Category Archives: Travel

How to avoid or deal with a travel Nightmare

Every single trip usually involves nothing less than an hour to a couple of hours of patiently sitting till you finally arrive at your destination. Whether it’s by land, water, or air, you most likely would have to sit for a period of time before getting to your destination. Imagine being in discomfort, having a stomach upset, or feeling nauseous and having to vomit all the way.

This is exactly what happened to me and it remains my worst travel experience ever. I was on my way to Imo state for my sister’s traditional wedding. 

The night before my trip, I went to bed early right after having a nice bowl of spicy goat meat pepper soup. The next morning I was up before dawn and left for the bus terminal to kick start my journey. Once we hit the road for the long trip, my mind wandered to how I would sit for almost 8 hours before I got to my destination.

A few hours later, I began to feel a discomforting cramp-like pain and a burning sensation in my stomach. It was an unusual feeling, my tummy kept rumbling and I had to use the restroom immediately or else I would have had an unpleasant accident.

I basically had to plead with the driver to pull over at every fuel station that came in sight and he pulled over many times. That goes to show how many times I had to make these embarrassing stops to use the restroom

Finally, we pulled over to a pharmacy along the expressway and I was able to get anti-diarrhea medication and regain my sanity. At this point, other passengers on the bus began saying sorry for my sudden health condition and asking me what I had eaten. Then it clicked in my mind, the spicy goat pepper soup must have caused my stomach upset.

Plan your pre-travel meal

One amazing fact I learned the hard way is what to eat and not eat before a trip. Meals like beans, moi-moi, carbonated drinks, alcohol, spicy food, and fried food should be avoided before travel trips. It’s better to stick with water, bananas, greek yogurt, sandwiches, and salad. Be mindful of what you eat and drink a day before your travel. This will enable you to be in the best of shapes for anything your journey may present.

Professional dietitian Edwina Clark says that bringing a water bottle is a great way to guarantee you’re staying hydrated while travelling.

Medical Travel Kit

Always have a mini first aid kit with you for emergency medication, while travelling which should contain pain relief pills, aspirin, anti-diarrhea, bandages,inhalers, spirit, cotton wool, etc. It’s better to prevent certain unpleasant events from occurring while travelling. However, in cases, you cannot do so, be prepared for the outcome. It’s always great to be few steps ahead and planning for the unforeseen always comes in handy.

Comfortable clothing

Always make it a point of duty to dress comfortably in loose clothing while travelling. This is to ensure you are well relaxed, blood circulates freely without undue pressure from tight waistlines, belts, or too clingy outfits. Take for example if I was wearing a clingy play/jumpsuit that I need help to remove, then it would be extremely hard for me to relax plus an emergency visit to the rest room could end in disaster.

Back up for  phones 

This is to avoid touching stories, you never know how pressing this is until you are in a dilemma. Always travel with your own charger and probably a power bank if you live in Nigeria! This is to ensure you are always connected during the trip and prevents being stranded especially if you need to reach out to a contact person on arrival. 

Little Cash 

As much as society continues to go cashless we always need to have some amount of cash on us while we travel, not necessarily for spending but for unplanned situations that may need us to spend additional money.

 

For instance, on a road trip what if the vehicle you are in breaks down on the way and you have to board another vehicle or lodge in a hotel overnight? That why it’s advisable to have cash on you, as ATM Cards, cheques, and banking transfers may not work in all situations.

7 Visa-free Holiday Destinations for Nigerians

We never know how much beauty the world has to offer unless we set off to see for ourselves! Travel remains one of the fastest and best ways to learn more about international culture, cuisines, and history. It is also a great way to develop foreign connections, whether it’s business-related or mutual.

Do you ever want to just pick up your bags and hit the road to a foreign destination to relax and unwind, but your international passport is telling you otherwise?

To travel internationally as a Nigerian passport holder is rather challenging and has never been easy, as securing a visa to the Country of your choice is in most cases a big deal!

