Close your eyes. What can you smell? At this moment, it’s the African bushveld: an earthy mix of dust, vegetation, the sweetness of fermenting marula fruit, perhaps a whiff of elephant dung. What can you feel? The heat, relieved by the evening breeze. The padded seat of the safari vehicle, maybe even a slight buzz from the sundowner drink you’ve just enjoyed. What can you hear? This evening it’s the resonant call of a group of ground hornbills, one of the most evocative sounds of Africa. And there ... the sharp warning barks of a herd of impala.
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Call it kismet: As my flight touched down at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, I came across an article about the new Leaf Spa opening at Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, becoming intrigued as I read about its wellness practices inspired by Earth’s natural wonders and seasons, believing spa-goers “shed old leaves and blossom anew.”