I fell in love with Iroko Beach Villas the very first time I visited with friends in Summer 2014. Who wouldn’t? A beautiful timber house with a huge compound right on the shores of Oshiye… More
Recently, due to certain reasons, I had to make my way to Abuja. Due to the current state of the Abuja Airport, I must admit I was somewhat reluctant to make the journey but nevertheless the trip was necessary and off I went.
The beginning of my journey was not the most auspicious. I had purchased a ticket to fly directly to Kaduna where there was free transportation to Abuja. There seemed to be an issue with the flight, not surprising considering that I was flying ArikAir, but due to the fact the only people going on said flight was me and one other gentleman we were instead placed on a flight to Lagos and I gained a travel companion. Upon arriving, with a little difficulty, our airline provided a bus which shuttled us to the Local Departures. There awaited us a two hour long wait and some rather unimpressive coffee, then the flight was delayed and we had to wait another hour. Finally, the two of us as well as other passengers heading out from Lagos boarded the flight.
Upon arriving in Kaduna, we were quickly able to claim our luggage and we were all quickly directed to the bus. The whole process was impressively quick as with-in 15 to 20 minutes of arrival, we were leaving Kaduna Airport to make way to Abuja Airport. The journey itself was not quick, we were all on that bus for 4 hours before we arrived in Abuja Airport. Luckily someone had managed to arrange a car to send me to my hotel. La’Don hotel may not be a 5-star but they offer clean rooms at extremely reasonable rates.
Due to my reason for coming, as well as the short time I spent there, I wasn’t able to see much of the city. I was able to visit Southern Fried Chicken for lunch however and I have to say they are far more modernized than their counterparts in Tema. I also visited a nearby mall and I have to say they keep security pretty tight there. On a side note, the cheapest place to buy a bottle of water seems to be Shoprite where a 750ml bottle of Eva goes for 65 naira. EVERYBODY drinks Eva in Nigeria. I have to say that my most memorable experience was riding a ‘Keke’, if I got the name wrong my apologies and please correct me, they are more common and far cheaper than taxis.
My return trip was rather uneventful, the only thing worth noting is that on the flight is that beside me there was only one other passenger on the flight. That certain made for an interesting trip.
Are you a wanderlust at heart but cannot afford to travel the world? Are you dreaming of quitting that boring job and doing something exciting but cannot afford to not work? Well, what if I told you there are jobs you can do that can guarantee you a tour around the world and put some money in your bank account? So that means after a year or two of satiating your wanderlust heart, you will still have enough money to keep you going. Yes! There are jobs out there that can make you indulge in what you love while making some money. These jobs include;
1. International Aid Worker
If you want to help make a difference and impact lives while satiating your wanderlust heart, then consider working with a humanitarian organisation. With this job, you can visit struggling countries and make an impact in through education, agriculture, social work, health services etc.
2. English Teacher
The English language is a sought-after skill in the world and if you are fluent in this language, then work as an English teacher in a foreign land. You get to make an impact in the lives of others while exploring a new land, culture, cuisine etc.
PS: You should love teaching and have the skill. You will have to learn the language of the country you will be teaching at.
3. Tour Guide
How does this sound to you? Move to a new country. Study all about it. Then show travellers what you have learnt? Or become a tour guide in your own country. This means you get to explore each part of your motherland and share with others. Charity begins at home, remember?
PS: You must be the outgoing, friendly and chatty type. You may have to learn a new language.
4. Flight Attendant
This job can be exhausting but also very rewarding. With the many sights and places, you will visit, you will even forget about the fact that you are never home, that it entails working crazy hours and lifestyle, and that passenger with the bad attitude. Also as a flight attendant, you will be offered discounts on flights for you and your family. Wouldn’t that be fun?
5. Retail Buyer
This job is for the fashionistas with a wanderlust heart. As a retail buyer, you will deal with retail purchasing, monitoring in-store inventory, identifying industry and consumer trends, attending vendor meeting, conferences and trade shows across the country and even the world depending on where the company sources its products. This job is not only in fashion/clothing stores though, most large retail companies also do same.
If you are into marine engineering and love traveling, then become a sailor. You will get the chance to visit so many places and make large sums of money. You will however be away from home at least 3 – 9 months a year. If you are fine with that, then why not?
7. Cruise line worker
This is not for those of us living in Ghana but for those of you with such opportunities in your country, why not work on a cruise ship? You get to meet new people, network, get free accommodation and food while visiting many different places.
8. Work for an international hotel chain
Traveling around the world begins from home and working with an international hotel means having the opportunity to visit its branches within the country. And the opportunity to be transferred to another country within the company. Though it may seem like a long process, it would be totally worth it.
