I remember when I first fell in love with travelling, it was under the influence of my sister Mirna. She had always had a discontent growing up in Nigeria because she knew there was more to her life and she was determined to find it. I know this because she bought a one way ticket when she was moving to London and she's lived there for ten years and frankly I don't think she's ever coming back (something a lot of our family and friends are still yet to grasp and understand). I mean she's been there for 10 good years, going to be a citizen soon, you would think they would get the picture now.
Anyways, I found an old journal of hers when I was converting our shared room into my room ad curiosity prompted me to flip through it ( I mean I'm a sister it's my job to snoop!) and so I did. I was curios to know her thoughts, she had always been a mystery to me, still is but there is a 7 year gap between the two of us and we didn't really get along when we were growing up. What did we have in common? Also me moving out at the age of 3 to live with my cousin who was just a year older than me probably didn't help our relationship.
In her journal, she penned down her dreams of exploring the world and different cultures, Geography turned out to be her favourite subject and she couldn't wait to travel to the countries she read about in her text books and studied on the map. You see when she and my brother were growing up, my parents weren't as established as they were in my own time. So while I got to summer in London every summer from when I was 8, she didn't get that opportunity till it was time for her to go to university. Ironically, I thought these summer trips made me exposed, LIE, lol but thankfully I had her to mentor me through that.
She did remarkably well for herself, by the time I moved to London for university and we were living together I began to see her in a different light and understand her better. She had 11 different visas in her passport or 9, not quite certain of the figure and she was hoping from one place to another from Fiji to Marrakesh to Prague. Till we lived together, I was very picky with my food but she forced me to broaden my horizon, often teasing me of being a village girl and thanks to her I can boast of knowing how to make one or two Indian, Mexican, Italian and Thai dishes.
Rubbing off on me, I decided to travel more from my second year in uni and even though I'm glad I did, I wish I had made better use of that opportunity like taking advantage of the ERASMUS scheme and doing a semester abroad. Let's face it travelling is easier from London than Nigeria, nevertheless I'm proud of my travel stamps in my passport. I got to relive childhood memories in Disneyland Paris, be reminded of my smallness as I took walks along the beach in Barbados, walk through the door of no return like our ancestors in Porto Novo, swim with dolphins in Dubai (crossed off my bucket list), recreate a memory from Sex and the City in New York, Brunch in Brussels, Fall in love in Rome, lose my head in Barcelona among many other memorable experiences. I was inspired by Johnny Ward on Instagram (onestep4ward) who is travelling the world. He's gone to 193 countries out of 197, how amazing is that? He's actually living the dream.
I decided to make a bucket list too, which I would share in my next post because I'm scared this post is already lengthy as it is and I hope I haven't lost your attention. I hope to travel to a 100 countries before I die, so far I have 89 to go. I can't wait to go on adventurous trips like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (on the bucket list) and relaxing unwinding holidays where I can splurge on spa dates for my husband and I or my daughter and I and cultural trips where I can show my children that there's more to learning than the four walls of a class room and romantic trips with just my husband like visiting Venice together and island trips where I can just absorb nature and be awestruck by the creativity and mind of God. The one thing I look forward to giving my children the most, is a passport to the world. Whereas I'm eternally grateful to my parents for the London/American summer holidays, I aspire to take my children to a different country every summer if the Lord wills.
Before you cut off my head, of course we are going to travel round Nigeria as well. I'm jealous of the people who have visited all 36 states, I have visited only 11 or 12 lol. And also before you discredit me saying you need to have money to do all this, I'm going to say this to you, you just have to do what you need to do in order to be able to do what you want to do. So yeah it's your dream to travel a lot, then work hard and endure the mundane job looking forward to your booked summer trip where you can embrace your desires.
A wise man once said; The world is a book and those who don't travel only read one page
- St Augustine.
I'm so excited for this week's Date Challenge, we are going on a couple's road trip with his best friend and girlfriend, so that crosses out "Go on a roadtrip".