To this day, one of my biggest fascinations has been the outdoors. The outdoors has always represented a step forward for me, a leap out of my comfort zone. One of my first experiences of this was my trip to the Sahyadris in Maharashtra, where I went trekking.
Years later, in 2005, I met my future husband, who has been one of the greatest influences in my life. A year after I met him, I decided to dive into the urge to leave my comfort zone, along with him. We planned a trip to Kenya.
Along with booking those coveted tickets came many formalities, including getting vaccinations for yellow fever that were available in Mumbai, a considerable distance from where we lived. We gladly took the vaccines and giddily boarded a flight entailing a 13-hour journey to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. It was all truly worth it, in hindsight.
We were enamoured by everything about our surroundings from the second we landed, down to the airport. In my excitement, I began to click away on my phone, trying to capture every moment of this trip, filled to the brim with blind optimism. This continued until I realised that I was being surrounded by 4 policemen in the airport who informed me that photography was prohibited at the Nairobi airport. Who would have predicted that I would learn real lessons from this trip! A truly great start.
From then on it was pure exploration and pure bliss. Masai Mara National Park welcomed us with tents for homes, and safaris that widened our horizons every single day. Our mornings and afternoons were spent at these safaris, with arid grounds spreading for miles and miles in every direction, shifting our perspectives with every step. Our tour guide enhanced our experience with his narration. He even told us that he had a surprise for us one day. We drove across the safari towards a huge black wall. This black wall was intriguing, as it seemed to be moving! Upon reaching the black wall we saw a sight that we could never forget from that day on. Millions of wildebeests were marching from Kenya to Tanzania. We were astonished by just how many of them there were. One of them even looked at us straight in the eye. In that moment, I called it the biggest traffic jam in the world. Except this particular traffic jam was not met with our usual frowns and sighs, but rather our wonder and happiness.
From there, we were taken to Lake Nakuru national park. We pitstopped in an English cottage, surrounded by the sight of flamingos, rhinos, and even the occasional baboon. The feeling of living among these creatures was enlightening. We even got to see a cheetah hunting and devouring its prey at Samburu National Park, which was entertaining, to say the least.
With all these experiences still fresh in our minds, we continued our journey across this enchanting continent. These stories are proof that travelling truly changed and continues to change my life, and hopefully they can change yours too.