“I would like to think of myself as the consummate planner. ”


This isn’t just because of my chosen profession that I wrote that sentence. I’ve been articulating goals and identifying what was important to me since the end of high school. In my mind, those weren’t necessarily considered lofty goals by anyone else’s measuring stick, they were simply my goals.

Sometimes those goals were monetary in nature other times family goals. When we were first married, Donna and I would go for a walk around our neighbourhood and discuss what we would envision for our future. I will write about our cottage story another time.

Cottage sky, Oxtongue Lake

My goals were sometimes career goals. At first those involved certificate courses for pure interest, then licensing courses, followed by more advanced designation courses. Eventually, shifting entire client lists from one regulatory body to another. Finally, in my latest move even changing companies and the entire way we do business. Some of the business goals were because there was a wave coming and I didn’t want to be swept by it. The burning desire was to be riding the leading edge of it. I love what I do and I’m truly passionate about making a difference. More than that, I’ve been like a sponge. My clients have taught me more than I will ever teach them.

Part of the maturing process is seeing the circle of life at play. My journey of self discovery could also be because I’ve reached one age milestone after another. It could be that I’ve learned from the mistakes I’ve made. I’m a son, a father and now even a grandfather and it could be by shear osmosis that I’ve gotten wiser.

I learned to figure out what’s truly important to me. You see for someone who’s entire livelihood revolves around people and their money, I really don’t care much for the accumulation of millions and millions of dollars. Don’t get me wrong, my ultimate savings goal is “enough” plus one dollar! The tough part is knowing what is “enough”.

One of the themes that started developing was that I love taking pictures of animals and have driven to relatively close and convenient venues to get pictures of them. At first I was content with just zoo pictures. Metro Toronto zoo and even the famous San Diego zoo. I then graduated to African Lion safari just outside of Hamilton Ontario. I’ve always wanted more.

It’s bath time! And a swim! African Lion Safari.

A couple of years ago Donna and I discovered “The Wilds” near Columbus Ohio and what an amazing place that is! As much as those have incredible opportunities to take nice pictures, they left me wanting more. A Safari would be a team come true.

Bet you can’t do that! The Wilds, Ohio
Sharing wisdom in Metro Toronto Zoo
Cuddly at San Diego Zoo

And now… A Safari in Tanzania

Then by chance, a photo weekend with a friend and fellow photographer Dave Taylor. Dave has earned more credit than “fellow photographer”. He has truly taken photography to a different level with forty books to his credit. He is an educator and tour organizer. I think he’s up to fifteen Safaris to this point. Taking six to fifteen people along for the ride. I had the pleasure of having a sneak preview of hit latest project – a guidebook to the Serengeti. Wow, just wow!

The weekend became almost an infomercial for a Safari. I was hooked. The sales pitch to Donna was easy, as long as I answered specific pointed questions and give her the right answers, she was in. We had promised our friend Yvonne Tyml to tag along with us. Then a mutual friend, Sandra Miller pretty much said that we couldn’t go without her. We had us a trip!

Dave Taylor, during the weekend long infomercial.

Dave survived a health scare serious enough to back out of going along with us and be our guide. However, he graciously connected us with his travel agent Elena Prountzopoulos who works at Alltours.

They connected us with Leopard tours. The outline of the trip was designed by Dave with the following parameters:

Dave designed, Elena arranged for and Leopard Tours refined the trip to make it work more smoothly.

Today is the big day and I’m writing this blog on the airplane. All the research is done, camera gear checked and double checked. I had to buy the new iPad to give me a home to back up the images and now video.

Hurry up and wait sucks. With Yvonne, Sandra and Donna at Toronto airport

If the last trip to Yellowstone was any measure I would need tons of capacity for images. That Yellowstone trip was the one I took over thirty thousand images in two weeks.

This trip is almost here and designed for the photographer in me. Here’s hoping I have lots of opportunities.

There are already other stories to tell. Next posting – Amsterdam! This is my first blogging experience, feedback is most welcome!

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