TEDx Dare: Life lessons from Africa’s remote tribes.
Bulljumping with the Hamer Tribe
Because through travel and talking and interviewing people all over the place, I have learnt the greatest life lessons.
The first lesson:
1. There’s no such thing as normal. We, as humans, are all so wonderfully different, yet in so many ways, we are exactly the same.
There are obviously language barriers and stark cultural differences, but I’ve learnt that we all have a similar desire for happiness, health, peace and joy, and a need to get through life the best we can.
Here’s my example: The Suri Tribe – on the border of Ethiopia and South Sudan – one of the most treacherous and isolated locations on Earth.
Love in the Time of Malaria
The Hamer is the Omo Valley’s largest tribe. It has a long and staunch history of tradition and ceremonies.
For young men, the bulljump is their gateway into manhood. The ultimate challenge. In this age-old ceremony, the male (normally around 15) is required to shave off most of his hair, strip naked and then run over the backs of six or more bulls, four times.
A successful attempt means the young man is given an AK-47 and is considered man enough to marry and raise a family.
The Rise in Women Travelling Solo
Stepping into the wild unknown with your partner can end in two ways – blissfully well as you sail into the sunset, or badly... very badly. Thankfully our story has a happy ending, despite a series of military coups, a filthy dose of malaria and an almost deadly scorpion sting.
It was never going to be an easy journey. Here we were, two television producers suffering from a case of wanderlust, taking a year out from busy careers to explore the dark depths of Africa. We carried little more than our cameras. Our goal was clear – live alongside Africa's most endangered and isolated tribes in places like Ethiopia and South Sudan - and try not to kill each other in the process.
During my time in Colombia with World Nomads I interviewed a number of badass solo women travellers. Women of all ages from all over the world, choosing to pack their bags and set sail on their own.
These women are inquisitive, adventurous, normal and know how to stay safe. They told me the appeal of going without friends or family was in the true sense of freedom it allowed. They could also be pushed outside their comfort zones and feel a boost in confidence and accomplishment upon their return home.