might put people off. So in this post I’ll be doing exactly that, I’ll be listing common fears about travel in Africa, and then explaining based on my experience what the reality actually is.

A little side note here, I realise throughout this post I use the term ‘Africa’ a lot, which is of course a massive generalisation of a huge and diverse continent with over 50 countries, but when I use it I’m referring to sub-Saharan Africa.

Mosquitoes and Malaria

This is probably what most people worry about. Yes there is malaria and it’s a massive problem. However as a western person with a western immune system who will (and definitely should) likely have anti-malarial medication, the chances of you catching it are very minimal. When I travelled through different countries in sub-Saharan Africa, mosquitoes were actually not as bad a problem as I thought they would be. When you’re staying in a tent that you can seal off completely from anything outside, it means you can be pretty effective in keeping them out.

I was expecting the biggest and baddest mosquitoes I had ever seen, but they never showed up. Just use some mosquito spray (of which you’ll be able to get great brands out in Africa that are much cheaper), take your anti-malarial meds and you should be absolutely fine. My best advice when it comes to travelling anywhere where there might be diseases etc you could catch, is speak to your doctor, get your jabs, and make sure you have health insurance.

Safety

Often people will be worried about visiting Africa because of political troubles in some nations or safety, and if you don’t know what you’re doing or the areas you’re going, then I would strongly advise travelling there first with a guide or in a group. However when you do go with experienced guides who are constantly on the ball with where you’re going and know exactly the areas you’re travelling through, you don’t feel unsafe or in danger at all.

In fact it’s like most places in the world, in that it’s a tiny population of people who are giving places a bad reputation. Most locals were so friendly and passionate about their country and wildlife, and it was an absolute pleasure getting to meet so many great and inspiring local people. Not to mention it’s often in the places where tourism isn’t massive yet, that tourists are treated extremely well because of the financial benefits they bring to the country.

Bathroom & Campsite facilities

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I was expecting a camping trip in Africa to have non-existent bathroom facilities, and yes sometimes we were in national parks so it was just a hole in the ground. But this was extremely rare, and completely a choice by us to want to experience camping in the wild. I actually experienced much worse bathrooms travelling through SE Asia than in Africa. Most of the time we had very decent showers and toilets at our campsites that were perfectly adequate.

Admittedly when you’re doing a lot of travel through remote areas, there aren’t going to be toilets everywhere, so we did stop by the road a fair few times for toilet stops behind some sort of vegetation, but just bring a toilet roll (that you throw in a bin you take with you) and hand sanitizer and it’s completely fine. A little bottle of anti-bac hand sanitiser is generally just a great thing to carry with you travelling anywhere. Not to mention if you’re travelling in Africa and not camping, it’s just like anywhere else with excellent quality accommodation and hotels, if that’s what you prefer.

Western food

If you’re worried about being able to find those delicious snacks when you travel, don’t. We stopped many times at many places and there are usually supermarkets or shops selling the standards snacks crisps chocolate nuts etc etc. We had to stop to get water often so to enough supermarkets to know, it’s not just local stalls selling local foods, there are plenty of western foods too. Also camping, we made all of our own food anyway, and this was often very similar to what you’d eat back home if not with a bit more meat cooked on the brai (South-African bbq) than normal. It’s really not the case at all that you won’t be able to find western food.

Shops

So this sounds like a strange one, but I learnt the hard way… When I was in New Zealand just before I flew to Cape Town, I stocked up on loads of meds and various things for my Africa trip as I was determined not to get ill, and my thoughts were going to be that I was travelling in remote and less developed areas so wouldn’t be able to pick the things up I needed. I get to South Africa and on the first day we stop in a massive shopping centre just outside of Cape Town which sells all the exact same stuff for a quarter of the price… You will stop in places where you can get clothes, food, meds etc, so don’t be like me, wait until you get there to get the basics. We even had a couple of people in our group who didn’t bring sleeping bags and they managed to find them very easily.

Wifi

Don’t panic folks, there will be internet. Admittedly depending on where you are it may be limited, but you’ll be very surprised how frequent and in how many campsites there will be wifi and internet connections. It’s sometimes nice to have a break from the internet for a while, but if you’re concerned you’ll be weeks without being able to contact home etc, there’s no need. The internet often will be limited or not that strong, but it’s even the case that some companies who run these overland group tours have wifi on the buses themselves!

