Dreaming Of An African Safari

Day 3 - Lion Cub Watercolor African Safari - Doodlewash

Ever since I was a very small child, I’ve dreamed of traveling to Africa to see some of my favorite animals in their natural habitat. Though it was entirely possible to see many of these animals at the zoo, I wanted to see the same view that came on my little animal information cards that I collected. The kind where the animal wasn’t trapped behind a fence or a cage of some kind. And yes, Australia was definitely on the list as well because of the koalas and kangaroos. In truth, I really just wanted to go to every place listed on those cards each time I’d collect some new animal. While I did have some baseball cards because my other friends collected them, I didn’t really know anything about baseball and wasn’t ever interested in sports of any kind. My favorite card collection was my cherished set of animal cards. I’ve no idea the name of the company that produced them, but it was one of those mail order situations where new ones arrived every so often. I had a large plastic case to house them all, but I’ve no idea where that collection is today. No doubt, much of the information would be out of date or inaccurate as scientists continue to update information and humans continue to cause various animal populations to dwindle or disappear entirely. But, all of these years later, I’ve not given up on my dream.

After I sketched this little lion, I told Philippe the subject matter of my post for today. His response was sweet in that he said, “if you want to go then we should definitely go!” I teased him and said that he just wanted me to blog something nice about him, but I thought it was really sweet. Then, of course, he jumped online and started looking at vacations packages and I waited patiently for the reaction I knew would be coming next. Within minutes after seeing the price tag, the happy, “let’s DO it!” attitude was replaced with one of immense shock, bordering on terror, and a loud “Oh la vache!” I giggled and told him that’s precisely why it hasn’t happened yet, and also that he should remember to multiply all of those scary numbers by two. I only hoped he wouldn’t faint and fall off his chair next. To his credit, he quickly recovered and said it’s a once in a lifetime trip so we should plan to take it. To my discredit, I told him that once I’ve gone I’d probably want to return each year, just to see his reaction. He just rolled his eyes and said we’ll try it one day. And the child inside me started jumping up and down with glee, rushing off to grab some of those picture cards and learn all he could to prepare for the momentous trip.

This won’t happen anytime soon, but we will figure out a way to make it possible one day. That’s precisely how life should work when lived correctly. You set a crazy goal and make darn sure it happens before your time on this earth is complete. Philippe and I decided that we did actually want to visit every continent, excluding Antarctica, or at least saving it for last. There’s way too much world for anyone to see in one lifetime, but it’s always worth trying to visit as much as one can. This best part about dreaming is making the effort to ensure the dream comes true. And though my mind often leaps to crazy things at any given point in the day, there are some things that stick there. These are the things that can’t be shaken loose and follow me through each and every day. The little thoughts that seem just a bit dreamy, but are actually wishes that I hope with all hope will one day be granted. I’ve learned not to ignore these thoughts and instead to honor them and silently assure them that they will indeed happen one day. What shouldn’t they? It’s the fervent hope of my younger self shining through, imagining a fantastic future while learning about life and animals, while happily dreaming of an African safari.

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Lion Cub Watercolor African Safari - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
28 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 4 months ago

    I hope you do make it to Africa one day soon. Hubby and I have talked about traveling various places but usually decide that we would enjoy having the money in the bank more than we would the trip itself. And we really enjoy the Oregon coast. That said, hubby just showed me an add for a Sternwheeler cruise that follows the Lewis & Clark trail. Not quite Africa, but it would probably be an interesting cruise. Love your lion cub!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕Ohhhhh! You should definitely take that cruise! Sounds wonderful! But yes, each time Philippe and I start to make these plans, the money in the bank part usually wins out. hehe… guess we just need to find a way to be lots more money in the bank! 😉

  2. Mary Roff 4 months ago

    Make that dream come true, Charlie. Beautiful lion cub.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 I’m sure we will make it happen one day!

  3. Lisa 4 months ago

    Go! Pairs so well with Do! My life of travel was curtailed by MS, and even more so as I got worse over time. But I did manage Europe in college and quite a few U.S. states when I was still able bodied. That is why I tell young people of my acquaintance to go and travel. You never know if you will be able to in the future. I know money is an issue, but at least go camping in the Badlands, or snorkelling wreaks on the great lakes. And start saving for the bigger trips right now!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, I realize now my “DO” motto mostly involves things that can be done on the cheap! lol But, you’re totally right, of course, there’s no sense in waiting when you can take that opportunity. The only way to know what the future will bring is to make it happen now!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 4 months ago

    Your post reminded me that, in the 1950s, I had a large cardboard book with empty squares about the size of baseball cards. Animal names were printed in each square, and there were corresponding stickers (the kind you lick) that I pasted in. I think I got a new packet of stickers periodically when we went grocery shopping. I cherished that book and still own it today! The animal illustrations are in a wonderful mid-century style – very dramatic, if not perfectly realistic. A great vintage collection!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      That’s SO awesome, Sharon! 😃💕 I adore that! How wonderful to still have that collection today. And love that they’re illustrated… mine were photo cards… I think if they were illustrated I would have kept better track of them.

