My first travel out of Lagos, where I was born, was to Port Harcourt. It was my first plane travel, by Nigeria Airways in those days. When I was growing up, I went to school with the posh and rich and I asked my father, why is everybody going on a plane to somewhere else in the summertime? Why can’t we too go to London? As naïve as I was a little child, I didn’t understand that even though flight might have been N50 in those days, probably dad’s income was hardly enough to feed the family. My first international flight out of Nigeria, which was my home base at the time, was to America where I have resided for the last 23 years. I have had recent travels to London, Paris and Dominican Republic with my family.
It wasn’t so much of a culture shock, but what was surprising was that even though Dominican Republic is a Spanish-speaking country, (they have black and White Spanish-speaking population), some people in that environment practice the African traditional religion like Osun, the Orisha belief system. So maybe that would be a culture shock, that even among the Spaniards, there are people who practice the African culture.
Where will be my go-to country? Somebody has already promised me Monte Carlo in the past. I have tried to Google it, how to go there and I know there is a time when the price to get to Monte Carlo could be within the hundreds, I have also seen that the price could be within the thousands. I would want to go there and be able to go on boats, drive around town, see monumental places and enjoy myself, because it is a very small island, but with a vast and rich environment where one can go and have a serene, relaxing life. My job currently allows me to take off some days here and there, and be able to get like a week of vacation to go to places. Hopefully, in the next year, I will be able to make the journey.
My travel buddy is my daughter. We go to places together and I try often to include her on my trips. Together we have been to Canada, England (which is London), France and the Dominican Republic. I am hoping to take her to Dubai, but the dream place is Monte Carlo.
I’m a rice and beans person, so getting to Dominican Republic, for example, and finding a Hispanic food that looked more like a Nigerian food, I was so happy. Rice, beans, chicken––that’s my staple. I love it. It could be white rice; it could be Jollof rice; it could be fried rice; it could be rice and peas. As long as it is rice and peas and chicken, my day is made.
When we travelled to Paris, it was still winter, hence, the weather was brutally cold. We had appropriate clothes, but not when on tour of the city. We had to go on an endless bus ride to stay warm. However, day or night, Paris is a city to live and die for.
Essential travel tools
Weather-appropriate clothing––so as to not get sick––and a quick-fix medical cabinet.
Lessons from travels
If you love your trip, you will realize that you start planning the next trip as soon as you land from the current trip.