I’m going to get eaten by a lion!

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Ok, so obviously this sub heading is an exaggeration, but you see my point. Camping in national parks with no fences between you and lions… are you serious?! Yes, I am actually. So firstly and most importantly, the wildlife in Africa is to be taken seriously. You’ll need to watch out for scorpions and snakes etc in the desert, and also bigger game and wildlife camping in national parks. However, if you’re sensible and listen to advice (of which there will be plenty), you will be fine. Wildlife often won’t want to have anything to do with people and will keep away from them. So as long as you are sensible and listen to advice, you will be absolutely fine.

I’ve even camped where elephants and hippos stroll next to people’s tents, but they view them as obstacles rather than anything of interest. People will be there to make sure you are camping in a safe environment, and will be on hand for emergencies, so you shouldn’t let any of these fears put you off.

So I hope I’ve gone through a few concerns people have about travelling in Africa and explained why they shouldn’t put you off. Like anywhere, as long as you’re sensible and listen to locals advice you’ll be completely fine. Anything I’ve forgotten to mention or any fears that are putting you off travel in Africa, pop them in the comments below.

When most people think about travel, Africa doesn’t usually come up as an option, and admittedly originally it wasn’t top of my list either… I think this is because not only are people unaware of all you can experience there, but sometimes the continent can seem an intimidating place to travel. I recently wrote a […]

via Nervous about travel in Africa? Here’s why you shouldn’t be… — gilesmeetsworld

Daily Stoic

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Daily Stoic

Thanks to Daily Stoic for sharing…

The Stoics saw gratitude as a kind of medicine, that saying “Thank you” for every experience was the key to mental health. “Convince yourself that everything is the gift of the gods,” was how Marcus Aurelius put it, “that things are good and always will be.”…

…But we should also be grateful for the less obvious things: For the setbacks, for the squabbling habits of other people, for the stress they put on us and whatever other difficulties we might be experiencing. Why? Because we are only experiencing them because we are alive. Because they are a form of fuel for our philosophy. And as frustrating as they might be, it’s what Fortune chose for us and we might as well make the most of it.

Epictetus has said that every situation has two handles: Which are you going to decide to hold onto? The anger or the appreciation? The one of resentment or of thanks?…

[For a larger exercise in how to practice gratitude every day, you might like this article. And you can also read our message from last Thanksgiving, The Daily Art of Giving Thanks.]

***

P.S. The Daily Stoic Journal: 366 Days of Writing and Reflection on the Art of Living is now available everywhere books are sold. And for more ways to keep Stoic principles in mind as you navigate your day, check out our Daily Stoic Store. It features our popular amor fatiand memento mori medallions, Marcus Aurelius print, and more.

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Give Your Loved Ones Wings to Fly…

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Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay. source: Dalai Lama XIV image: Eddie’s Images

via Wings To Fly — Eddie Two Hawks

Cessna Skyhawk

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Thanks to  Cessna Skyhawk — Charly W. Karl for sharing…

Cessna Skyhawk

The Cessna Skyhawk is the ultimate training aircraft and the most popular single-engine aircraft ever built. With forgiving flight characteristics, great visibility, a sophisticated glass cockpit outfitted with G1000 avionics, slow landing speed and a forgiving stall – the Cessna Skyhawk is a flight training favorite ideally suited for student pilots.

Cessna Skyhawk, avionics
Each Skyhawk come standard with trusted flat-panel Garmin™ G1000™ avionics, featuring Safe Taxi and Flight Charts as well as electronic checklists and a SafeFlight AOA system.

The flight deck of the Skyhawk offers optional features such as ADS-B, traffic, synthetic vision, XM weather, and the sophisticated GFC 700 autopilot. These advanced avionics create the optimal environment for learning how to fly in the world’s most popular trainer.

Cessna Skyhawk//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Web: cessna.txtav

More in CHARLY W. KARL

 via Cessna Skyhawk — Charly W. Karl

Daily Stoic

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Daily Stoic

Thanks to Daily Stoic for sharing…

In America [and Europe], it’s Halloween, which is a fun holiday for children. In Mexico, however, it is the beginning of Día de los Muertos, a much more adult and philosophical holiday. All throughout Mexico, people will gather not to eat candy but to celebrate and remember their friends and family who have died. It is, in a sense, a three day commemoration of the idea of memento moria kind of collective bereavement mixed with the fun of a jazz funeral.

