Many available memoirs tell the story of the author’s adventures through a wilderness that is either a literal outside, or an inner journey. Jan Boal tackles adventures of both kinds in her book Safari for the Soul. After she faced several midlife crises within a short time, she found herself on a new threshold. Listening to her inner guidance to “travel the world,” she researched several ways to combine travel with her desire to be a positive force in the world. She decided to take some time to volunteer with an animal preservation nonprofit. That took her to three different continents. She shares as well as describes her adventures not only in the outer world of planning for the trips and weaving her way through all the travel, but also her in the inner world of listening to her deeper instinctual self and paying attention to her dreams.
Her adventures revealed her growing connections with the other volunteers and locals and staff at the sites, as well as her impressions of the surroundings in which she worked. Beyond her beautiful descriptions were the encounters with the animals whose lives she was volunteering to preserve or improve: most notably, the Jaguar in Brazil, the Dolphin in Greece, the Black Rhino in Kenya, and the Silverback Gorilla in Uganda. Of course, all the sites she visited were habitats for multiple species, which are mentioned as she encounters them.
Safari for the Soul brings each of the places visited to life in quick snapshots and flowing succession. Boal’s writing style is packed with information in a way that is life affirming and lively. Her descriptions, though spare of words, create complete images for the reader. The book is a quick and smooth read from beginning to end and would make a good travel read.
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