Urge to Splurge

If it wasn't for a friend's wedding, Donna Surgent may not have fulfilled her urge to splurge. A few years ago, Donna's friend, who she also refers to as her adopted son, got married in Africa. Donna was unsure of whether she would be able to attend, but after a friend said they would make the trip worthwhile by going on a safari. Donna took the plunge, bought a plane ticket, got all her shots and traveled over 17 hours to Africa.
After the wedding, Donna and her friend embarked on their adventure to see the wild. During their travels they stayed in Kwa Maritane and Kruger National Park among others. For how long? It is even hard for Donna to remember. "I didn't pay attention to the days; I was so enthralled with the animals!"

Donna saw everything from elephants, to giraffes to spiders bigger than her hand. And the list goes on and on. Cheetahs, leopards, baboons, crocodiles, ostrich, hippos, zebras, lions and tigers (but no bears, oh my).amazing animals living in the wild, their natural habitat. She saw things many people dream of. Ironically, she never once saw a snake or had one mosquito bite, which is one reason she got all those shots. The environment she was surrounded by was so natural, and possibly dangerous, that she was not allowed to get out of the vehicle. "There is no walking. Step foot outside and you are fair game." There was one point when a leopard stood up from the bush right beside the truck they were in. "He and I were awfully close!" The armed guide even told her that he would rather shoot her than the animal if anything happened. One interesting thing she learned: hippos kill more people than any other animal in Africa. I would have guessed the lions!

The accommodations, fortunately, weren't so wild. Other than having to be careful of the baboons who would try to steal your things, Donna said everything was so nice. She and her travel buddy stayed in a different place almost every night. There was hot running water, great food and amazing wine. The wine was so good, that before venturing into the wild Donna traveled to six different vineyards for tastings. Now, South African wine is the only kind she buys.

Before this trip, Donna had traveled some in her life. She has been to Italy, Switzerland, Hawaii and the Caribbean Islands. But going to Africa was definitely at the top of her list. "It has been a dream of mine. It made me feel good to finally see it, and I would go back in a heartbeat!"

"It gave me a sense of accomplishment," says Donna of her urge to splurge. "There was so much I saw that put me in awe." Ask Donna about her trip and she will show you picture after picture of the amazing things she saw.

Donna's urge to splurge was an amazing experience. Being with the animals is something she describes as humbling, because, as she says, they were here first.

Even before her safari into the wild, Donna was no stranger to following her dreams. Originally from New Jersey, she moved to Hilton Head Island 32 years ago. After working in real estate and sales among other various jobs, she decided to go to work for herself. "I wanted to work at home and get a dog," Donna said. And that is exactly what she did. She and her dog comfortably work from her home while running HH Home Office, Inc., a bookkeeping service for small businesses. This is one number-cruncher that adds adventure to her tally of life.

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