9. Work for the Government
Getting a job in the government sector is not easy especially at the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry. But if you are lucky enough to get a job over there, then you will be able to travel the world for business as positions in this ministry offers you wide travel opportunities. However, you will likely be posted to a place you may not want but we must make the best of every situation, right?
10. Travel Agent
This job requires you booking flights and holiday spots for other people while getting heavy discounts on your own travels. There are also times where you will have to visit a holiday spot first before you can send clients and the company pays for it. How cool is that? Then there are those amazing families who would like you so much they will invite you on their trips, for free.
11. Travel Writer / Blogger
There are so many tourist agencies and hotels who need people like you to tell the world about them. So, if you start off writing, sharing your experiences and great spots, you will become a reference point to many travellers and that is when you get paid. From the beginning, you will have to work for free and spend your savings on traveling but after a while with good marketing strategies and consistency, you will attract the right people who will pay you to travel, stay at their hotels or just promote their tourist sites – and you can’t promote something you haven’t seen, right???.
12. Travel Photographer
If you are a great photographer, you can travel, take photos and sell them. This will require an initial investment but in time, you will be able to make the money you deserve and travel. There are also travel agencies who take photographers on their trips, why not apply to such companies?
Do you love history? Are you curious about ancient sites and artifacts? Do you want to recover missing ancient culture and items? Why don’t you become an archaeologist? This job offers you trips around the world to research projects often in remote regions around the world.
14. Athletic Recruiter
I doubt there is this job opportunity in Ghana but this job entails being employed by professional sports organizations and colleges to travel the world recruiting upcoming talents. You must know the games / sports inside out and specific skills an athlete will need for certain positions on the team. This would be easy for you if you are an avid sport fan.
15. Au Pair
If you love children, know a second language and would not mind living with a host family, then this job is for you. You will be like a nanny who stays with a family babysitting, assisting with schoolwork and housework while receiving a small salary, accommodation and food. You will however get the chance to explore a different culture and make an impact in the lives of the children.
16. Construction Manager
Construction Managers do not only make good money but also get to do lots of traveling. When employed for a job, a construction manager will relocate to the location for several months to oversee the project. If you do not have the qualifications for this job, you can still apply to a construction company as they usually need support staff to relocate with the construction manager.
17. Project Manager
If you are lucky enough to be the project manager for an international company or a local company affiliated to an international one, then that means you will be doing a lot of traveling. These traveling may not always be to the exotic places you may yearn for but will totally be worth it. For the local companies, just imagine exploring your own country? How cool is that?
18. Destination Wedding Photographer
You must be really good and talented at this and build a clientele with the couples you shoot, also their friends to help you gain more clients. Every wedding needs someone to capture the moment and with destination wedding being a “thing” now, you are in luck. Most destination weddings are to really cool exotic places and though you would be mostly shooting the ceremony, that does not mean you cannot explore the place.
19. Event Coordinator
Though this job often centres around local parties, wedding etc., you can work on some largescale events like festivals and trade shows where you get to travel to event location and also network.
20. Executive Assistant
This job can be annoying especially as you will usually be at the beck and call of your boss but it can be very rewarding if you work for a high corporate executive who travels around the world. This means all-expense paid trips and seeing new places.
21. Traveling Nurse
Traveling nurses are moved around the world to places where they are needed the most. Accommodation, travel expenses will be covered for. You will also earn a salary. This is however for nurses who will love to travel and work temporarily at different locations.
PS: For those of you with free time on your hand, you can volunteer with an NGO abroad and explore the country while giving back to society. Kailend – an NGO located in Lome, Togo is seeking volunteers for their new project and that is where I am going. I will be sharing with you reasons why you should volunteer abroad next Wednesday.
I have always loved Diwali- I call the festival- “the resplendent luminescence” for during the period of its celebration, India is like a jewel sparkling and beckoning to the heavens, the static beauty of rice bulbs and the constantly recycled splendor of fireworks are an illustrious lift to every soul. In my three years in this land, I have tried all within my power to witness and indulge in. Holi on the other hand has been an affair I have always wanted to avoid first for the lighter issue of having to take an unnecessary shower and then for more grievous battle of washing colour splattered clothes which may go a notch upwards with you losing that attire. So as a rule Holi must be avoided and that I had largely done over the past two years.
That of this year though was quite different. Maybe it was because this is certainly going to be my last year and I wanted to indulge in all the revelry it brought. Maybe It was because I saw the rare camaradie among my estate folks, maybe just maybe I wanted to show them that the serious faced African with a smile is the most embracing fellow they will ever come across but I pulled my housemates down and into the colours we went.