Nigeria has a low ranking passport that can only get you access to about 54 countries. A lot of countries require that as a Nigerian passport holder, you should have visited other countries and have a reasonable travel history before your visa application would be granted.

The back and forth, the visa hassle, the rejection at Embassies is more than enough to make about anyone frustrated.

Before you lose hope of visiting foreign destinations, here is a quick guide to Countries you do not need Visa to visit as a Nigerian passport holder.

1. Barbados

It’s a Country found in the Eastern Caribbean Islands and it’s a visa-free destination for Nigerians for up to a period of 6 months. This island is well known as the land of tropical beaches and flying fishes!

2 . Cape Verde

This country is also called the Republic of Cabo Verde, a lovely island country off the West Coast of Africa. It is gaining popularity as one of the hottest tourist spots around the globe. It is visa on arrival for Nigerians.

3. Cote D’ivoire

This tropical sub-Saharan nation is found in West Africa and it’s visa-free for Nigerians.

4. Dominican

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean country noted for its clear blue waters and stunning beach resorts. It’s 21 days visa-free for Nigerians.

5.Ghana

This West African Country is just next door to Nigeria and has lots of fascinating tourist spots. It is visa-free for Nigerians.

Maldives

6. Maldives

The famous paradise islands, Maldives, made up of a chain of about 1200 islands are found in South Asia and are visa-free for Nigerians.

7. Seychelles

It is visa-free and is located in the Indian Ocean, east of the Africa Coast. This country also has arguably some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Exploring Seoul– South Korea

I wasn’t left behind with the wave of KDrama and KPop fever that blew over the world. With all things South Korea rising in appeal, fanned by their addictive drama series and Pop stars, there are certain places every fanboy or girl would love to visit in Seoul; the capital of South Korea.

You might be familiar with these places, and these are some spectacular sites to visit if you ever find yourself in Seoul.

Namsan Tower

This is one very popular place to feature in KDramas from ‘Boys over Flowers’ to ‘Hotel Del Luna’. Namsan Tower also known as Seoul Tower stands at 500meters above the city and 237meters on top of Namsan mountain.

It provides a very dramatic view of the entire city, with the tower itself covered in computer controlled LED lighting crowning the visual experience. It is no wonder many drama scenes have been shot here.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Seoul has five main palaces, and Gyeongbokgung Palace is the most important of them. It is the first royal palace to be built in 1395, the biggest of the palaces, and presently houses the National Folk Museum of Korea.

It is also the place many KDramas set in the Joseon dynasty like ‘The Moon Embracing the Sun’, ‘Goblin’ filmed their scenes. If you wear a traditional hanbok dress while visiting the Gyeongbokgung palace, you get free admission inside.

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Cheonggyecheon stream also known as Chengyecheon is one of the most popular waterbody in KDramas. It is a natural creek which flows through downtown Seoul which forms the Southern border.

It is also the home to the Seoul lantern festival which is held in November where lighted paper lanterns are displayed along the creek each night to create a view worthy of an artwork. KDramas like ‘My Mister’, ‘Flower of Evil’ and ‘49 Days’ are a few to feature the stream.

Bukchon Hanok Village

As crazy as it sounds, the Bukchon Hanok Village is a preserved area of several ancient neighbourhoods and alleyways which gives the feel of what it was like to live in Korea 600 years ago.

The area is complete with ancient Korean traditional architecture, food and culture. KDramas like ‘Personal Taste’ and ‘The Heirs’ filmed some scenes here.

A thousand words — Ado-awaye suspended lake

Iyake lake
Elephant tree

Ado-awaye is a town in Oyo state that houses one of the two world suspended lakes . The Lake is called Iyake lake , just beside the lake is a small hole called “Agbomo fun Iyake” (The source of the Iyake lake) . Also some other side attraction is the Elephant tree.

