All in Travel

My City at a Glance: Vancouver, Canada

A few years ago, I told a colleague I was off on a holiday. “Where to?” he asked. “Malaysia”, I responded - and volunteered no extra information. His vocal response was something along the lines of “yeah, but where exactly in Malaysia?” He went on to mention a few different cities out there and explain how each of them have entirely different vibes. Not like I cared at that time; I was only excited to be heading to a new country.

But how true is that? Two cities in a country could be so different you wonder if they should even be grouped together - from time zones to weather to culture. In this new series, we will explore different cities not through the eyes of a tourist who pops in and out, but from that of a resident - one who lives and breathes the city on a daily, and possibly doesn’t like tourists very much!

Our first feature is with Shasha as she spills the insider tea on Vancouver, Canada - a city she’s lived in for three years now.

I Did It: Skydiving Over the Namib Desert

In 2010, I saw video footage and photos from a Nigerian friend, Ewemade, jumping off a plane somewhere in the UK. Until then, this activity was not relatable to me. I had always seen skydiving as “such a white thing to do” until she shared her experience with me.

I remember that day like yesterday. “I’m going to jump off a plane today,” she said. “That’s so cool,” I responded, “but isn’t that for white people?” Her comeback was photos and an amazing video of her beautifully gliding in the air. It looked magical and I knew I had to experience it. She bumped skydiving up to the number one activity on my adventure list! 

 Eight years later, I got the opportunity to experience this magic in Namibia. 

9 Simple Things I Do To Travel More Frequently and Stress-Free

Traveling gives me the opportunity to see the world through different lenses. I feel a rare sense of freedom and undiluted happiness once I’m in a new destination.

But the travel life comes with a lot of planning and sacrifices. Sometimes, it can be pretty stressful as well trying to fit in your love for travel with other necessary adult life activities and expenses.

But the very simple things often make such a difference. Here are 9 things I do to travel more frequently, yet stress-free.

30 Countries Before 30: Femi Luwa

Like many of my friends who have turned 30 this year, I turn 30 in a few weeks. But unlike my high school classmate Femi, who successfully snagged in her 30th country before the 30th year bell went up (and currently has 37 under her belt), my country count is just about a third of my age.

In March 2016 Femi whose very fitting nickname is “Aunty Fun Times” took her first ever girls’ trip to Thailand. It was an exhilarating ten days of excessive island hopping, curry eating, mai tai sipping, full moon partying, beach side massages and endless exploring.

5 months later in August 2016, she packed her bags (7 suitcases if we’re being precise) and moved to Europe. In the two years she’s lived there she’s visited over 20 new countries.

In this feature she answers a ton of our questions. From feminine matters about being comfortable in bikinis, her secret to that glow on holiday, dealing with cramps on travels to general travel tips, solo travel and travel blogging. I also couldn’t help but ask what happens if she ends up with a non-travel loving partner! See what she says!

10 Days of Fun in Los Angeles (+ recommended tourist activities for first-timers)

I lived on the US East Coast for a couple of years and never visited the West coast - blame it on my budget student life.

And so when the time came for our usual girl time away, my bestie and I decided to explore the West Coast and had to pick a state. California came up first - then the battle for the ultimate city began: Los Angeles vs San Francisco. As each city has its unique experience and vibe, Los Angeles blended with the holiday we had in mind.

The journey to LA from Lagos was quite a distance but I broke it off with a transit in the UK for a couple of hours. I left Lagos on a Saturday morning and arrived in London by evening but my connecting flight was the next morning. I checked into a nearby hotel which I had pre-booked, sank into the bed feeling cozy with the feather pillows, ordered some room service and had dinner in bed while re-watching my favourite movie - Love & Basket Ball.

A Refreshing Solo Getaway to Newcastle

Growing up, my parents seemed to present me with two options for summer holidays - either summer school or a trip to London or the US of A - specifically Maryland, New York or Texas. Whenever it was the latter, the trip was characterized with a few days of visiting tourist attractions, staying with cousins and going out with my mum to carry shopping bags.

Truth be told: although I enjoyed traveling out of Nigeria, pushing a shopping cart and eating McDonald’s regularly, I couldn't help but get bored of the routine as I as I grew older.

So once I started working and making my own coins, I was determined to travel and explore new places. And so unlike our typical London and America loving parents, it makes me so excited to see the new wave of adventurous young Nigerians exploring countries and cities way outside our typical radar. 

How I Camped in the Sahara Desert With 19 Other Women

I am a travel junkie and find travelling therapeutic to me. As we say within Nigerian circles, “abroad breeze is good for my skin”. Exploring new cultures, being in a different (and usually more sane environment) and eating all sorts of food is often the reset I need after crazy days in Lagos. If I could travel every month, I would... 

2017 wasn't my best year and a couple of things didn't go as planned. So in 2018, I decided my top goal and vision was to live my absolute best life and be happy! Living my best life also meant me going outside my comfort zone. And therein lay the trouble; as I love my safe space and comfort zone. 

But as they say, “Beautiful things happen outside the comfort zone”.

Five Top Tourist Attractions To Explore in Accra

Initially, I was a bit uncertain about flying slightly over 6 hours to visit Ghana from the UK. Not when I’d lived in Nigeria for years and that was literally 45 minutes away from Ghana. Perhaps, I slightly looked down on the destination – or better still hoped to visit when it could be a much easier (and cheaper) travel. But I’m glad I snapped out of that real quick – we had an absolutely great time. 

Before I delve in, a bit of travel behind-the-scenes- (you know we often have those). When we got to the airport we realised that the flight from London was actually very full and so Tee had been bumped up to business class. I guess they didn’t realise all three of us were flying as a family. Anyway, as a good husband should, he offered his seat to me – so I could literally chill.

But barely an hour into the flight, it seemed like our son was clearing missing me and refused to be consoled by his father - so they sent for me!

A Vacation with My Big Fat Extended Igbo Family: Here's What Happened

It would be easy to say I've never been on holiday with my larger extended family. But that wouldn't be the exact truth. It would be true only to the extent that I hadn't been on one outside Nigeria. But spending Christmas with the larger family in our hometown in Nigeria had occurred a number of times. Typically, many Igbo families who lived in Lagos loved to visit their hometown (often called "village") with their families for festive holidays. And oh goodness, it's often such a blast. The festivities, the food, the display of culture. Absolutely nothing like family. 

But I'd never actually had such experience outside Nigeria. Until my maternal cousin got married to his South African bride. The wedding was in Johannesburg and so our family was set to attend, with many of them coming in from Nigeria.

13 Questions for The Stylish Trotter who Quit her Job to Travel the World

We very often hear that you don't have to quit your job to travel the world and it's in fact the better option to have a day job and make time out for travel. But for Victoria, travel enthusiast and blogger - commonly known as The Stylish Trotter, this wasn't sufficient; so she quit her day job and decided to travel for a whole year!

Victoria only started travelling in 2016 but has now been to over 25 countries. In the next one year she's looking to double that figure.I've followed her adventures via Insta Story from Dubai to Oman. She's currently in China, and heading to Hong Kong and Indonesia shortly. It would have been nice to tag along on such epic adventure, but for now I'd continue to live vicariously through her. 

In her responses to these 13 questions she shares most of what we're thinking about. Why she chose to do this, the planning and financial considerations, challenges and all that she's looking forward to.