What Crowded House and family safaris have in common

  • November 29, 2016
  • The comeback concerts of Crowded House have reminded Australians of how good it feels to connect with one another through a remarkable shared experience. A bit like an African safari with your family….

    Three generations on safari in the Serengeti. © www.africanfamilysafaris.com

    Three generations on safari in the Serengeti. © www.africanfamilysafaris.com


    On Sunday night Crowded House played their final comeback concert at the Sydney Opera House. For us folks in Australia, it was a big deal. There were thousands at the concert, and 650,000 people watched it on a live TV telecast. Images and videos from friends who were either at the concert or watching in their lounge room filled up my Facebook news feed and #crowdedhouselive was trending heavily on Twitter. It was incredibly moving to see a crowd of 5,000 people sing in absolute unison for 2 hours.

    People experienced something rare and amazing, together. And it was powerful. My wife and I joined in from our couch, singing our hearts out and absolutely feeling connected to the thousands of people that we were sharing the experience with. us.

    Jamila Risvi, a journalist from news.com.au penned a wonderful article about the impact the concert had on people all over Australia, and why this is an increasingly rare occurrence. In the article, Jamila talks about the connection that takes place between people when they share experiences together and how ‘the potential for shared experience is evaporating’. The Netflix generation is getting used to watching what they want, when they want and in their own time and space. We seldom share the experience of even sitting down with our family to watch TV.

    “Don’t get me wrong the individualisation and abundance of choice offered up by technology is glorious. But the opportunity to be pleasantly surprised or unexpectedly delighted by something we didn’t choose is disappearing.

    The potential for shared experience is evaporating”

    Jamila Risvi news.com.au

    This was why the Crowded House concert literally rocked us. There was some old school connection happening, and it felt good.

    And it all came down to one thing – shared experience. It is powerful stuff and it something I’ve been drumming on about since I established African Family Safaris. The immense impact of a family safari to Africa all comes down to shared experience.

    Imagine for a moment that you and your family are together in a wild, dynamic and pulsating environment. The mobile phones, ipads and laptops are away. You are there together, and on a mission to find the most charismatic wildlife on the planet. A herd of elephants with tiny babies wonders close to your open vehicle – everybody collectively holds their breath, and everybody giggles when they silently move off. The whole family has a collective hit of adrenalin when you stumble upon a great tawny cat, hidden in the grass, stalking slowly towards an unsuspecting herd of zebra. The wind shifts and the zebras dash away. The lion skulks off to seek another potential meal.

    Tension, relief, drama, humour, shared experience, connection – It is the regular cycle of a great family safari.

    These are real experiences that are amazing in their own right. However, when shared with the people you love the most, they become truly important points of connection, that will hold their value for decades. becoming a landmark in the collective family memory.

    Shared experiences are vital for families. They become the glue that allows you to remain connected with your kids even if they might not necessarily feel like talking to you.

    It is important to establish your own regular rituals as a family that act as connectors. It could be going for a family bike ride, or sharing an ice cream after going to the beach. It certainly doesn’t have to be as rare, powerful or expensive) as watching a Crowded House comeback concert, or sitting in an open Land Rover in the pristine wilderness of the Okavango Delta.

    However the enormous, ‘once in a lifetime’ shared experiences, with their uniqueness, authenticity, vitality and power are connectors of the highest order and a worthy investment in your families memories.

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