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
3. Aberdeen, Scotland
4. Cancun, Mexico
5. Dubai, U.A.E
6. Toronto, Canada
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.