The great Montaigne would tell of a story that had trickled back to him from the New World, of an ancient drinking game where the members took turns holding up a painting of a corpse inside a coffin and cheered “Drink and be merry for when you’re dead you will look like this.” This cheeky but also profound observation captures the spirit of Día de los Muertos quite well with imagery of skulls and skeletons, the makeup and the music and the dancing, the praying and the altars set up to honor those who have left.

It might seem strange to celebrate death in this way, and stranger still to involve children in it. But is it really that stranger than banishing any thought of death from our lives and letting it return to us only as a dreaded nightmare? There is real value in taking time to process and grieve and dance with the morbidity of our mortality, of creating a ritual that allows us to come to terms with this essential part of our existence. Better to be on good terms with death and to schedule an annual check up than to be surprised and shocked by this enemy we pretend doesn’t exist.

So drink and be merry today and celebrate the day of the dead. Say goodbye to the people you have lost and enjoy the people you are lucky enough to still have with you. That’s all we can do.

***

P.S. For more ways to keep Stoic principles in mind as you navigate your day, check out our Daily Stoic Store. It features our popular amor fati and memento mori medallions, Marcus Aurelius print, and more. Also, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living is available everywhere books are sold.

Like this email? Forward it to a friend. And if it was forwarded to you, sign up for our free 7-day course on Stoicism, packed with exclusive resources.

 

Practice Being Mindful Discovering Your Happiness

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Many thanks to Practice Being Mindful — Discovering Your Happiness  for sharing…

There is a VERY BIG difference to being ‘mindful‘ compared to ‘mind full‘

I practice mindfulness because I know it gives me that ‘I can totally handle this even though everything is burning to the ground’ mindset. The only problem is that mindfulness isn’t always straightforward or easy to do. The hardest part is simply remembering to be mindful.

It’s easy to forget about mindfulness because of the craziness of our daily schedules…but that’s exactly when we need mindfulness. After all, mindfulness helps us make our days more calm and less stressful.

Struggling with mindfulness yourself? Here are five tips to make mindfulness easier so you can to integrate it into your daily life!

  1. CREATE OBVIOUS REMINDERS 

Make mindfulness easier by reminding yourself often. This could be through reminders on your phone telling you to be mindful or post-it notes left in places you’ll look frequently. You could even use something like a physical object to remind you to be mindful. For example, if there’s a candle you like, you can tell yourself to be present in the moment whenever you light it.

  1. MAKE IT A PRACTICE

Another way to make mindfulness easier is through a regular practice. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, or another form of mindfulness, getting into a routine will make mindfulness a whole lot easier. I find that using an app for meditation also makes this less daunting.

  1. REDUCE THE NOISE

In order to get more mindful, it’s important to remove the constant noise that distracts you from the present moment. I’m talking about all of the social media accounts you follow that don’t add any value to your life. Go on an unfollowing spree and give your brain a break from anything that causes you to compare yourself to others, doubt your self-worth, or grinds your gears. You can also unsubscribe from all of the newsletters you *magically* got subscribed to using unroll.me. (I honestly just unsubscribed to 114 companies that I no longer want to get emails from, best website evvvvvvvvver!)

  1. GET ON-BOARD WITH GRATITUDE

Taking some time each day to write what you’re grateful for is a great way to add more mindfulness into your routine. Try writing down three things you’re grateful for before you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning. Not only does this help shift a negative mindset, it also means you’re taking time to be more mindful about what’s good in your life.

  1. INTENTIONALLY PLAN YOUR DAY

Combine productivity and mindfulness by intentionally planning out your day.  One way to do this is to choose the top three things that must get done today. These are the things that are going to add the most value and purpose to your day. By doing this, you are being more mindful about your priorities, and you’re less likely to get distracted because you know exactly what you need to do.

Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely day

via Practice Being Mindful — Discovering Your Happiness

 

 ❤                A, x (1)

Self Care — friday

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Thanks to akagbrvanich –  Self-Care — friday.e.d for sharing…

the best way to be able to care for others is to start with yourself. self-care is good to your mental health, taking time to listen to what you need make you strong and knowing yourself better, it also can cope with stress. when you have no activity on in a long holiday, do this […]

via Self-Care — friday.e.d

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