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 No doubt, much of the information would be out of date or inaccurate as scientists continue to update information and humans continue to cause various animal populations to dwindle or disappear entirely.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.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. (My “Shiny” Trio! Click Here To Purchase It!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!