First baptism, a man walked up saying Happy Holi smearing my face with pink, then another came with a huge bucket full of water and drenched us; from then onwards it was a colour shooting affair. I left after two hours but not before seeing my baby bro Embe enact a priceless revenge on a four year old who had made him a walking fountain. He grabbed a handful of colours and lashed it out full force on the spectacled chap. Sadly, he had his mouth wide open whilst spraying another victim with his large water gun. As I walked back home leaving my three housemates to the third staged ritual of being dragged through mud before dancing, I reflected on the essence of this festival- To appreciate the beautiful diversity of life and to indulge in it whatever shade it throws at us. Three hours after reaching home, I stared at three physical reflections of those shades walking into our home- rainbows from head to toe.
International Women’s Year ( IWY ) was the name given to 1975 by the United Nations. Since that year March 8 has been celebrated as International Women’s Day. This day celebrates the achievements of women around the world while promoting gender equality. This celebration comes with an accompanying theme and for the year 2017, the theme is “Be Bold For Change”. As today is IWD and I am a travelblogger, I will be sharing travel quotes by women and hope this will ginger more women to not only travel but also to pursue their dreams.
Here we go;
“The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.” – Agnes Repplier
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”- Anais Nin
“If you don’t get out of the box you’ve been raised in, you won’t understand how much bigger the world is.” – Angelina Jolie
“Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.” – Barbara De Angelis
“I wondered why it was that places are so much lovelier when one is alone.”- Daphne du Maurier
“I didn’t know where I was going until I got there.” – Cheryl Strayed
“To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
“You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown, you travel for the unknown, that reveals you with yourself.” – Ella Maillart
“Surely, of all the wonders of the world, the horizon is the greatest.” – Freya Stark
“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” – Freya Stark
“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark
“Traveling’s not something you’re good at. It’s something you do. Like breathing.”- Gayle Foreman
“Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.” – Hannah Arendt
“Adventure should be part of everyone’s life. It is the whole difference between being fully alive and just existing.” – Holly Morris
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller
“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” – Isabelle Eberhardt
“Traveling solo does not always mean you’re alone. Most often, you meet marvelous people along the way and make connections that last a lifetime.” – Jacqueline Boone
“Travel is as much a passion as ambition or love.” – Letitia Elizabeth Landon
“Travel opens your mind as few other things do. It is its own form of hypnotism, and I am forever under its spell.” – Libba Bray
“Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.”- Lisa St. Aubin de Teran
“It is in all of us to defy expectations, to go into the world and to be brave, and to want, to need, to hunger for adventures. To embrace the chance and risk so that we may breathe and know what it is to be free.” – Mae Chevrette
“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Mary Ritter Beard
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou
“An adventure may be worn as a muddy spot or it may be worn as a proud insignia. It is the woman wearing it who makes it the one thing or the other.” – Norma Shearer
“To me, travel is more valuable than any stupid piece of bling money can buy.” – Raquel Cepeda
“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia de Castro
“When you’re traveling with someone else, you share each discovery, but when you are alone, you have to carry each experience with you like a secret, something you have to write on your heart, because there’s no other way to preserve it.” – Shauna Niequist
“The more I travelled the more I realised that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends” – Shirley MacLaine
“You must go on adventures to find out where you belong.” – Sue Fitzmaurice
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag
“As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.” – Virginia Woolf
I hope these quotes will get you off your oars to go see the world.
Happy Women’s Day to all women out there. You’re awesome! You keep our world in balance! Thank you!
…that’s amore. Or you’re hallucinating pizza. Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve done a 5 places list, so to make this list special I’m going to be recommending one of my favourite dishes; pizza.
Papa’s Pizza – In short; great pizza. No joke, the pizza here is great, the prices are fine, and non-pork eaters they list out what pizzas don’t have pork and it’s a pretty decent selection. However, one issue: depending on what branch is close to you, you may want to order to go. My issue is with the new Tema branch, their seating area is outside beside the road with nothing preventing others from walking through or glancing in.
Pizza hut – A famous pizza chain which recently came to Ghana. I have zero complaints about the pizza, although I do question putting Feta cheese on a pizza but to each his own. I’ve been told that they don’t use pork products but you may want to confirm that. Sides look great too, I really want to try the cheesy garlic twist. On an unrelated note, if you’re at their branch on the hospital road in Tema, there is building behind them with a restaurant called Mos Bar B Q; go there, order the boneless chicken meal and tell me what you think.
Pizza Inn – This is basically the staple when it comes to pizza in Ghana and I’ll say it, it’s a decent enough pie but that’s not why they’re so famous. Pizza Inn is famous for Terrific Tuesdays, it used to be that on Tuesdays for every pizza you buy you get one free but while no longer in place you still a pretty sweet discount on pizza on Tuesdays.
