Happy New Year!
I want to start the year sharing somewhat of a testimony and the reason why I travel so much (according to friends and family lol, personally I think I’m an average traveller but well..). I actually wrote this post back in October but I have been hesitant to post it until now
So I’m sitting here in Nice waiting for my delayed flight back home to London. I’ve been contemplating why I love travelling and I feel blessed to have visited so many beautiful places and for some reason I can’t let go f the thought that I need to put this into a post so here it goes.. Stay tuned to the end where I will share some tips on money & planning
I remember back home in Ghana, I was either 10 or 12 years old and my mum had sent me to get some stuff from the market. It’s about a 10 min walk from home to market. As soon as I stepped out, I remember looking down and for rest of the journey my head stayed down. I felt ashamed that I was going to the market alone because I was thinking people would look at me and say she doesn’t have any friends. I would see people laughing and think oh they must be laughing at me. And that feeling of been alone stuck. Been the overthinking child I was (and still am) I thought of the future etc etc. If I would be alone, get a job etc etc and it’s funny I should feel like that because in school I was actually very popular and a teacher’s pet.
Fast forward to ages 16 to 20 and a lot of things happened to me I moved from Ghana to London when I was 13) which forced me to actually be alone. From failed relationships to realising personal truths, I had to be alone and in those moments I sought God. In those moments, when I could do nothing but cry, I began to learn a lot about God and myself and I began to love been alone! I didn’t see it as a negative anymore. At 20 I decided to step out of my comfort zone and travel, on my own to Thailand! I decided to volunteer for 1 month in Thailand teaching English. I met so many people that after two weeks, I decided to go travelling. Again by myself made my way from Phuket to Bangkok by bus at night, I couldn’t speak Thai AND I had no internet. But I safely made it to Bangkok. The very next day I met Jess a fellow traveller from Australia and we decide to go travelling together through northern Thailand. Just like that.
Me?! someone who couldn’t even leave home by herself
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Post on Thailand here
I came home and a month later in the same year, I found myself in Madrid Spain, on a year away from uni, where I was working and studying (I always had this dream where I would do this but only remembered after I came back home after the year was done). I have been to so many other places since then and now sitting here in Nice, after a really good weekend with my friend’s family (a friend I met back in Madrid and we kept in contact). I’ve been blessed and sometimes I take it for granted but in conservations, with other people, I realise it’s not that easy for some to travel even though money and timing is not an issue and they actually want to travel. I guess it’s hard to step outside your comfort zone esp if nothing has forced you to be out of it.
I guess I’m writing this to anyone who feels they will be alone forever or feels they need the validation of others’ company. God has a way of getting through to you, in a way you would understand and know it’s Him. That thought of loneliness or dependence on others is a lie straight from hell. It could be that your very calling is the exact opposite, to stand or minister to millions but if the devil could get fear in first he knows he could stop you from reaching your full potential. Why else would an 11/12 year old feel so lonely when been sent to the market when literally I knew a bunch of people in the neighbourhood? I am also reminded of the story of Moses, how he wasn’t an eloquent speaker and this made him afraid when God called him to work however his calling was literally to speak to kings to free a nation!
So Why Do I Travel?
I travel because I want to continually prove to that 11-year-old me that I can do anything I put my mind to, even if it was impossible to me at one point.
I travel because I see my life as a bank of experiences and in those experiences I try to seek God in them. Travelling gives me new experiences to add to that bank. And every new country allows me to see the variety of God’s workmanship.
I travel because I don’t want to settle. In routines, same knowledge same experiences. I want to push myself to seek new and exciting experiences
And I travel because after catching the travel bug and buying a map, I now want to cross every single country on that map! My personal challenge is 3 new countries/cities/places every year
Now that’s out of the way, I want to share some tips on travelling. It’s actually not as expensive as people think
- If you can, sign up for the airline’s email newsletter so you are kept up to date on sales/discounts going on
- Flexibility- try as much as possible to be flexible with dates and destinations and be open to visit countries off the beaten track! For me, I want to visit every single country so it’s just a matter of where I go first and price
- Travel buddies- I believe there are some places that are safer and easier to travel with a buddy. Choosing the right travel buddy is super important because it can make or break the trip. Finding someone with similar interests and budgets is super important e.g. imagine you want to eat local mid-range food on holiday but your buddy just wants the full blown 5 star restaurant experience? Hotels? You may want a cheap and cheerful one, they want a 5 star hotel with room service?
- Sites like TripAdvisor is your BEST FRIEND!
That’s all I will share, for now, I don’t want this to be a super long post! I hope this has inspired someone to travel and just get out there and do something you have always wanted! I will bring back my travel posts- I stopped due to pure laziness lol but I will bring them back from onwards! I think I will do it itinerary style as I find posts like that super helpful when I am researching a new destination!
Happy New Year once again and I hope your 2018 is your best year yet!