Try to find a family that’s a good fit for your family, people who’ll tolerate graciously your own family’s peculiarities – who even like your peculiarities – who like you and love every one of your children.
It helps if you have known each other in that way.
(Does “since kindergarten” count as one’s whole life?)
If, for instance, the husbands have known each other since they were five years old, and if the wives have known each other’s husbands since high school, and if the wives themselves have known each other since college.
If you all grew up in the same four-mile radius.
That kind of knowing. Then you’re probably on the right track. Try, if possible, to find folks with that kind of shared history.
Then one more thing.
Because if you’re not excessively bright yourself, it helps to have someone in your group who is. They’re there to explain stuff.
And those are just the books implanted in their heads. Unlike you, they haven’t done a crash course to be ready for the wilderness. They’ve been storing up knowledge for decades.
It could just be that these lifelong friends happen to be scientists. And if they are, they can turn your wilderness trip into several running episodes of Through the Wormhole.
You’ll benefit from such friends if they’re not only scientists, but are specifically doctors of medicine. In case you’re attacked by charging rhinos, elephants or swarms of tsi-tsi flies.
And if on top of all this these doctor-scientist friends of yours are respected skin cancer researchers, you’ll be assured sunscreen reapplication breaks every hour or so. (Of course, the melanoma specialist is the only one who’ll get the burn.)
This family you’re thinking of traveling with? It’s great if some of their children are close to the ages of some of your own. And if possible, be sure they’re easy going, inquisitive, non-bratty, adventuresome, incredibly droll, and delightfully photogenic children.
But not just fun.
Inhale-your-lentils-whole, split-a-gut, outlaugh-the-hyenas kind of funny.
It’s good if your friends can make everyone — your children, your selves and the grazing water buffalo –– stop cold in their tracks, snorting and guffawing pawing the ground with laughter.
These smart funny friends might also be the sorts who’ll be eager to get up a couple of hours before dawn to drive way out into the savannah just to wait in complete silence while the sun slowly rises in order to catch a brief glimpse of this one majestic creature:
Next post, let me introduce you to Albert and our other fabulous guides. They saved us from being washed away when a river suddenly flooded and took us to the boma (family village) of one of the Masai guides.
Please leave your comments:
Do you have a special travel memory? Did you share it with another person or family? What makes good travel partners? Where are you longing to travel still? Have you ever been in a decidedly non-Christmasy location for Christmas? What did you do, then, to celebrate that holiday in a meaningful, reverent way?