Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Random Yarns on Travel

I recently went on a vacation to Capetown, South Africa, and on my way to the airport to catch my flight, I ran into a 50-something year old lady on my shuttle who was so excited to be traveling. She said that she hadn't left the U.S. since she was about 18 years old. She was heading to India to get certified as a yoga instructor...or something along those lines.  That conversation had me thinking about how people like me who have gotten some chances to travel, tend to take it for granted that everybody else hops on a plane and travels. I remember being so shocked when someone at my old job told me that the only time she had left the state of Maryland was on a trip to New York for a friend's party. And even more recently, someone else told me that she hadn't been out of the U.S. except for when she traveled to Jamaica for her honeymoon. I found that to be so interesting.

I'm no world traveler but between 2008 and present, I've managed to check the following new cities/countries/places off my list:

1. Costa Rica
2. Kuwait
3. Aberdeen, Scotland
4. Cancun, Mexico
5. Dubai, U.A.E
6. Toronto, Canada
7. Barbados
8. Capetown, South Africa
9. San Jan, Puerto Rico

To the travel gods and the main G-O-D, thanks for making these trips happen.

I would love to do more/go more places but iraintalwaysheezy. There are a lot of factors that hinder the wanderlust spirit within...such as other financial commitments (pepper never rest to be flying up and dan yanno), vacation time available from ze place of employment, and as I recently discovered since switching to the world of Consulting, how your client utilization hours are affected by too much time off and how this subsequently affects the profit your managers can make on your head. This trip to SA alone had my manager slyly hinting to me on some "you can always work evenings and weekends to make up your hours" (as if I had a choice) so yours truly was indeed working 10 hour days plus some weekends to boot. Chai, I sometimes miss the stability of 40 hour work weeks at the Government.

I think that one other factor that affects grand travel plans is if going to Nigeria for Christmas enters the equation. My mom has some huge delusions that I should be visiting home every Christmas, to which I silently yimu. Nigeria is an expensive waka, and definitely not the relaxing, scenic vacation that man pikin needs sometimes. To you guys who go to Naija every December, then throw in 2 other exotic locations per year, I definitely salute.

In other travel yarns, during my layover at Heathrow on this Capetown journey, some lady lost her handbag and literally fainted from a panic attack. She was so distressed. Poor thing! I really hope she found it and everything turned out okay for her. On behalf of my fellow absent minded, forgetful people, I definitely empathized with her. I've had my crazy forgetful travel moments too...

...like the time I was to catch a flight from JFK to Aberdeen, drove all the way to my friend's house in Jersey, and while trying to check in online, realized that yours truly had forgotten her passport in MD. So guess who woke up bright and early the next day to make a 6 hour round trip just to grab the damn passport?

...or the other time my friend gave me a ride to an airport an hour away and I realized that I forgot my hand luggage at home. WHO FORGETS THIER HAND LUGGAGE? *raises hands*. What had happened wasssssssss...uh huh! I can just hear my mother scolding in the background "You are so so so absent minded" as she usually does. What can I say mama? I'm working on it! We can't be great at everything yanno! The good thing about those experiences is that I now triple check that I have my passport and hand luggage. In fact I actually write a "to pack" list before I travel and this really helps to keep me in check.

Last but not least, in these travel related yarns...I have a travel "bucket" list which is as follows:

- Randomly get upgraded to business class on an international flight. It's happened to my mom and 2 other people I know. Like heyy, can the people who man the check-in desk just see me and shine their light of favor upon me?? I'm still hoping...until then, na economy class wey we dey tanda for.

- Visit at least 35 of the 50 U.S. States, last time I counted I was at 20.

- Knock off the following more cities/places/countries off my list: Rio De Janeiros, Brazil; Greece (hey Santorini!!); Tokyo/Hong Kong/Somewhere around the continent of Asia; South of France; Hawaii. There's more but these are on the top of my list.

- Fill up my passport with stamps before it expires in 2019. And then replace it of kerse.

- The obligatory Eurotrip.

Dassit in a nutshell. I hope to check each and every single one of these sooner than later. But until then, it's back to the grind and back to trucking along until the next vacation opportunity arises. C'est la vie.

Peace and Love.


CherryWine said...

I went to Uni in a small English town. Before that, I had done the obligatory one year of college in London and I would regularly shuttle between London and Uni. We were talking about places we had been in class one day and a girl marvelled at how I had come all the way from naija for uni in her small English town, noting that she had never been out of said town at that time. I almost fainted. There were two other popular towns around and I asked if she'd been, she said no. The farthest of these towns is like 20 minutes by train! If she had never been to these neighbouring towns, you bet she had never been to London. I had taken my family's globe-trotting ways for granted, but that chick made me appreciate that we were indeed citizens of the world

LusciousRon said...

