Ben Winston

Not your average travel blog

It’s beginning to get contemplative

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The journey through Banff and Jasper National Park is like travelling through one euphoric postcard of Canadian landscape into another. Except without “Wish You Were Here” slapped across the sky in neon letters, and sometimes, quite frankly, I’m glad you’re not. The beauty I find in the wild is often in the remote and isolated moments – where there is no outside distraction – where it’s just me and no discussion.

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A look from an animal is all it takes to either be humbled, curious, fearful, or fulfilled. To be in the presence of this landscape, is completely enough. Nothing makes me breath more deeply, wonder more deliberately, or love more freely, than when I put the camera down and actually take in for a few moments, exactly what it is that I was trying to capture. I see many tourists forgetting to do this, and as they rush around to get another photo, waving their phone desperately in the air trying to connect to something hundreds of miles away to share it, it saddens me slightly. I admit though, it takes me a little while to disconnect and to let go of my techie-connections to tune in to what’s in front of me. When I do finally find a moment to unload some of my pent up excitement on some terrible wifi connection, I’m just as bad as a teenage girl on whatever the trending social media site is nowadays (I’m so in tune with the hipsters it’s ridic). I’m aware that this can be somewhat vain, but nothing I write here can even come close to what is happening around me. I feel all I do is portray my experiences in a way that I can read back someday to remind myself, to see what I once saw, to feel the emotion that I was privileged to feel. I realise my memory will always be more than the words I choose to remind myself with, but I also need to share. I wish you could see, feel and be part of just a little of my day – especially when all I want is to talk to someone I hold close, or just sit and watch with them whatever I’m seeing, alone in the wild. It’s hard sometimes, knowing there is no call I can make to say, “hey, come over, I have gin and tonic on ice for you and there’s a massive bumbling bear munching on some berries halfway up a mountain in front of me”.

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I think experiencing and breathing in an event, endeavouring, wholeheartedly persevering and living what is worthy of some wordsmithing is the only way to be fulfilled. If I wasn’t here, I’d be staring out of a window somewhere, enduring frustration, and planning.

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I’m aware of the power with which words can influence and conjure, and of their catalytic importance for stimulating an imagination, born from being a curious and dream-harbouring logophile. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them… With you not here, and with my camera work often being amateurish, all I have left are words. It can be overwhelming, and reluctantly, I often experience things alone. Using and sharing words is hard, and it would be easier if (some of) you were here.

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Where am I now?

After extensive work and tours through Southern Africa, I’m now mainly in Malawi.
Go Untamed Safaris is now up and running.
Between work days and in the rainy season (December to April); I am planning some expeditions and seek out some experienced individuals keen to be involved.
I am normally available in the U.K. January to March.

For safari and expedition details:

email: info@gountamed.com

http://www.gountamed.com

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