This site was inspired by my trip to Zambia a few years back. People had said to me, "Africa will change your life." No truer words have ever been spoken. I continue to carry Zambia, more specifically Mfuwe, in my heart.
One of the people I met during that trip was Lisa Gower. She's a prime example of how a destination can change the course of your life. And... how you can leave your mark just as well.
Here's the first in a series of installments of articles from Lisa about her tango with Mfuwe. Enjoy!
I’m not really sure how my life panned out the way it did. Planning and organizing feature heavily as key skills on my professional CV, somehow, though, they’re non-existent in my personal life where my motto is, “Why not? Give it a go and deal with the outcome afterwards.”
Life can throw some unexpected curve balls, which it certainly did to me eight years ago. How I came about radically changing my situation, environment and lifestyle was completely unplanned and off the radar. But sometimes, that’s how the best things happen.
At the age of 30, I was heading down the “married with 2.5 children, dog and house with a white picket fence” route. I managed to perform a small percentage of this for a nominal amount of time – I think I made a year of being married -- before I decided it wasn’t really for me.
With cats in tow, I moved out to start a new life, which consisted of a very good job with lots of career prospects. When I wasn’t climbing up the corporate ladder, I was re-embracing my childhood love of horses. Four-legged relationships, generally seemed more gratifying than the two-legged versions.
That being said, within two years of leaving my husband, I managed to move house four times, had a number of horses and quite possibly twice the amount of romantic relationships.
My Mum always asked, “Are you bored dear?” when I told her that I was moving house yet again. She could see that no matter how hard I tried, I just wasn’t the settling type.
Then something unexpected happened that would take me out of my comfort zone for a number of years, and certainly kept me from being remotely bored.
Within a blink of an eye, I swapped my corporate lifestyle, company car, high heels and make-up for flip flops, limited electric and cold showers, but a very warm welcome into a new community and way of life.
A certain ‘unique’ man – well-spoken, with a slightly eccentric look -- walked into my life in 2008 and ordered a pint of beer from me while I was helping out at a local charity concert in the small village where I lived in North Yorkshire, UK.
The gentleman was certainly not my usual “type,” but he was very charming, and variety is the spice of life isn’t it?
He said he was relocating to Zambia to volunteer for an Anti-Poaching Conservation Organization in a small town called Mfuwe.
This was a different pick-up line than I was used to, and believe me, I’d heard a few. Needless to say, it worked its magic. Three months later, I found myself on a plane, jetting to join him in Mfuwe.
To be continued...
Tune in for Part 2, when Lisa arrives in Mfuwe, and her visit doesn't go quite as planned. Can't wait? Head over to her website http://www.theunplannedjourney.com.