Whew! What a year it has been. This has been one of my most adventurous years, ever! From camelback riding through sand dunes in Morocco, to riding wooden boats through floating markets in Thailand, it’s been a special one filled with immersive travel experiences.
Here’s a quick walkthrough of my 2018 travels, highlights, experiences and lessons. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy.
1.) Kicking off the New Year in Mexico
Almost as if I could predict that this was going to be the most demanding year of my life, I started off the year with a trip to Mexico in January. It was a fun-filled one filled with the right combination of relaxation and adventure. I spent time with my sister and friend and we had plenty days of sunshine and laughter. From exploring Cenotes and World Wonders to chilling by the beach in Tulum, Mexico was a special treat that did not disappoint.
Lessons from Mexico: You deserve the rest your soul desires. Do not feel guilty for taking time off to take care of yourself.
In a culture that thrives on the no-days-off mentality, you may feel guilty for taking time off to relax. Do not. Your mental health and well-being is a priority.
2.) A Friendship Reunion in Bermuda
In March, I escaped the harsh winter season in Canada to join my friend Titi on a trip to Bermuda. Bermuda was never on my radar but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The beaches were vibrant, the skies were blue, the sand was pink and the atmosphere was surreal. I had a great time kicking it with my friend and enjoying a much-needed break.
Lessons from Bermuda: Make the effort to maintain old friendships.
Often times, we price new over old but new isn’t always better. I am learning to appreciate what I currently have, including friendships and relationships.
3.) An Annual Birthday Getaway to Morocco
In the last three years, I have celebrated my birthday abroad and I fully intended to keep that tradition going this year. Morocco was my most viable option and I went for it. Morocco was beautiful in more ways than one; one minute you’re exploring the blue city of Chefchaeoun, the next minute you’re on a camelback riding through the sand dunes, another minute you’re in the souks bargaining for Argan oil. I stan a country so diverse and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Maroc.
Lessons from Morocco: Create habits that enrich your life.
I pretty much traded birthday dinners for birthday trip as I made a huge shift from valuing material things to valuing experiences. This “habit” of mine has been fulfilling.
A travel break: The summer was filled with loads of new changes – like changing jobs and moving to a new city, so I took a break off traveling to tend to pressing life issues and settle in to my new job and city. It was worth it.
4.) A Rejuvenating Solo Trip to Thailand
After a little break off traveling, I ventured out alone to Thailand and it ended up being one of the best travel decisions I made this year. My soul needed a solo trip and I remember vividly the night when I purchased my ticket without soliciting to any of my friends to join in. One night in September, I hopped on a plane headed to Bangkok for an adventure of my life. I explored the cities of Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket all alone and I had the best time ever. Talk about rejuvenating and feeding my soul.
Lessons from Thailand: Continue to seek out new experiences, with or without company.
I am an advocate for solo travel. Many times we wait and wait not knowing that we can do so much more if we channel our inner strength and bravery. We do not have to wait for someone else. An experience alone is still very valid.
5.) A Culture- Immersion Trip to Japan
Still in Asia, I decided to extend my stay and make a 5-day stop in Japan. I couldn’t have been more excited about my choice as it really paid off. I had the opportunity to truly immerse myself in Japanese culture, learnt about the people, the food, the way of life and even dressed up in a traditional kimono outfit. Japan was such a delight, arigato!
Lessons from Japan: Be open and willing to learn and unlearn ideologies, cultures, and standards.
I had conversations with the Japanese that really shaped how I saw them and myself. A lot of them had never seen a Nigerian – it was great to have that cultural exchange.
6.) A Homecoming Journey to Nigeria
After four years of not being home, I finally made it to Nigeria to celebrate with my sister on her traditional wedding. This trip to Lagos, Nigeria turned out to be the best thing to happen to me this year. Reuniting with family and old friends did unexplainable things to my soul. My heart was filled with joy and gladness and being home did that. I ate as much as I could, danced to Afro beat, and laughed till my belly hurt.
Lessons from Nigeria: Family is everything and there is no place like home.
It is important to continue to stay deeply rooted and connected to home, no matter how far and wide you may go.
7.) An East African Adventure in Kenya
In the spirit of showing the African continent some love, I ventured out to East Africa’s treasure – Kenya. Kenya was beautiful and I had my very first Safari adventure there. It was unreal seeing wild animals in their natural habitat. I did many cool things like camp out in Maasai Mara, explored Nairobi and enjoyed the city’s nightlife. Kenya was an amazing experience.
Lessons from Kenya: Do not push forth till tomorrow what you can do today. Do it now.
I hear that many people wait until old age to experience a Safari. Why wait then when I can do it in my twenties? Go now.
8.) Closing Out the Year in Jamaica
I organized my first ever group trip to Jamaica and met up with some lovely ladies from around the world. It was the perfect way to end the year. We had very meaningful conversations, danced to reggae music, stuffed our faces with Jerk Chicken and Curry Goat, interacted with the locals, rode ATVs, went parasailing, swam with dolphins, chilled by the beautiful pristine beaches and so much more. In a nutshell, Jamaica was LIT.
Lessons from Jamaica: Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
I was a bit nervous to organize my first group trip with people I barely knew but it ended up being amazing and we had a great time together. The fear is all in your head. We must continue to do, even if afraid.
Conclusion – A Great Travel Year – Thank You, 2018!
What a year! Thank you for following along my travel journey and for the constant show of love and support. We continue to grow in leaps and bounds and I hope this blog has inspired you to live life authentically, fully and boldly. I hope my journey continues to shine light on the truth that you too can travel and create your own life experiences. Remember, you are in the driver’s seat and you can steer the wheel in whatever direction you choose. I hope you choose one that is noble, honest, fulfilling and enriching – one you can be proud of.
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I love you.