Happy Independence Day, Nigeria! Amidst the messy state that the country is in, I am still so proud to be Nigerian. Today, I am sharing some of my personal highs and lows of what it means to be traveling with a Nigerian passport. Enjoy.
The Highs of Traveling With A Nigerian Passport
Being able to cope with anything: Being Nigerian makes you very resilient and you might not appreciate this character trait until you leave home. What makes others stumble, makes you even stronger. I am mostly able to cope and move around and not feel sick or catch any allergies because I have a black man blood in me. Lol but seriously, I know a few people who will need to go get medication or see a doctor every time they got back from a foreign country, but for me, I can just carry on like a champ.
Dismissing Stereotypes: This is the one that makes me the happiest. I love being able to put to bed some of the nasty opinions people have about my country, Nigeria, everywhere that I go. The stereotypes are honestly very disheartening but for me, it’s an opportunity. It brings me great joy when I am able to re-educate people that Nigerians are smart, hardworking and very enlightened. I cannot count the number of times people have said, “Wow, you speak very good English.” “Wow, I didn’t know Nigerians travel too.” “Wow, Nigerians are good people.” I do not take their remarks personally because truth be told, they do not know better and I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to educate them, whether it’s by action or words. The feeling of having a little part to play in the re-education, is really one of my highest points of being a Nigerian traveler.
I love being able to put to bed some of the nasty opinions people have about my country, Nigeria, everywhere that I go.
The chance to represent my country: Often times, I am very aware that I might be the only Nigerian a particular foreigner will have the chance of meeting for the rest of their lives so I have to represent. I do not for the life of me, speak ill about my country because what is more stamping than hearing it from the horse’s mouth? You wouldn’t hear it from me, that is for sure. Only positive stories, the amazing and happy people, the great culture and the great weather. Ya.
Seeing Nigerians everywhere I go: Nigerians are indeed everywhere and if you doubt me, go to the least likely country to visit, and you will find them there too. Nothing better than spotting your fellow Nigerian and giving them that familiar nod. I have never gone anywhere and not spotted a Nigerian and while that might seem insignificant, it brings a sense of calm to my heart and just reminds me of the beautiful place I call home. No greater feeling than sharing common values and language with someone in a foreign place.
The Lows of Traveling With A Nigerian Passport
Visa Application: Honestly, this is the most frustrating thing about holding a Nigerian passport. Having to apply for Visas to almost everywhere is really annoying. I have definitely mastered the art of applying for visas and my family and friends have coined the name “Visa agent” for me. It is an actual struggle. However, there are some places Nigerians can travel to visa-free or at least obtain a visa on entry. Check them out here.
Suspicious looks at the airport: I am not sure if it is all in my head but I do get some stern looks by immigration officers. I know they often wear that stern look, anyway but I feel like it is a little bit extra when I present my green for checks. If you weren’t sure, you might be tempted to think you did something wrong. It no longer bothers me because I try to be as law-abiding as it gets, so there is really no reason to feel terrified.
Regardless, I love traveling with my Nigerian passport and certainly not one of those people who try to hide it in a different colored passport cover. Being a Nigerian traveler could get better, and it will, but till then, it is Nigerian and proud.
I love being able to put to bed some of the nasty opinions people have about my country, Nigeria, everywhere that I go
What are some of your experiences traveling with a Nigerian passport, I will love to hear from you in the comments. And, do not forget to subscribe below!