Adventure is a state of mind. It is an urge to explore something that is unknown to us, however big or small that might be. Adventure is about letting curiosity free and challenge our comfort zones and preconceived ideas. And ultimately, on a very personal level, it is about questioning our own very principles of life. Adventure is also a commitment and a responsibility; a commitment to pull through and not give up – not physically nor mentally; and a responsibility to use our experience and new knowledge to the best of our ability.
Africa is, in a way, also a state of mind. It constantly challenges our approach to life itself, with all its uncertainties, difficulties, wonders and beautiful moments. It may be a vast continent with an enormous diversity in people, culture and nature, yet in the same time there are ubiquitous characteristics, such as generosity, humour, compassion and an indomitable strength to pull through whatever hardships life throws at you.
In that sense Africa also symbolises the very essence of a true adventure. And it is in that capacity that Africa has drenched our minds and captured our hearts. It is a continent that you will instantly fall in love with, but that you will never in a lifetime fully understand; the red dust can simply not be washed off your clothes and souls. And in that lies Africa’s entire and irresistible attraction.
We have always travelled, in one way or the other. It has been our job to travel and it has been our passion. It still is. In that we find soulmates around the globe, all of whom have been struck by the same enigmatic wanderlust. Some of you may never leave the comfort of your sofa, but you travel nevertheless. Because a journey is not necessarily about geography – although for us it quite often is; it’s about curiosity. It’s about learning new things. Where you choose to start that journey is entirely up to you, but should you want to look into our way of doing it, this is a good place to start.
We believe there is a story under every rock and a story behind every baobab tree. In fact, every baobab tree is a story. There are stories to be found, told and remembered in every village, along every road and in the heart of every single person. Africa is particularly rich in stories and paradoxically it might stem from the fact that few stories have ever been recorded in writing. Modern African stories are, much like the traditional ones, tales of bravery, strength, hardships and wisdom.
To collect and tell stories has always been one of our main drives to travel in Africa. It is a continent from which the rest of the world tends to get a very uniform kind of stories, ignoring the immense pluralism that Africa has to offer. And as we see it, it’s not necessarily that we need a completely different image of Africa, but we certainly need a more nuanced one. We need, simply put, more stories from Africa. Or to use the words of Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “we must fight against the single story, we must fight for pluralism”. We have tried to do this in books, articles and lectures, and we will continue to do so, on travels along Africa’s red, dusty roads.