On Sunday my man and I went to the Durban Botanical Gardens to listen to South African adventurer Riaan Manser speak about his trip around Africa and Madagascar. We took our picnic basket…okay it was more like a Woolies packet, met our friends and then scoffed down all the cellulite unfriendly treats whilst listening to some incredible stories from Riaan. The talk was part of a fundraising event for Pathways – a school for severely disabled children which was started by friends of ours over 15 years ago.

The two words that best describe Riaan according to me are, “Cave Man”. With tanned skin, dark hair, gruff voice and square jaw line, all he seemed to be missing was a piece of loin cloth and a spear. Some of his stories were real scary, especially the one where he was caught by rebels and almost killed and gutted. Yes, gutted!!! But then he sensed us losing colour from our once-rosy cheeks and proceeded to tell the story of his friend, Russell, the mouse. He got so lonely on his trips that he felt some comfort in making friends with a rodent. Poor guy. If you ever have the chance of hearing him speak, you really should go, even if it’s just for the story of Russell.

Riaan’s parting words of advice were that even if you’re the best at whatever you do, you can always be better and can always grow. He narrowed it down to 3 things; Courage, Perseverance and Attitude. Have the courage to take on the things that you’ve always wanted to do, have the courage to take the first step and then persevere with whatever it is that you want to achieve. And lastly, attitude determines everything – I think we all know this but often forget it…so his talk was a good reminder!

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