Ado-awaye is a 2 hours 20 mins drive from Ibadan . Neighboring towns to Ado-awaye includes Iseyin. Okeho. Igana . Isemi.

Top African Countries to visit in 2021

Do you still have plans to travel in 2020 ? Or have you stored your passport away anticipating the coming year.

Experts around the world have highlighted about 20 countries in the world that will be a top destination in 2021. This article will focus on the African countries that made the list.

Kenya

Kenya is in East Africa with her capital in Nairobi  and on a trip you should  expect to enjoy the wildlife safari, the pristine beaches and the culture of the people.The wildlife Safaris are the major attraction and every visitor sure has this on their to do list. Moreover your visit to Kenya is not complete without saying hi to the wildlife. Word on the street says you need to visit these places listed to qualify as a good tourist .

Nairobi National park, Maldini Marine National park which is a gem with clean water beaches and colorful aquatic habitation. Mount Kenya, Samburu National Reserve, Lamu Island which is very off the usual trail and reserved for discerning tourists who want an out of the box experience, the essence of the old and the past.

On a trip there, a lot of things are priced in dollars so be ready to part with a few.

Source – CNN Travel

Rwanda

Rwanda is in east-central Africa with its capital in Kigali, known for beautiful scenery and hills. The hub of sustainable Tourism and named the cleanest city in 2017 by the World Economic Forum. If you are looking for a budget  friendly location this will be your best bet. However some of the activities are expensive so you need to plan ahead and also set a priority of sites to visit. There are lots of lakes including volcanic ones, rivers,nature area, wildlife, hot springs, waterfalls etc. In summary if you are in sync with the outdoors and nature then this is your ideal spot.

             

Egypt

The first thought about Egypt is usually pyramids Mummies as in Mummy movies and pharaoh , Nefertiti youth like feeling. However there is much more to see and do with pretty beaches and swimming high on your list with at least 12 choices to choose from.

Egypt is the country where you can experience a range of activities from relaxation to adventure and the culture making the perfect mix and experience. There are temples, tombs,, historic sites,deserts e.g. The Nile river , mount Sinai, artifacts in Luxor and Cairo the capital has all the city effects.

Source 360.com

Source : Plantware.com, El-Gouna Beach

Source Planetware.com , Taba Beach

Tunisia

Tunisia is located in the far North of Africa and one of it’s tourist attractions is the cosmopolitan capital city of Tunis. As Tunisia is located on the shores of the Mediterranean sea, it offers some of the most beautiful beaches found in North Africa. According to The New York Times, Tunisia is “known for its golden beaches, sunny weather and affordable luxuries.” Visiting this country is a unique cultural experience and you get to visit the archaeological site of Carthage, the Sahara dessert and the star wars filming location among others.

Source- World Travel Guide

Source – Tunisiatourisminfo.com

South Africa

From Capetown to Johannesburg ,Durban, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth, you will be wowed and won over with lots of beautiful sites, adventure, fun activities and a general sense of well being. Activities include surfing,Vineyards, Lagoons,beaches, apartheid museum and a host of others.

Location highly recommended for the adrenaline junkie who derives pleasure in a host of activities and always ready to explore and hit the roads. A trip to South Africa requires you to please come prepared to spend the money.

Source – Africabriefng.org

Source – Jakartapost.com

 

Hitchhiking 101

Once when I was in Secondary School, I played with a leaf I had cut from a tree on my school premises while I walked towards the road where I’d catch a bus home. With my head in the clouds, I let my mind wander with unchecked thoughts, feeling slightly badass for staying later than the school closing hours.

Minutes later as I was about to catch a bus, I realized the leaf was gone, and so was my bus fare without hope of getting it back.

I did the only thing I could. I swallowed my anxiety, stood at the junction, and flagged down vehicles driving by. I got a ride home from a stranger in a Toyota that day.

Years later when I stumbled on the word ‘hitchhike’, I recalled this incident.

