Onyinye Ubah

As much as I’d love to think travelling and experiencing different cultures was my idea. I grew up wanting to be my father. He’s been virtually everywhere. So, when I got the opportunity to travel, I found myself following his footsteps and realized I loved it! As much as I have made some money off travelling and have gotten sponsored by an airline but I’d rather have it as a hobby for now. One of the fascinating things about travelling is that you will garner experiences that will blow your mind and more often; such experience will burn in your memory as long as you live.

My first solo trip was in 2013. I didn’t have a planned itinerary except the see the Eiffel tower in Paris. I winged every other activity. Since then, travelling has been an avenue to meeting new people especially travelers like me, trying out new food, learning and experiencing a new culture. When I mean culture, I also mean culture shock in-between. One time in Germany, I took public transportation and all the seats were taken. An old man was standing and I offered him my seat but he refused and felt offended. Later, my German friend later explained that most old people don’t want you to think they are weak. But in Nigeria where I come from, all you get to hear is “God bless you” but I guess it’s not necessarily accepted everywhere.

The most interesting experience that made me realized I was going to be travelling around the world was when I went parasailing in Ibiza. I made a decision while I was 700 feet above sea level. It dawned on me I will keep doing this. As much it’s exciting to travel but sometimes I get scared too. But it’s also fun. In time, I realized that facing my fears helps me overcome them. I was scared of heights but I went sky diving. I’m scared of drowning but I went scuba diving. I’m always positive and say the famous Drake’s quote: you live once.

There’s a myth that travel is expensive but it’s actually not, depending on the distance and destination. You can start visiting a nearby country and with proper research, you can travel with a strict budget. In the last one year of the covid-19 pandemic, it slowed me down to an extent. I had plans of exploring Asia in 2020 but because of the restrictions, I had to keep my travels to countries close to me.

For a black person, I had been selected while on the queue to board a flight from Frankfurt from Barcelona. They wanted to confirm my ticket and the ATM I used in booking. Those are the few and very minor. The positive definitely outweighs the negatives when it comes to travelling. The negative has never discouraged me nor made me think of giving up travelling. Yes, I have been tired of a place and wanted to go to a different destination but never to give up travel. It’s part of my DNA.

So far, I think Africa and Asia are quite rich in culture with beautiful heritage sites and tourist attractions. Unfortunately, I think I haven’t explored then enough. That is part of the reason I won’t mind travelling to a place like Mykonos over and again. I can never get enough of the beach, the temperature and the people. In the nearest future, I’m thinking of starting a YouTube Channel and a travel blog where I can always share travel tips. However, I share information on my Instagram stories whenever I can and when I am asked.

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