First travel outside Nigeria
It was to the UK. I was excited by what I saw. The society was different from where I was coming from. They had a lot of amenities and everything; but I remember getting in there and saying, “aha, is this everything?” Though, dIfferent from where I was coming from, I expected to see things I had seen in the movies. While on the plane, I was a bit scared because of turbulence. It wasn’t my first time of travelling by flight; I had done a bit of that as a child; but that was the first time I’d be flying alone as an adult. That was in 2003. Despite the scare, I was happy that I was going out of the country, I was going for studies.
Overall the experience of living in the UK for the first time was really nice. The society has a system. For instance, without owning a car, there was a system that will get you to where you are going, and you have to learn the routes. The roads were squeaky-clean. No grains of sand on the ground. Everything was always so neat and tidy. When you go to their malls and shops to get groceries, you’d find everything well ordered.
It depends on whether I am travelling for business or leisure. For business, I like Turkey; things are quite expensive there, but they have quality. Then, there is Dubai. Its visa protocols makes it easier for people to travel to Dubai. In Dubai, you can do business and pleasure at the same time. For leisure, it is anywhere there is water; I will pick Miami for that.
Essential travel items
Clothes. Because I make clothes, I rarely buy except when I see stuff that I really like, and most of the clothes I travel with, people buy them off me once they see me dressed in them. Hence, I usually travel with collections I really like, that are good for the weather of the place where I am heading, so that what people see on me, they can relate to it and are motivated to buy it.
I haven’t been to Paris. I really want to go there. I am working towards that.
Favourite food abroad
It depends on the country. If I am in Dubai, there are African foods there and I like African food. When I am in the US, I tried to eat their food, and my favourite is lamb chops with mashed potatoes.
When I travelled to Thailand, I was shocked by how respectful they were. Anywhere they see you, whether they know you or not, in the hotel or elsewhere, they’d bow to greet you. In this age and time! You will feel that technology and this new era would have changed and influenced them. But surprisingly, their culture is still very much there. They are so respectful––the way they talk to you, the way you cannot touch each other. I saw that too even in Turkey where if you are not married to someone, even if you were dating, you cannot touch each other; instead you look into each other’s eyes to convey your affection.