Monday 26 August 2013

Dream job's dream destination

There are dream jobs, and dream jobs. Quite honestly, when I was Stationery Queen at the primary school across the road, paid to pore over catalogues of shiny pens and staplers, ordering card and paper, whiteboard markers and dusters, and gleefully unpacking the delivered boxes, I really thought I'd found my metier. And when the time-and-motion people brought in by the Board of Trustees decided my job should be expanded to include resources and the library, well! I was stoked. Until the BOT immediately decided, on reflection, to dispense with my services altogether, informing me of my redundancy just hours before the combined staff-board Christmas do. Bitter, me?

But then I blundered my way into the sort of occupation that is envied by more than just other stationery fetishists: travel writer. Flying, often business class, to overseas destinations, to stay in fancy hotels, be taken out to dinner, shown around and looked after; or, equally desirable, going on adventures, like walking the Inca Trail or kayaking along a croc-infested river - all for free? And then to be paid (a pittance, admittedly) to write about it afterwards for newspapers and glossy magazines? Now that's what you call a Dream Job. The fact that, as I keep whining, it's not actually a holiday, can be exhausting and frustrating, and has very little freedom, is really neither here nor there. Who wouldn't rather do this than make laminated passive-aggressive notices to stick on the staff fridge and microwave?

Even though I sometimes get a bit blase about it, possibly slightly jaded from time to time, I love doing my job. I've been places, done things, met people I would never have dreamed of and certainly could never have afforded myself. But the more I do, the more I realise just how huge our world is and how impossible it is to see everything, or even a fraction of its best bits. And one of the better bits, for someone like me who loves to see wildlife, is Africa. I've never been! I keep saying, "perhaps this will be the year I get to Africa" but, not yet having been particularly proactive about it, that year hasn't yet arrived. So how exciting was it to open a random email last week which asked, "Would you be interested in an all expenses paid trip to South Africa next month?"

Pretty damned exciting. Especially since it's to go on safari to follow a campaign to prevent rhino poaching (elephant poaching would have been a bit closer to my heart, but I have nothing against rhinos, and any animal's extinction is a heinous sin). Proper bush camping with hyaenas scavenging around the fire in the night, walking through the bush, and heaven knows what kind of toilet arrangements... glorious! And it's just this minute been confirmed. I'M GOING TO AFRICA!!!


the queen said...

Oh no darling, rhino poaching is all the cause célèbre. Stephen Fry tweeted on and on about it last year. Seriously, I'm sure it's a huge problem, but social media acts like it's the only poaching game in town.

TravelSkite said...

You're right, I'd forgotten that. Thank you for reminding me. Though it feels a bit culinary, googling 'Stephen Fry rhino poaching'.


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