The way I am smiling like an idiot to find that you still blog! Ah, travelling is stressful. I always just want to skip to the destination part, if I could only teleport myself. I was upgraded on a flight last year. It felt so good. I was actually afraid when the flight attendant came to get me, I thought they had found a contraband in my luggage! Pepper will rest, by God's grace.

taynement said...

i'd like to do all 50 states. I am stuck at 22. I keep going to the same states over and over.

I think some airlines are much easier to be upgraded on than some. definitely not my alliance. stingy mofos.

Going to nigeria every december definitely puts a damper on visiting other places.

I dont even have a bucket list anymore. I feel discouraged. money no dey.

miss e said...

Girl,i'm with you on that Santorini P!!!!

Clara said...

I have travelled a lot too, and lived in about 6 countries in the last 13years and I'll most likely be moving again soon. Why? Because I love that nomad lifestyle, which I also inherited together with my sisters from my parents (the boys not so much for some reason). Anyway I always find it completely weird when people tell me that they've only ever lived in one country and or city, like I don't even know how to respond to that so I always change the subject lol!

And yes being upgraded is wonderful. I was moved up on a flight from Dhaka via Doha, all the way to London. I wanted the flight not to end!

'Lara A said...

Travel can be stressful but fun once you get to your destination.

Glad to know you still blog. and Yay! to the travel list.

freegurl said...

Hey Mgbeke, interesting that you write about travels in this post. I don't know if you read your comments, but I asked for some travel advise on your last post, but I'm yet to receive a response. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks

Vivi N. said...

I think the one aspect of travelling that stresses me out the most is flying. ANXIETY ALERT. I just wish my ass could teleport to these damn cities/countries I want to visit, tho.

My passport has recently been renewed, and I don't like seeing the blank pages. lolol. Anywho, the US cities/States I'm itching to visit are Hawaii, Alaska, Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, and definitely one of those random ass states like Montana or Idaho. Just to see how they live out there. Internationally, Australia is very much high on my list. But that plane ride, tho. *le sigh*

Bee Lola said...

This post was right on point for me today. I would love to quit my job and just travel but the kid needs diapers and such so not happening. At least in the US I've been to about 32 states and I'm hoping to clear the final 18 by 2017.
My sister on the other hand works for an airline and is always somewhere exotic. So far the only continent she hasn't been to is Antarctica! Sigh

Original Mgbeke said...

Hi Freegurl, I responded in the previous post. If you have any more questions, feel free to email me at originalmgbeke@gmail.com

mizchif said...

Chile! You ain't never lied.
Please add the stress of applying for visas. And airport struggle.

I love, love, love to travel. But pepper really never rest like that but i'm thankful for the much i've been able to do so far.

Asia is high on my travel bucket list and i also want to see some of Africa, na only Nigeria i sabi for now.
You know what's funny? I had a dream a few days ago that i was headed to the airport and had forgotten my luggage and i woke up thinking "How's that even possible, who does that?" I just got my answer. lol.
I start packing for any trip mentally like 3weeks before so i always have everything.

My girl flies BA and randomly gets upgraded on the regular, like, i'm burnt sometimes. Why not me?

Erniesha Tibs said...

Wow! You did lots of traveling mehn! So far I have been to 4 places on your list....Lovely blog.

Tibs Tells Tales

blogoratti said...

Interesting places you have travelled to, I should do more travelling myself!

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Beulah! said...

That's how i forgot my bag with all my docs (passport, SSN card, etc on the metro), nne i understand tht absentminded levels. God help us!...

I havent done so bad this year so far as per travels, been to 3 cities already & planning more trips before summer ends.

Hvent been here in a while. Ur posts always brighten my day, pls update ohh

Musingsofjudgejudyjudy..... said...

You had me at Santorini!!!! I've been there in my dreams, in pictures and even in melody courtesy Yanni- I know it will be a reality soon.
I've always thought that people who have the privilege to travel the world if they so wish ( esp. Without the stress of getting visas) don't really realise how fortunate they are.
I almost envy my colleagues who can up and leave on "Holidays" to exotic places and for mere days: Thailand, Bahamas, Vegas, Caribbeans etc.
I know it might sound "somehow" but I truly pray to get a British Passport so I can drink water and drop cup.
It is well.