16+1 Lessons From Africa

1. Fact: if Szilvi doesn't know about the black snake living in the camp, she sleeps much better.

2. Not everyone will support you in reaching your goals. Not everyone will understand the true meaning and the reason why you do this. Never mind. It's a good cause and it can be a milestone in your personal development. Keep going.

3. Traffic: In Uganda, on a typical main road there is room for 4 cars and a motorcycle just next to each other at the same time, however the roads are not wider than anywhere else in the world.


4. Just because you don't know something or just because you haven't been to somewhere what people consider to be dangerous, it doesn't mean that it actually is. Do your research and if possible go there to look it for yourself. People rather living in the fear of something than getting to know it. The world is much bigger, richer, brighter and friendlier than you think. Just don't rely on the TV and the news. Go! Look around!

5. For kids in Uganda the "It's around the corner" or "Just here, let's walk" means 3K at least. They're just used to walk that much everyday for bits and bobs. Sadly, sometimes for water.

6. If you really want something just take a leap, take the first step and go for it. It doesn't matter if you don't know how you'll get there, how you'll get it financed or how you'll overcome your fears. Overtime everything will lay out and you'll find the solutions, the way, the right people for your goals.

7. If you camp in Africa for a week, just make sure your mattress is OK. It's a pain when you have to blow it up (with mouth) 3 times a night...every night.

8. When you're a child you're taught not to talk to strangers. But sometimes you get the best chats when you talk to someone you just met. It can happen in the shop, on the street or while waiting in a queue. Be open to others, don't be afraid to start a conversation and start with a smile. You will get the same back.

9. There is still life without internet. I didn't have roaming for a week and I was perfectly fine. I called my mum just to say I arrived safely and then no facebook, emails and messages for a week. It was a relief really.

10. Though you work hard on your preparation, on your blog, on your videos but not everyone will be interested and will read and watch them, sometimes not even your closest relatives or friends. And so what? What matters is that you keep a journal, you work on yourself and for others, you pick up new skills and grow, you're becoming more while others remain. Embrace the ones who you put the effort in for, the ones who support you and the ones who can be inspired by you.

11. Small lizards don't hurt. According to the camp staff. So don't be afraid to share your room with them. And with some bugs occasionally. Same applies for hippos when they are on the ground. Be careful though, but enjoy the close view while you can.

12. Don't leave the car door or window open when baboons around (while taking a selfie by the Nile). They are cheeky thieves.

13. "Stay close to bushes and trees and hide behind them when a rhino runs towards you." That's what we were told to do when were standing just 10 yards away from them...thanks. Luckily we didn't need to use this super tactic.

14. It's hard to come home and carry on with your "normal" life. You just experienced something unique, you might've just done or achieved something extraordinary. You grew, you thrived, you're not the same person anymore. The "old" life might seem just empty. So do the people or your job. You're a bit detached. Post adventure depression. Tip: write or talk it out and start planning your next trip while trying to get your life move on to the next level.


15. If you're not brave enough to leave your tent to take a leak next to it in the middle of the night (would you do it in Africa?), just make sure about two things:
                - you keep a large empty bottle (with lid) next to you in the tent
                - don't switch on the light in the tent when you're using it. You're visible for other campers (or guards) from outside.


16. I used to think that I had nothing to "show off" - house, nice car, fancy clothes, etc. Then I realized that I just didn't really want them. Now the kids in Uganda told me that I was rich when they saw a pic of my living room's corner. Yes, I'm rich and so are you if you have a place to sleep with a roof over your head, regular clothe selection, 3-5 meals a day + the wine on weekends.

On the other hand you're poor if you don't have that general happiness and love in your life, that constant smile on your face, that love of simplicity, that love of nature and that love towards your family and friends like they have them in Uganda. Without having much they have everything to be truly happy. I'm nearly there. :)


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