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Friday, October 28, 2016

Botswana, Villas in Europe, and Family Trips to New York in October ActiveTravels Newsletter

There was a moment on our second day of safari in Botswana where our guide, Kebby, spotted a leopard. We drove up to a leafless tree where this exquisite animal was perched on a branch, looking intently at the impalas nibbling on grass in the distance. We all grabbed our cameras and binoculars to take in the spectacular sight. After 15 minutes, I was ready to move on, but our guide stayed put. Giraffes passed by, an elephant came close to the land cruiser, startled to find us there, and the leopard moved to another branch. At last, the leopard jumped off the tree and sauntered away in the tall grass.

 
We must have looked at him for at least an hour, a ridiculous amount of time for some one as impatient as me, always thinking of my next activity, deadline, or goal to achieve. But to truly be in the present, clearing your mind of all extraneous thought and worries and simply stare at a leopard, that is really a moment to savor. In fact, it's the essence of authentic travel. A chance to share a precious moment with loved ones far away from the seemingly endless responsibilities of modern-day lives. Afterwards, I thanked Kebby for staying with the leopard. He noted that it's often the time he’ll see a kill, when he stays with one predator like a leopard or lion for a long period of time.
 
Take time to pause in your travels this upcoming year, whether it's over a glass of wine at a vineyard, at the beach with a good thick book, in front of a wonderful work of art, or staring at a leopard in the bush. Be sure to build downtime into your itinerary and not just check off sight after sight. Travel is not a contest but necessary time to nurture an often weary body and soul. The vast wilderness of Botswana's Okavango Delta, our main feature in this month’s ActiveTravels newsletter, is the perfect place to replenish the well. We also discuss some alternatives to hotels in US and European cities as well as the Caribbean; an outfitter who specializes in grandparent's trips to New York; a Quick Escape to the home of Halloween, Salem; and a reminder to always check in before your next flight.
 
Enjoy reading and, as always, happy travels!
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/28/16 at 06:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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