Welcome to the WILD

Adventure awaits us all, it quietly bubbles away in our subconscious and can boil over and burn itself into our present mind. Often this call to the wild is hard to ignore. I mean isn’t life in itself a great adventure? Think of what newborns experience? or the baby taking her first step, or a child that climbs to the tallest slide, or the adult that deep sea dives.

Adventure is everywhere, it whispers in the dark, it wakes us from slumber and it can lead us to the wildest places.

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I remember when I was a kid I loved stories of characters going into forbidden pyramids, treasure hunts, otherworlds or treacherous jungles. I admired the kids in my school that could jump off high diving boards or trees. I remember one boy in particular that would shout, “Adventure is my middle name!” before he’d do an antic that was dangerous or attention grabbing. All the girls rolled their eyes, but I have to admit I always felt a little impressed by even the simplest acts of bravery.

Adventure is alluring, it attracts us and leads us to wild places. I wonder why we listen? Isn’t adventure dangerous? Isn’t it a hazardous experience that is the opposite to peaceful? So why do we do it? Why do we listen and put ourselves at risk? I wonder these things sometimes.

In my experience adventure is exploring places that feel different.Vancouver is my norm, it is a relatively peaceful and comfortable city. There is  a lot of natural space and it is stunningly beautiful with epic mountains and meandering seawall. There are endless coffee houses and nooks to sit and read. The people and culture of the city are relaxed. People live for the day and on sunny and rainy days there are many cyclists, kyackers, joggers and even stand-up paddle boarders of all ages. It is a land of quirky avenues of opportunity, imagination and wonder.

This is all very stereotypical of course, one cannot fully sum up a city in a handful of sentences but I hope you get the idea.

Vancouver is my norm, I really like it for what it is, but there is a call to the wild that is hard to ignore. A call that beckons me to other places. I don’t always listen but it remains, quietly whispering for me to follow.

The whispering voice lives deep in my heart and sometimes rises to my throat. I first felt it when I was five. I heard it tell me to climb out of the window and sit on the roof. I listened and I also convinced my friend to follow me. She listened. I remember waiting for my neighbour to go out of view before I climbed carefully onto the red shingled roof. I felt exhilerated and we giggled a  lot. But then there was my neighbours face. Sheer and utter terror at the sight of two five year olds sitting like little china dolls on the roof. The next Image I hold from this memory was the face of my mother bounding up the stairs. She reached and grabbed us and all was well. But the little voice of adventure lived on.

It eventually called me to Africa.

The voice of adventure geared me toward the continent over a great span of time. I read about Africa in books and looked at photos and listened to the words of those who’d traveled there. It reeled me in. This place that was so different from my norm. A wild place that was full of wonder and majesty and natural beauty.  A place where lions roam free, where Maasai tribes people hunt them and wear the lions mane as a crown.


A place with colour and beauty and untamed land.

A place I dreamed of visiting.

In 2009, it became a reality and the voice of adventure was heard. Africa invited me in and I was welcomed.


Karibu + Asante sana.


blog wild





  1. This was so beautifully written, Emily. I really enjoyed your thoughts…it made me realize that we all have our own sense of ‘wild’! Unlike you, I would be terrified to climb on a roof ! Like you, my husband and I are heading to Dubai and South Africa in 5 days to learn about others with whom we share this planet.
    Hugs to your Mom,
    Cathy (Humes) Whalen
    Your Aunt Kathy ‘s childhood friend


    1. Hi Cathy,

      Thank you for your comment. I hope you had an amazing trip. My mom has often told me of her time with your family and the beautiful strength of your mother. 🙂


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