  5. June Hadaway 4 months ago

    Lovely lion and his expression…awesome!!! Make that dream come true!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 I think this little lion cub is just waiting for me to visit, right? hehe… one day… we’ll make that dream happen!

  6. diman5 4 months ago

    Go for it
    It’s doable

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks my friend! 😃💕 Yes, I think everything is live is DOable if we just make it happen!

  7. LoriCtoo 4 months ago

    Such a sweet lion cub. He looks like he is ready to pounce. If you dream it, you can do it! Half the battle is getting your significant other to agree to it. That’s done! 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I’ve spent my entire life ready to pounce… the pouncing has been a bit touch and go, of course. lol

  8. Carole Pivarnik 4 months ago

    Wishing is the first step in making dreams come true. I have a dream of spending a week at Giraffe Manor! One of these days!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Yay to that, Carole! 😃💕Exactly! You should totally spend that week at Giraffe Manor! (and take me with you… I’m not entirely sure what it is, but it sounds awesome!).

  9. smzang 4 months ago

    I wanna go too….but to Africa and Asia, to see the big cats ,
    and everything else is icing on the cake.

    Now I have a challenge for you…write a poem…
    bold eh? You are a natural born poet and I am so bold
    as to tell you so, because I have been secretly buying brushes
    and paints and sketch books and everytime I realize I will
    never be an artist you write something that makes me keep
    trying. Today I posted a rose and a butterfly on my site.
    They are very unprofessional but they are the best I have done
    so I thought I’d share. Thank you for my favorite quote in all
    the land:

    Charlie says, “Just do!”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      hehe! Yay!! I will take your challenge, of course, because I say yes to everything, but I’ll wait for the right prompt to move me. 😉 And I’m so incredibly thrilled to see your visual art!! It’s gorgeous! More! More! It’s not at all surprising, of course… if one can paint with words, it’s just a different sort of mind to allow one to also paint with visuals. 😉

      • smzang 4 months ago

        I probably did at least 20 roses before I got this one. It at least looks like a rose… most of them didn’t : )

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

          hehe! That’s true technique in action! 😉 And the 19 roses before it are all the more beautiful for getting you there.

  10. memadtwo 4 months ago

    And of course your lion looks sweet and not scary at all. My brother and sister-in-law took an African trip 2 years ago, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I like such things from a distance myself. But there are places I do want to go someday, and it’s nice to dream, isn’t it? (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      hehe… you know I’ll make my lions sweet! 😉 And yes! It’s always wonderful to dream of wild and distant things! 😃💕

  11. ahewe 4 months ago

    You have ALDI in the States, don’t you? They offer trips to all over the world which are quite affordable and well organized. We have been to South Africa 2 years ago, and although my husband is not that much interested in animals he was also quite impressed by the two days we spent in a national park chasing zebras, elephants and antelopes. The lions escaped us, but the giraffes were terrific. I thought them always very boring in the zoo, but seeing them amble along the steppes is awesome. You should absolutely do that!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      We do have ALDI, but it’s simply a grocery and I didn’t know they offered trips. I’ve never seen anything about that here. Your trips sounds incredible!! Fun! Yes, it’s definitely something I’m going to try one day! 😃💕

  12. Stampiljke 3 months ago

    I hope you get there one day. i have to say the picture is beautiful.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 I hope I will! So thrilled you enjoyed this sketch!

  13. Bryan Fawcett 3 months ago

    Wow, your story is absolutely amazing! I read it to my colleagues in the office. Btw, we are a Safari company in Zimbabwe. So growing up in Africa, with what you described as being part of our lives on a regular basis. It is great to learn the point of view from others as we sometimes forget about the excitement of coming to Africa.
    When planning an African Safari, be sure to know what you want to do and where you want to go to.
    Victoria Falls, Gorilla Trekking, Walking Safaris, Wildebeest Migration, adrenaline activities white water rafting, skydiving, bungee jumping, cage diving with crocodiles or sharks, laying around on white beaches, etc.
    If you need any help give a shout. https://www.nyuchisafaris.com

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Awesome, Bryan! Glad you enjoyed this! When I’m ready for a tour, I’ll definitely give you a shout! 🙂

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