How do we live? And where? And what does the future hold?
So many questions – let’s find some answers today! A lot has happened since I did my guide training in South Africa and Botswana a few years ago. Todays’ post is trying to give an idea of how a life can change after a life changing decision 😉 – and also, how it doesn’t change at all. In fact, it may just bring you back to where you started….
But let’s begin at the beginning:
Back to the roots.
During my guide training I had kept my apartment in Berlin and I continued to live there for another two years after the training – on and off because I also traveled a lot during that time. I finally gave up that apartment beginning of 2018 (…2017?) – Gosh, I’m losing track!
Anyway, I left the big city life to move back to my home town – a small town in Lower Saxony where my parents still live. This was such a great decision and I’m enjoying it so much to live in a small town again! Everything is just a stone’s throw away and while I never thought I would move back here, I have to admit that the energies I’m getting here are so much better than the ones I got from living in the anonymous reality of a European mega city like Berlin.
… Wait, what? But I thought you moved to Africa?
Well see, that’s where you are wrong. I love travelling in Africa and I accompany a selected few safaris as a host each year together with Frank, but I have committed to a full-time writing career – as has been my wish for as long as I can remember.
A Writer’s Life.
I’m currently in Germany and I’m writing non-stop: Working on several non-fiction books, a children’s book, a novel… I write those books in German, as it is my mother tongue. The reason all my blog posts are in English, as is all my social media content, is that my friends from overseas would like to know what I’m up to as well. The internet, to me, is very much an international platform. And while I know that my English writing will always have its imperfections, I would limit myself if I wrote in German. For those of you who have asked about my book(s) being translated: Fingers crossed. It might just happen one day…
So, I have definitely found my passion and my topic to write about for the rest of my life, which is:
Wildlife. Nature. Elephants. And the delicate balance between all that is.
In a way, leaving everything I knew behind to immerse myself in the African Wilderness for a while has helped me to reconnect with the person I used to be: A young woman setting out to find her voice as a writer. I always knew I wanted to write, but I never had anything to say. I had nothing worth writing for. What was missing, was a purpose.
I have found that purpose now.
Travels in Africa.
I split my time between Germany and Africa, with my home and base in Germany. When Frank and I are in Africa, we never stay in one place. We travel several countries with our trusted Land Rover Defender “Ellie”.
Those travels are vital for Frank to establish business relationships with African suppliers and lodges for his family business safariFRANK. I tag along and get to learn about the continent, taking photos and lots of notes as we go.
Ellie is perfectly equipped to live on the road, with a rooftop-tent, a solar-panel, mobile kitchen and so forth. We love her to bits.
I do believe the arrangement we have at the moment won’t last forever. We would like to settle down somewhere someday, built a self-sustaining house off-grid, if we can. And given the nature of both Franks business and my writing topic, Africa and its wildlife will always be a part of our lives.
I guess it all comes down to where and how we can be of service best. After I finished my guide-training, for a while all I wanted was to become a walking guide in a lodge somewhere remote and beautiful. But with time, I realised that’s not the path I’m meant to take and my gut feeling kept steering me in another direction – back to the real goal, the first dream: Writing and telling stories. (Something my second book will talk about in detail.) And with the unemployment sky-rocketing in many African countries – why would I try to take one of the few jobs that are perfectly suited for locals?
Instead, I’m trying to be the bridge – between us humans and the wild, between continents, between cultures. Everything I do serves to inspire:
a) the reconnection with the Wild,
b) sustainable travel and tourism in Africa, and
c) the love for the Natural world and the animal kingdom.
It’s ironic, really. Going to the African Wilderness to train as a safari-guide was not half as scary as finally making the decision that truly mattered – which is saying the following out loud: