In 1962 I went to the Lyric Theatre in Kitchener to see Hatari!*, a film starring John Wayne and directed by Howard Hawks. I was 12, I was alone, and I fell in love with Africa. From then on if anyone asked me if there was any place in the world I wanted to visit, Africa was on my list. But it was on a “someday list”, on the border of fantasy land. The other destinations on the list seemed possible: Europe, Disneyworld, the Rockies. Africa? Not so much.
Flash forward 27 years and I’m lying in coronary care with a heart rate of 240 (no that’s not a typo) and scared witless. It’s amazing how focused you can get on those “someday” fantasies while machines beep around you in a medical ward 70 miles from home that looks like something out of Dickens.
A fortieth birthday, a shared bottle of wine, and my friend and I were contacting travel agents and planning a trip to Kenya and Tanzania.
Twenty-nine years later was it John Wayne’s Africa? The Africa of my dreams? Yes it was. We saw wildebeest, elephants, zebras, cheetahs and lions. Buffalo woke us a night running outside our window and hippos serenaded while we had a picnic. We went to Arusha and I saw the same tribespeople that had featured in the film. It truly was a dream come true. I played golf on Mt. Kenya, watched the sunrise over the Ngorongoro Crater, drank Tusker beer and I brought home a feature film in my mind that (I hope) I will never lose the technology to replay.
Have you had “someday dreams” that came true? Are you doing something now to make that someday happen soon?
*In Swahili, hatari means danger.