In Swahili, safari means journey. Less than 8 hours before I departed on a two-day trip through the Maasai Mara, the US declared a level 4 travel advisory, urging all Americans overseas to return home immediately. Borders are closing. The unthinkable is happening everywhere. I could have to shelter in place indefinitely—no matter how far that place is from home. TMI, but I threw up all night from the stress. I had a ticket home through Paris in five days, but a 20-hour layover there (the original reason I bought that particular flight) in a European epicenter of COVID-19 (where even citizens must have a permission slip to wander outside) now sounded like a level of hell. My dad talked me into buying another return ticket through Dubai a day earlier, the best option we could find.
I decided to still go on the safari. I chose the cheapest camp, and while the rest of my crew stayed at a luxury resort up the dirt road, I was the only person at the thatched-roofed, canvas-tented property.
The Maasai Mara deeply impacted my soul. I’ve never experienced such unreal beauty. Such spectacular paragons of divine evolution and creation. Every animal pack had babies. So much new life, yet ancient and eternal and changeless at the same time. The brilliant night African sky—cicadas chirping in surround sound as if emitting from the thousands of glittering stars—rivaled the Mara in its stellar celestial beauty. Mars blazed orange, big and bold like a planetary beacon.
On day two of my safari, my Paris return flight was canceled, never to be rescheduled. On the Sunday I came back, Kenya announced they were suspending all international flights effective Wednesday. My dad saved me. Even in the majesty of Africa, there’s no place like home.
I had an epic Savers shopping spree before my trip. I found this tres chic Nine West cotton white jacket. Perfect to shelter from the African sun. But when I put it on a week into the journey and glanced in the mirror, it looked like nothing more than a medical jacket. A few weeks can change the perspective of everything.
Nine West white cotton trench coat – $7, Savers thrift store | Coldwater Creek abstract burnt orange, black & white animal print dress – $12, Savers thrift store | Frye studded burgundy booties – $75, Bombshell Salon‘s Head to Boots Fall Make-Up Event
Cheep it under African skies.