First trip abroad
It was actually coming to Nigeria. We came on a two-week ship cruise with my mum and brother. We visited the Canary Islands, Las Palmas and Ghana before coming to Lagos. It was very exciting. I still remember the menu for kids that had images of animals on them. I almost drowned in the ship’s pool and was confined to bed for a few days on the ship.
Recent trip abroad
It was to Equitorial Guinea for a fashion show in Malabo. It is interesting to note that Equitorial Guinea is only 45 minutes from Nigeria, via Port Harcourt by plane. It is fairly well developed. It is the only country in Africa that speak Spanish as its official language. Malabo is a beautiful city and the people, though tough, are also very warm.
It varies from continent to continent. For North America, it will always be New York. I remember on my first visit from London in the 1990s, I actually expected Superman to fly out between the skyscrapers. To see so many such buildings in such close proximity was mesmerising, and then, the manholes with constant steam coming out of them was amazing
For Europe, it has to be Paris. The city is simply unique, hence the phrase “…See Paris and die.” The city escaped bombing during the world war so much of its historical buildings remain intact. And then, you have couture. I love wandering down the couture houses, popping in to see some of my designer colleagues, and having coffee at nearby cafes. To the south of France, it has to be Monaco––it is bustling during summer; and it was great being there––relax in the square with a martini opposite Hotel de Paris, later go dancing at Jimmyz Bar, and crash out at the Hermitage Hotel. In Africa, it is Rwanda’s Kigali––so scenic and peaceful. The country has recovered from the dreadful war, and its people are now very united. A visit to see the gorillas in the forest is a must for anyone visiting. Asia sees me in China. It’s another country that has peaceful people who just seem to get on with their lives. You must visit the Forbidden Palace in Beijing. Not a single nail was used to build the huge edifice.
Favourite meals abroad
It varies according to countries’ cuisines and delicacies. I have always loved French foods, and so will wine and dine at nice restaurants. In Nigeria, I cherish the visits to Abeokuta, where you would find me eating pounded yam and efo at a joint called Surulere.
New York is always burgers. Sadly, in China, I find the food very much unlike what’s obtainable in Europe’s Chinese restaurants. So I pop over to McDonald’s. I always say this: If you are in a country and not sure what to eat, visit KFC or McDonald’s or just eat bread––it tastes the same all over the world.
Essentials travelling tools
Moisturizer, a good novel or book, my iPad (for BBC news and Netflix, as most hotels have wifi), credit cards and iPhone on roaming.
One, always google to find out the temperature at your destination. I was in Morocco recently for a show in Dakhla and I almost froze to death. It was freezing cold. I had assumed most of Africa would be warm.
Two, always have dollars with you. It truly is the world’s currency. It is accepted everywhere. You might be stuck in getting cash out of an ATM, or they might need your passport you left in the hotel room at the Bureau the change. So always have dollars.
Three, do a quick check on the country too, so you don’t end up on a holiday when all the shops are closed.
designer, is the CEO of Ade