I’ve always had a soft spot for Singita properties. Their fantastic team adopted me at an early age as a travel consultant, long before I could even begin to repay them, by hosting a group of my very best friends at Singita Pamushana in Zimbabwe. It was my first trip to Africa and the first time I fell in love with the world – I only thought I knew what love of travel was before I discovered Africa.
A few years later, I traveled to Singita Lebombo with my family on what would become the most memorable trip we’d ever taken.
I’d always dreamed of experiencing another Singita property and, when we determined that East Africa would be our honeymoon spot, I had to make it an integral part of our honeymoon. It didn’t take a lot of convincing for Jeremy to be onboard.
We stayed this time at Singita Sabora, a luxury tented camp with a colonial style located in the Grumeti Reserve, a private game reserve with a wonderful story behind it (purchased originally as a hunting area, the owner of the Grumeti Reserve turned the land into a conservation area and now, more than ever, the wildlife is flourishing).
I knew we’d made a great decision when we checked into our room and the staff had printed a wedding photo of ours on the nightstand. Even more, the room came with several hats and scarves to flaunt while on safari – hotels take note: provide a few in-room accessories that are reflective of your destination so I can overly accessorize while on property and I am a fan for life.
We managed to visit Grumeti in the height of the migration which was: wow. There are not enough words.
There are not enough words to describe it all. Somehow, standing in a field of thousands of wildebeest as the sun sets in the distance, inching up to a pride of lions thirteen strong within feet of your very body that instinctively says we really shouldn’t be this close to so many lions, observing as dozens of elephants and giraffes and zebra amble calmly amongst each other in the very same field – somehow this actually leads to as much of a reflection of yourself as it does to the nature surrounding you.
I mean, Jeremy really came close with the words: “This is the closest possible thing to being in a real life Pokemon game.”
Perhaps it was the ability to stay in the present moment after our social media ban, to know that we weren’t rushing to post every photo allowed us to truly, vividly be there. Or perhaps it was the unwinding of not doing that in every day life that led to a sincere gratitude for the ability to be present. “What comforts us,” says Anne Lamott, “is that, after we make ourselves crazy enough, we can let go inch by inch into just being here; every so often, briefly. There is flow everywhere in nature – glaciers are just rivers that are moving really, really slowly – so how could there not be flow in each of us?”
And there is just that within us, something that was made to be as present and peaceful as nature itself. I don’t think it takes going all the way to Africa to discover this, although we can certainly help with that should it be your chosen destination, but I think there is an opportunity to find it around the world. I think it’s what leads so many of us to fling ourselves across the globe, in this undetermined goal of finding ourselves by looking outward.
Before leaving for the honeymoon, I heard a quote in my yoga session by Emily McDowell: “Finding yourself is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten-dollar bill in last winter’s coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that becomes your beliefs about who you are. Finding yourself is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you.”
From my own personal findings, though, Africa manages to return me to myself, time and time again, in the simplest and most joyful of forms.