This conscious life I choose each day.

When asked to describe myself, be it professionally or personally, I say: ‘Writer. Beauty Seeker. Earth Advocate. A Conscious Traveller Committed to Nature’ and that I try to be. But where did it all begin?

In many ways, it feels like a natural evolution of self that likely began at birth in the Free State’s gold-mining region where I grew up. Loved and nurtured by a family so large I have still to meet all my cousins, it is here that I spent my formative year’s schooling, competitive swimming, cycling, socialising and contract ramp modelling. It was just right.

My parents made an occasion of everything, road trips and holidays were accompanied by loads of excited planning, flasks of sweet black coffee and egg-mayo sandwiches – leading us to Cape Town, KwaZulu Natal and into the mountains where we stayed in simple self-catering cottages and maxed on time together in the great outdoors.

After school, a student exchange program took me to Israel where I met my first husband, returning to make it home for a few years, and where my daughter Lemor and son Eden were born. From there it was back to South Africa, and the years that would lead me to where I am today.

Falling incidentally into travel and tourism, working in the hospitality industry, as a wedding planner, running my own tour operating company for over a decade and then giving it all up to pursue a career as a travel writer as The Incidental Tourist in 2010. This brave leap of faith has served me well and I’ve been rewarded – albeit through huge amounts of hard work, opportunities to see much of the world, meet exceptional people and gain a better understanding of the vulnerabilities of our planet, and its wild creatures.

What I found was that the more I travelled the more it broke down the misconception that my world was different from the places that I found myself in, wherever they were. We are all so similar at our core.

A shared consciousness reminds us that we are mostly striving for the same things – a sense of safety, food security, clean water, to build a home for our loved ones, happiness, health, love, respect, a better world and a sense of peace. To see the world, to meet the truly beautiful, interesting and generous people that make it so very special, has been my life for the past 10 years plus.

Allowed to join conservation efforts to plant food forests, rehabilitate sea turtles, speak out for animal rights in tourism, co-own rhinos and walk with campaigners to raise awareness around the vulnerability of numerous species, as well as spend time with the communities working tirelessly to protect their environments, has been my greatest and most humbling lesson.

Grounding, real, raw, revolutionary. One that complemented my role as a mother, a foster mother, a daughter and a professional woman seeking her place in the world. Always encouraged to be kind as I set out to meet my full potential despite the unforeseen obstacles, this awakening to what matters, a newfound authenticity and strength for honest self-discovery – coupled with a desire to create awareness through my written word in the hope that it might fuel change in others.

I want to be better, to do better, to live with compassion and a complete consciousness that daily reminds me to keep the bigger picture as my focus while treading ever lightly and with gratitude on the world. Ways I do this are through a predominantly plant-based life, consideration and respect for others, producing my best work and nurturing a closeness to my family and loved ones. It is not always the easiest path, yet this is my purpose and from here I grow.

I look forward to continuing my life’s journey and to the choices that drive my ongoing growth and consciouness. Here’s to all that the future holds.

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Dawn Bradnick Jorgensen
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The Incidental Tourist

The Incidental Tourist is a Personal Travel Blog of a conscious traveller with a deep love for Africa, its people and the environment.

Here I bring you narratives, stories, video and photographs from my travels around the globe, including accounts of gorilla trekking in Uganda, tree planting in Zambia, turtle rescue in Kenya, setting up temporary home in Lisbon, accommodation and restaurant reviews, as well as details of the conservation efforts that I support.

A self proclaimed earth advocate and beauty seeker, I invite you to join me and share In my love of sustainable impact travel – and the rich offerings of our beautiful world.

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