Eddy’s Pizza – Their pizza is not going to win any awards, their crust being entirely too sweet, however still worth going for the experience alone. Furnished like a classic, if a little run down, Italian restaurant it certain make a pleasant stay and they staff more than make up for whatever the pizza lacks.
Bassilisa – Right off the bat, I don’t like this place. Just the thought of their shawarma makes me cringe. However, their pizza is probably one of the few edible things on the menu. Not the best in town but a decent meal nonetheless.
And that’s that. Leave a comment where you’d like us to go and as always…
As with all food lovers, I always find the highest quality for optimum satisfaction and often quality comes with a high price:
Located in Osu and East Legon, Burger and Relish is hailed Ghana’s first gourmet burger restaurant and it truly lives up to its name.
Decorated in rustic pub deco, this place is certainly an eye pleaser and the art hanging on its walls enough to entice NJB’s kleptomania. There are board games available for use at your discretion, which is a great way to avoid awkward silence at a family outing or to break the ice on a first date.
I really like the small details; like the fact that if you’re trying to eat a little healthier, you can trade your fries for a salad or the bun of your burger for a lettuce wrap. Also, if you order a bottle of beer the glass/beer mug is chilled beforehand; it’s great little detail which reminds me of the warming of the tea ware in traditional tea ceremonies.
The food itself is divine with a simple presentation. You have a great choice of burgers and there’s even an option for vegetarians. If you’re not into burgers, then there’s also a lot of fun stuff for you to try. Desserts are great and I highly recommend the brownie with ice-cream. They also have a nice variety of alcoholic cocktails as well as non-alcoholic juices. The service is excellent and the staff extremely welcoming. However, their prices are on the high side but if you can afford it then this place is a must.
As Ecuador is the only country in South America that you can visit visa free (other than Bolivia and Guyana which are visa upon arrival), you must make good use of the 90 visa free days to explore every inch on this country and indulge in all the Latino way of living. Ecuador is a wildly diverse country and due to its compact size, a lot can be done and experienced in a short period. This country has everything for those seeking an adventure and for those who want a relaxing experience.
For the adventure seekers, you can;
Discover the lofty town of Zaruma hidden in the highlands of El Oro.
Climb the snow-capped volcanoes
Go on a downhill mountain biking on Cotopaxi Volcano which is the second tallest volcano in Ecuador (also one of the world’s tallest active volcano)
Go backpacking to Quito to see Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World)
Explore the Amazon Jungle where you can get upclose and personal with exotic wildlife only found in the rainforest and learn about the indigenous people who call the region their home. Then go for whitewater rafting at Tena.
Trek the Quilotoa Loop where you can get a picturesque view of Laguna Quilotoa (a crater lake which also offers amazing views of a nearby volcano on clear days.)
Ride a train through the Devil’s Nose where you get the opportunity to go an an adrenaline filled journey while gasping at the jungle and the lofty Andes above.
Get wet and wild in Banos which is the self-proclaimed adventure capital of Ecuador. In banos, you can climb the Tunguragua Volcano; go for whitewater rafting, cannoning, paragliding, hot springs, waterfall tours, mountain biking and bridge swings.
Get wonderfully lost at the isolated province of Loja .
Visit Chimborazo where you will see the farthest point from the earth’s centre and a massive volcano in the Andes.
Learn to surf in Montanita
Go hiking in the Valley of Longevity at Vilcabamba
For those seeking a relaxing experience, you can;
Explore the lofty capital Quito which is scattered across a spectacular valley and surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes.
Cruise around the Galapagos Islands and tour the islands Charles Robert Darwin developed his evolution theory; go swimming with sea lions; learn the genealogy of the formation of the volcanic island chain,
Go shopping at Otavalo Market which is the largest in South America and the less touristy market of Saqisili for an authentic slice of local life.
Take a walk in Cuenca’s Historic City Centre which is Ecuador’s third largest city. This city is filled with dozen churches and one monumental cathedral.
See Ecuador’s largest Incan ruins at the mounds of Cochasqui which shows evidence of a sophisticated irrigation and diplomacy among the ancient builders.
Go for an otherworldly swim at La Grietas (the Cracks)
Enjoy some sun at Ecuador’s beautiful beaches – North Seymour Island in the Galapagos, Tortuga Bay at Santa Cruz Island in the Galpagos, Panorama at Rabida (Jervis) Island; Floreana at Charles or Santa Maria Island, Silver Island, Salinas, Muisne, Playas, Punta Carnero etc.
Visit the Tulcan Municipal Cemetery for a jaw-dropping topiary wonderland.
While in Ecuador, you can also use the opportunity to learn Spanish. Quito provides excellent schools and classes to help you master the language. You can either have a one-on-one or group tuition.