When I started this blogsite, I had two main reasons.
1.Relating our travel experiences in a manner to publicise wildlife conservation issues.
I've had an intense interest in wildlife, and had my earlier life not taken an unexpected twist, I'd probably have pursued a more academic career in a Biological Science field. That was not to be, and looking back it has been a great life and I would not want it any other way. The unknown horizon has always held my gaze, rather than looking back where I've been.
There's a war going on, carried on by well funded criminal syndicates , fuelled by the strong demand of Traditional Chinese Medicine for animal parts, Africa's wildlife is being stripped at an ever increasing rate. Elephant poaching for ivory is soaring, rhino are being killed at an alarming rate, and in other parts of the world, growing concern about the rapid decline in species, much of that because countries are being stripped of rare species and container loads being illegally shipped to China..And the not so rare, are now endangered.
Returning home after our Namibia wildlife volunteer project at Naankuse, it was my intention do do a bit to help. It seemed I could be most effective at setting up a blogsite, and writing about our travel experiences to highlight some of these issues. You'll note that most posts do reference a species that needs publicising, without being overly zealous and ramming these subjects down your throat.
2. Taking the best of our travel stories and publishing them.
I've bookmarked a couple of websites where items posted on this blog, can be collated and published in a real book. Hey, no need to be the world's greatest travel writer these days. Wonderful. I kind of like the idea of our coffee table having a glossy book by a distinguished author like myself strategically placed in front our very impressed visitors. Visitors be warned...it is going to be a very thick book, we have been travelling since our first OE (overseas experience for all you non Australasians) in 1974 when we took off to UK and Europe.
Reliving our experiences and the revival of those memories makes the project more enjoyable. Some of our adventures now seem more real, and others are there just wanting to jump out and lay themselves out across this screen. So many.....
This PTSS has got me contemplating and reflecting ...time for a rethink.
Over on Caz and Craig's travel site we've been discussing how hard it can be to settle into a mode after travelling. For Caz and Craig the transition from Nomad to 'normality' is difficult, perhaps unobtainable. It is an interesting concept, and a lot of us may not understand the problem. I can. Travellers will.
PTSS is a wee bit different. It is lethargy when it comes to anything to do with getting back into 'normal' life. OK, you get over the jet lag, but the syndrome has it's tentacles around every neuron in your brain.
It is a time of mixed up thoughts, loss of direction, running off on tangents, and ...oh what was I thinking...lost it.
But PTSS is also a time of renewal. It's a time of finding a new trail out of that directionless meandering. It's a time of a complete refocus ! And decisions. Setting your sight once again upon the horizon.
A sign of recovery ?
Hopefully...still some work to do though.
Travel for me, over the years has become more of an experience to learn and contribute, rather than sightseeing, or another photo opportunity. Nowadays there have to be better reasons.
I have been intending to travel back next May to volunteer again with EHRA here-http://desertelephant.org/
It's a project making a real difference in mitigating the human-elephant conflict in Namibia and I support them from home by publicising Johanes and his volunteer team at every opportunity. I long to get back there.
However, the more I read of rhino poaching and elephant slaughters in Africa, the more I feel I need to re-evaluate the effectiveness of my contribution there in terms of costs and time. Could my dollars on airfares etc. be better invested in other methods to aid animal conservation there? And these ideas cropped up yesterday during a conversation with my wife Kay, over our after work glass of wine while sitting in our courtyard, enjoying the warm spring sunshine. We were chatting together about travel plans for 2011. We always have plans! But next year there are none, just ideas, and there's a void in our lives at present normally filled by that next booking we've just made. In fact we have often flown out of NZ on one trip , having already booked the very next.
PSST surged, took over my neurons again and I found myself suggesting we don't travel next year. How incredible... I couldn't believe I'd said it.
Kay looked at me, and said she couldn't believe how in sync we are....she was thinking the same!
Then stated "I can't believe you're saying that.That's not the man I know".
PSST settled down, relaxed it's strangle hold , and a more enlightened mood evolved, and discussions took a more realistic track. We may not do a 'biggie' trip. We have little enthusism (at this time ) for another 8 weeks away. Kay may plan to join our daughter in Europe for a shorter time. Myself, I'm up in the air...... and not on a plane either.
A wee digression- Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me, as I'm sure it does for countless others , otherwise we wouldn't be wasting so much time, talking to so few, about so little. It's enjoyable because we're learning, developing latent skills, and most importantly we are developing friendships with many more like minded people. And the realization dawns that I'm not going to be a great travel writer, or have a site that earns big bucks , but that was not what I set out to do and I need to press that Reset button and get on track again, and be a good travel blogger, and use my site for the original reasons above.
So here's the questions for my friends reading this-
Do I spend a lot of time and money travelling next year to help in another wildlife project in Africa?
Or do I stay home and invest that money in a conservation project or projects that make a direct impact there?
Post your thoughts please?
PS- This is why? --
Elephants of Chad