Is it worth it? Six hours at airports and 24 on the plane, weighing the risks. It’s been two and a half years since life has found us traveling Africa in our old Land Rover! We bought her in August 2014 and since then we’ve spent the bulk of the year in Africa. COVID changed all that. I’m sure you’re life has been no different, living with the ramifications of a global pandemic. Weighing the risks of what you can and cannot do. Or, what you should and should not do.
Life is Good… or have things changed?
After two false stars earlier this year we are finally staring at the final count down of flying from the USA back to South Africa. Amid the excitement and pandemonium of it all is this “Gulp!” This, let me fess up… anxiety. How has the pandemic changed flying? After all we spend about 27 to 30 hours in airports and in the air till we reach Johannesburg. While in the USA we have kept ourselves quite isolated from humans. We live in a van in some remote places. And even when among people, they’re not very close. Plus when we interact with them it’s generally outdoors.
Now, here we face all this time indoors with a host of other humans. Fortunately, everyone boarding the plane will have tested negative for COVID. However, just like us, immediately after the test most will probably spend time with friends and family saying goodbyes.
Why all this anxiety around COVID? We’re vaccinated. However, it’s not fool proof… we’ve had family members with breakthrough infections. They did not require to go to hospital, but did miss a week plus of work and felt mighty lousy.
So if we’re nervous why go? Good question. Well, in short the ‘want to go’ supersedes the anxiety. Plus, we’re getting older and delaying a year… well, who knows what our health will be like… so ‘be brave’ wins out over ‘wimp out.’
Much of life is about weighing risks. We weigh risks against rewards. Its a good thing, it keeps us from doing something stupid… or at least it does sometimes. It also tests how much we want the reward. After all, if we really want something badly enough we pretty much risk everything to get it. Think of athletes, especially those who engage in extreme sports. You ever watch a free climber? Talk about holding my breath. The courage, confidence, strength, training and skill it takes to literally crawl up a rock face like a squirrel scales a tree… is nothing short of mind boggling.
One thing I’ve noticed. The older we get the harder it gets to make decisions. We find ourselves waffling at times, being indecisive or simply backing off. Now, at our age (69) that’s not always a bad thing our Nurse Practitioner daughter is quick to remind. However, at our age we also don’t have the luxury to procrastinate. When we’re young it might be okay to say, “We’ll wait till next year” or wait till the weather, the economy, the pandemic, the political situation changes. There’s always some star that could line up better. But, when you’re old, you may trade one bad thing for another when you wait… not so? Health may take an unexpected turn. Investment monies (especially when they are limited like ours) may take a turn for the worst. Things that are irreversible do loom in our future.
Weighing risks must include current knowns, but also future unknowns of both the good and bad variety. So, with all that put in perspective, we’re off traveling Africa once again. Landy here we come! Can’t wait to be sitting at a waterhole watching nature’s beauties come and go…. life is good!
Be Brave. Only Believe. Just Do.
Margrit Harris loves nature and wildlife pretty much above all else… that is except her spouse, Russ.