In 2015, Debra Yaeger needed to find something to keep her occupied after she resigned from her job and recuperated from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. In came safariLIVE and now she spends her spare time with us on the safari vehicle.
"I discovered safariLIVE on Nat Geo Wild on television during their Big Cat Week during November 2015. During the drives on TV, the guides kept mentioning 'the sunrise drive earlier today' and I didn't understand why because only one drive was broadcast on TV per day. So, I listened a little more carefully and finally heard safariLIVE was on the internet! I was so excited!"
As far back as Debra can remember, she has wanted to go on an African safari. She has had a love for animals since childhood, a love fostered by her retired biology teacher father and never ending curiosity. She has channeled that into taking over 80 000 screenshots in the year she has watched drive.
Debra, known to many fellow viewers as Debra Armchair Traveler, compiles these screenshots into videos for her YouTube channel. She has painstakingly taken her screenshots of the elephants, lions, leopards, birds and antelope of the Sabi Sand and put them to music. The result is a homage to the year she has spent with WildEarth, traversing Djuma, Arathusa and Cheetah Plains.
Through all this, Debra has regained self-confidence and acquired new skills. "It has inspired me to reacquaint myself with computer skills that I let get rusty, and teach myself new computer skills since I resigned when it was too early for me to officially retire. It has inspired me to reach out to a new community of folks; and get out of my comfort zone since I am a bit shy, believe it or not. I like to share my knowledge with other people and learn from others as well. safariLIVE has helped me find myself and gain back some confidence that I lost."
"Without being on Facebook or any other social media platform, I had no way to share my gorgeous screenshots with people - except for the 60 or so I printed out and put into a portfolio and carry around showing it to my family and friends," she says. But now she has a suitable outlet for all that interest and energy.
"Since I already had a YouTube channel in order to chat, I wanted to make further use of it. So I dusted off my skill of resourcefulness and figured out a way to turn my screenshots into what I call my mini screenshot videos and put them on my YouTube channel."
That community has embraced Debra, and she now has a presence on social media, something she thought was a daunting task. "I've even joined a couple of groups related to safariLIVE. Yay me!"
Like many others, she feels that the magic of safariLIVE is in the ability to see everything live as it happens and truly experience it. She shares the common sentiment that she is a "safariLIVE addict".
"safariLIVE has been therapeutic for me and is helping me find myself again."
If you have an interesting story to tell about your #safariLIVE or WildEarth experience, and would like to be featured in a future #safariLIVE Viewer Profile, contact us with your contributions, photo and video submissions at firstname.lastname@example.org. You could be interviewed next!