Summer is here and, almost unbelievably, travel as we once knew it – full planes, frenetic airports, busy-ness – is back, but harder. Rules change without warning, efficiency has ebbed, and the standard excuse – “Covid” – is at once unanswerable, and ironically, the reason we need the cure of travel now more than ever. Lockdown; grief; isolation; burnout; we really don’t know the invisible effects of the pandemic. But what we do know is that we are depleted and suffering from nature deficit disorder. We need to rediscover, or to find for the first time, the rejuvenation of deliberate rest.
The silent language of the wild
Travel – and specifically any journey into the wild – has always provided a roadmap for spiritual discovery, a compass for compassion, and a bridge for humanity. The timeless expanse of the wild gives us perspective on our own lives; a vibrational shift that both expands our inner landscape and roots us to something much bigger than ourselves. We can absorb time, instead of being bullied by it. In the deep, old, often half-forgotten relationship we have with the natural world we can discover, uncover and recover ourselves. We are reminded that our humanness is not always about doing but also about being. Above all, it’s about becoming right with ourselves, and with the earth.
“When we are rested, we care again for the right things and the right people, in the right way.” So says the poet David Whyte in the video above. “In rest, we establish the goals that make us more generous, more courageous, more of an invitation, someone we want to remember and someone others might want to remember too.” That immediately reminds me how precious and important rest is, and how much we undervalue it.
The journey to rest
I know no place better to take rest than the wilds of Africa. It’s here that I am reminded that we are nothing without the wild. It is here that we can breathe, and absorb, and – in losing our busy selves – find our most essential selves. Our senses are activated; we feel the impact of silence; we are moved by the change in visual field; and we appreciate stillness. In short, we can rest and let nature in all her indiscriminate generosity do the rest. This is the gift that the wilderness gives us.
Imagine then a journey that includes not only the restorative medicine of the wild, but also daily interactions with David Whyte’s magnetic and powerful prose and personal consultations with a powerhouse of body-work practitioners. A journey that regenerates the human spirit and in so doing regenerates the planet. That is what we have created with ROAR AFRICA’s “Into the Wild with David Whyte” trip, which takes place from February 22 to 28, 2023. My hope is that it will inspire a more integrated vision of life on earth and provide a vibrant and grounding space to galvanize a deep listening to the wisdom of the body while we rest.
Designed around the Five Elements, each day will focus on:
Earth: The most tangible of the elements, the Earth element is what governs the physical body and grounds us into our natural environment. When in balance, it enables us to feel supported, unwavering, nourished and calm.
Water: Water carries energetic qualities of creativity, self-expression, adaptability, and flow.
Fire: This element is associated with drive, ambition and transformation. When in balance this element connects us with our power center.
Air: Air is an element characterised by awakening and consciousness. When out-of-balance, mental afflictions such as anxiety, indecision, hyperactivity, or fatigue can result.
Ether: This element is a conundrum; both nothing and everything. Defined by stillness, it makes all life and movement possible. When ether is in balance, we experience pure consciousness and the vast, limitless field of possibilities.
On this sacred land of Segera, guests will spend time with Dr de Villiers, a Holistic Wellbeing consultant with a PhD in Metaphysical Philosophy. Her life’s work to this calling uses her intuition and knowledge to work on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual body to facilitate and optimize the flow of energy through the body. Annette Badenhorst, an experienced facilitator of sound meditation treatments, works with frequencies of sound paired to individual personalities. “Every one of us has a different frequency that helps us relax,” she explains. “My main aim is to help guests take a break from the mental movies they’re permanently busy with and get into a meditative state with sound so that they can rest.” Guests will learn to harness the power of “prana”, “the life force energy” that can be accessed through the breath with Anna Beauregard, an integrative health coach and breathwork practitioner. Massage, steam room, gym, yoga, nature walks and delicious organic food are all available to nourish you further in this magical place.
Designed as a unique, life-changing journey that will act as a reminder of the ancient and complex relationships that exists between all living things, this extraordinary pairing of wild landscapes and internal work allows travelers to experience the world’s truly untouched, remote places first-hand while simultaneously healing both themselves, and in so doing, our natural world.
“Sometimes you need only the first shyness that comes from being shown things far beyond your understanding, so that you can fly and become free by being still and by being still here.” – David Whyte
So join me and David Whyte from February 22–28, 2023, for a trip unlike any other.