Hitchhiking or Thumbing as it is also called is a means of travel. An individual stands by the road either thumbing towards the direction he intends to travel, or in some countries around the world, stands with palms facing upwards, or back facing the direction of travel. Some people also carry written signs to communicate their intentions.

Though the popularity of this means of travel is greatly reduced and in some states in the United States; it is banned, it is a very curious means of travel. Nomads have traveled this way for decades, the country Germany encouraged it in 2010 as a means to improve the mobility of local residents, and there is much more appeal to it than a free ride.

Growing up, I went through a phase of anxiety, and talking to strangers seemed like being sentenced to death without parole. I couldn’t conceive the idea of talking to outsiders, or worse, ask someone I didn’t know for help.

My first hitchhike experience reminded me that there are good people willing to help without needing favours back.

There are a number of interesting people to meet in the world, and spending hours of travel time with a stranger who willingly picks you up on their ride is one way to discover new adventures.

But, for safety purposes, it is always best to hitchhike during the day when you can get a good look at the driver. Never take rides from impaired drivers.

Trust your instincts; my first hitchhike driver choice was made solely by my instinct. The car pulled to a halt, I took a look at the driver’s face and my mind didn’t split from my body and disappear. 

Oftentimes, your instincts are usually right, and your next travel experience might just be in the front seat of a car or cars that picked you up after thumbing in the direction you want to go.

Have you ever had a hitchhiking experience?

5 Curious Food Choices

One thing is absolutely certain – I love food. If I were to be paid by the hours I spent fantasizing about food, I’d have been a millionaire ages ago. 

To me, food is like falling in love over and over again; it is a constant resurgence of excitement knowing I am about to eat something delicious and it amps up like butterfly wings flapping furiously if it is something I haven’t tried or have been curious about for a while. 

I know it is because of this intense relationship I have with food, I find myself thinking about the taste of certain meals I have never tried before.

There are certain dishes my soul believes will leave a permanent mark on my taste buds simply by staring at pictures of them or recipes of them, and as a result, my brother suffers the brunt of countless food experiments that turn out edible, but most times inedible.

With the year tapering into my favourite part because of the Harmattan weather, my curiosity about these dishes has been revved up. 

BUBBLE TEA (BOBA TEA)

I love tea. One of my fondest memories with my father was trying out his collection of different flavoured teas he kept in a special cabinet in the kitchen. 

Because of our shared love for it, I was very proud to be the one to make his select choice of tea for the day where he never let anyone else. Together, we would sit and sip tea without uttering a word to each other as the scent of flavoured tea drifted around us. This is partly why I am curious about Bubble Tea.

Bubble Tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980s but is served today in almost every part of the world. The distinctive factor of Bubble tea is the addition of black or white boba pearls which are made from tapioca. 

There is a wide variety of Bubble Tea flavours but its main ingredients are tapioca, milk, brewed tea, creamer, and sugar.

TACOS

One show that was gold for me growing up was ‘Victorious’ on Nickelodeon, and in an episode heavy on inference from the movie ‘The Breakfast Club’, Robbie and Cat try out tacos for the first time. This scene added tacos to my curious food list.

Tacos are a very popular Mexican dish and are usually made with corn or wheat tortilla folded around a filling of beef, cheese, spices, and vegetables. I can’t get over the sound of crunch when biting into it; my inner foodie knows I’ll love this dish.

MACARONS

The day I stumbled into the video-making process of Macaron, was also the moment it got bumped high on my curious food list. Macarons are like babies; sensitive, expensive, and need a lot of patience to make.

Macarons originate from Italy. It is a small cake or cookie made from ground almond powder or coconut, sugar, flavouring, and a number of other ingredients to give a crispy yet chewy and melty feeling. Or so it has been described, I can’t wait to find out for myself.

They are small, cute, colourful and simply a delight to stare at.

