ESCAPING COMFORT ZONES — Take the risk, you’ll love it
By Gertrude Babich

A WHILE ago my husband, Terry, did a TV show on catching yellowfish and rafting down the Orange River. He could not stop talking about the trip, telling me what an amazing time he had rowing 40km down the river on an inflatable boat and taking only the bare necessities with. It sounded absolutely insane; who in their right mind would want to pack almost nothing and row 40km downriver in scorching heat? It was completely out of my comfort zone. Terry enjoyed the trip so much that he decided to book a trip with clients and asked me if I wanted to go with them. I was sure he’d lost his mind. What kind of a man would want to stick his wife on an inflatable boat with a paddle in her hand and very little luggage, then make her row down the river for four days and sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag? Apparently a very clever man.

After a lot of convincing I decided to step waaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone and join Terry on the trip last October. Not being a camper, I had no idea what to expect or what to pack. When I read through the material from Kalahari Outventures I saw that we had to pack eco-friendly soap and shampoo, and my online shopping skills kicked in. With the click of a button I could tick that off the list. Bear in mind it was a very small list due to the limited space on the inflatable boat.

I read every relevant web page I could find and started shopping; I am now a self-proclaimed expert on outdoor-gear shopping. Among other things I had to buy a sleeping bag — didn’t even know they still make those things — blow up pillow and a quick-dry camping towel. Looking at my comfortable bed at home I could almost feel a tear roll down my face knowing I had to swop that cosiness for a tent and a sleeping bag. The fishing had better be worth it, I reckoned!

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