Perspectives after a no-screens break

Having just returned from one of those “no screens” holidays, I’m feeling super-balanced about life again (and also a little afraid that I may have forgotten everything I’ve been learning)!

Being in the Addo Elephant Park reminded me keenly of my original inspirations for starting this journey – if I could do some good in the fight for preserving our environment one day, that would be the fulfilment of a dream… Before I left, I downloaded the CITES wildlife trade database on Kaggle – it makes for sobering reading, especially given these are only the trades officially recorded… I’m keen to make my next assignment an analysis of this data – especially those animals we saw in the park.

On a more philosophical note, by the time I went on holiday I think my brain had reached a fever pitch! I was getting to the point of being unable to sleep at night or focus on conversations with people because I was solving problems in my mind the WHOLE time – it became exhausting… Watching the slow deliberate movements of the elephant herds was very soothing: it slowed me down and reminded me “There is time…”. I think it’s really important for me to remember why I am doing this thing in the first place, and to focus on the joy of doing it. I’m reminded of a tweet from @CodeWisdom recently:

“Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think what a lot of people call intelligence boils down to curiosity” – Aaron Swartz

It’s easy to feel out of my depth, and pressurised to be awesome now! BUT the journey is as much, if not more, about the process and not just the destination. Perhaps our quick journeys give us a false sense of instant gratification! I hopped on a plane, hired a car, and was at Addo in no time… but in my father’s time it would have been a train ride or even a boat ride up the coast – it would have taken time, and there was much to be gained from that time.

So, here goes… Term Two of 2018!


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