BUNNY CHOW

I am a bread lover. Growing up, my mother indulged this with the strong stand that over time I would get tired of it and simply give it up. Mornings with my family growing up had bread in it, and on the days it didn’t I longed for it. Decades later, I haven’t still gotten over bread.

Bunny Chow or Bunny is a South African dish made with hollowed-out bread filled with curry. The curry consists mainly of meat chunks, a selection of aromatic curry spices and beans, as well as a number of ingredients.

It is popular street food in South Africa said to have originated from Indian South Africans in Durban. As long as it is paired with bread, I am sure this combination would be orgasmic.

KIMCHI

My curiosity over Kimchi goes beyond the health benefits of this dish of fermented vegetables like cabbage and radish made with various kinds of seasonings to give it a sweet and sour texture.

It is the picture of exploring an entire culture system with this food that has been on the menu for Koreans for ages, and hopefully finally understanding why a Korean meal isn’t complete without Kimchi, especially when that meal is ramen.

Have you tasted any of these foods, and what foods are on your curious food choice list?

Benefits of Travelling

Source:Wikipedia.

I will never understand how my older sister could wake up one morning and announce out of the blue she was going to travel to a destination I didn’t know existed until she mentioned it. 

“She’s an adventurer,” I’ll always say with a shrug when someone asked where my sister was when she was on one of her many adventures, but I didn’t understand it one bit. 

How could you wake up and decide to leave the comfort of your abode, brave rugged and unfamiliar paths, spend days in the company of strangers and get pleasure from it all? It didn’t make sense to me. 

So, I picked the day after my bubbly sister rolled her way back home with skin looking darker than I remembered after a travel adventure to find some answers, and it turned out to be a day I’ll never forget. She gave me three reasons why I choose to seek a world outside of what I call home.

Photo Taken In Madrid, Spain

“Each friend represents a world in us, 

a world possibly not born until they arrive, 

and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

 – Anais Nin

My sister told the best stories and gave the best advice. I never thought much about it, but I walked around with the feeling that there wasn’t much my sister didn’t know. Holding a conversation with her was one of my favourite activities. The crown on it all was how understanding she was. It seemed almost unnatural. 

She told me on that day that while on her adventures, she had lost count of the number of people she had spoken with. She had lost count of the number of cultural knowledge she grasped through communicating with strangers. 

She had learned the power behind an open mind and how to live life to the fullest. She became her best self through years spent mixing with people of different and similar perspectives from hers and eating cuisines she never would have imagined. She lived life through every person she met.

“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, 

but in finding something to live for.”

– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

My sister had her life figured out early on. She knew what she wanted and seemed to get new inspiration on how to accomplish her set targets. It made me feel like I was the drifter between the both of us when I was the one with feet deeply rooted at home.

She told me that on her first trip ever, she sat next to a mother with two children. They had forged a bond through shared tales, laughter, and experience. She knew after the encounter she wanted to own her own Daycare Center someday. She wanted to watch life grow, and that is what she does today. You never know the parts of yourself hidden till you unveil them.

“Perhaps home is not a place, 

but simply an irrevocable condition,” 

-James Baldwin

The house always felt brighter when my sister walked in, clutching her backpack with a trinket I knew she had picked up for me waiting impatiently to be ripped from its wrapper. 

I knew she felt the same way I did because she would stare at me at random points in time like I was a shiny toy she had just got. She would pause midway in one of her intriguing tales to gasp out how much she had missed something – like the chipped tile in the kitchen she always stubbed her toe on.

I knew she had the best days of her life when she wasn’t home, and she missed being with us at the same time. I had come to learn as well that travel made the heart fonder, kept memories engraved longer, and brought happiness at every turn.

While my sister and I planned a backpacking trip, debating on how to save cash to fulfill a travel dream set for later that year, I knew we would be back before the holidays. Because there are no holidays like the kind you spend at home especially after being reminded of how precious it is.