Growing up African, specifically Ghanaian going on “holidays” always came across as unimportant and practically a waste of money. Before you jump the gun, I know not everyone is the same. But collectively as a whole this was an outlook held by a majority. In many ways this came from a poverty mindset, lack of experience and exposure. Fortunately for me as I got older this mindset began to shift within my family and we began to do more travelling. By the time I was eleven we had visited the neighbouring countries around Ghana. Togo, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. One place we visited that I oddly remember vividly was Paga Crocodile Pond. From this town is the No Man’s Land between Ghana and Burkina Faso. This is a place where people go to see, feed and take pictures with very friendly crocodiles on the surface, that is the short and long of it, but this place is steeped in culture of an adapted a lifestyle with the crocodiles.
Now I am so glad to see so many black people travelling and visiting new places. The one thing that I love most about travelling is the opportunity to witness and immerse yourself in different cultures. I recently went to Budapest, and until I got there I was unaware that Buda and Pest were two different cities that was put together as one. If you like to party, stay on the Pest side of the city and if you are in for culture then Buda is your friend.
If you follow our Instagram pages, you will see that the rest of team is currently living their best lives at Afronation, in Portugal, Algarve. One thing that my friend pointed out to me and was even commented on by Smade the Co-founder of Afronation; that black people could come together for festival and simply just enjoy music and dance. Music truly brings people together.
Here are a few things that I have learned from my short years of travelling. Going home is not a holiday unless you consciously make the effort to be a tourist.
Brings you Out of your comfort Zone
Staying at home is basically staying in your place of comfort. When you travel you are forced in more ways than one to try new things, food, language, mannerisms. Some places you will find, will remind you of home and others not so much. I find that when I am away, I get a new sense of boldness to express different parts of myself that I am not always comfortable sharing at home. It’s nothing extreme but there is a sense of freedom that comes with being away in a new place that makes you feel as though you can do anything/be anybody.
You get to understand a different way of life.
Depending on whichever country or continent you find yourself there are always things that stand people apart. Travelling allows you to view the world and people in such a different life and allows you to be able to add onto a conversation from experience and not from hearsay. It is a way to help combat ignorance.
Travelling if not anything has thought me to be grateful for all that I have. The one place that truly reminded me of this was when I visited Nanyuki, Kenya and had the opportunity to visit Wind of Hope Charity. Seeing those kids, the joy and smile on their faces showed me that I had so much to be grateful for. Too many times it is easier to spend time focused on the things that you do not have rather what you have but those kids taught me that so long as I have breath in my lungs, a place to call home, family and food in my belly I have all that I require to live and live well on this earth. It is all about perspective.
I understand that travelling is a luxury that not everyone can afford but should you get the chance to do so, do not disregard it. Money comes and go but those memories will live with you forever. It truly is a humbling experience.