As the sun goes down on a burnt-out Monday afternoon, one may joke that life has “gone to the birds”. For my family and I, it’s no laughing matter.
In 2012, Andrew and Kathy Crickmay took an unexpected blow when their only child (myself) dropped out of school and was diagnosed with Aspergers and severe depression, and life as we knew it spiraled out of control.
In 2013, we decided to fight back against fate.
Fast forward six months to a scene in the Amazon Rainforest, as my little family hacks it’s way through jungle, mud and clouds of mosquitoes in search of Macaws, Hoatzins and Toucans. Delving deeper into the unfamiliar forest, whilst still shaking from our boots Namibian desert sand, and flicking swamp muck of the Okavango Delta from behind our ears.
“In a desperate attempt to escape life as it was, the Crickmays took on one of the most grueling wildlife related challenges, the Birding Big Year. Setting out to find a total of 1 000 bird species from two completely different sides of the world within a calendar year, they immediately flung themselves to the farthest corners of the globe.”
Join the fray as we trek across 8 countries and travel over 70 000km in busses, planes and dugout canoes, only to land in waters infested with Piranha, Cayman, Anacondas and Rays, and share tents with Cobras, Hippos and deadly Ants. Taking on the harshest elements and most untamable creatures, tackling the driest deserts and the densest jungles, and give an all new meaning to the term; “Up the creek without a paddle”. All in the search of 1 000 birds.
But this is a journey not without it’s hardships. So follow me as I chase every bird-lovers dream, through intense sacrifice, heart-wrenching trial and occasional failing senses of humor, as I fight to find my place in the world.