Onyinye Ubah

As Africans, we are used to the traditional career path. So, waking up one morning to convince my parents that I was about to leave a good paying job with lots of great compensation and growth opportunities for the life of travelling was not an easy task. It took a lot of unending explanations till I got to a point where I had to move forward with my plans. I didn’t want to lose the momentum. I was quite certain that showing them my results was far better than dwelling on the explanation. Being sure of my ability to monetise my trips, I moved out of my comfort zone and never looked back.

Travelling didn’t start overnight for me. Since childhood, I have seen myself travelling from one place to another with my family. My parents loved to travel, just for the fun of it. Right from my early days, I had part of my high school education in Nigeria before moving to South Africa. Years later, I proceeded for my university education at the New York University in the United States.

After my graduation, I was somewhat scared of working and not having the ample time for travelling just like I have always done even in my undergraduate days. A 9-5 job for me was going to involve some restriction in travelling as much as I had wanted. After college, I got a job as a business analyst in a large corporation in New York. We had a great working environment, great compensation and quite some attractive packages. Fair enough, my package in that tech company gave room for unlimited vacation and the freedom to work from home but I wanted more.

Notwithstanding, In February of 2019, I renegotiated my contract to be flexible enough in realizing my dream. I was already nursing the business idea at that stage. Fortunately, in July 2019, I resigned and pursued my travel dreams and business hands down.

One of the intriguing things I have enjoyed in my trips so far has been the opportunity to showcase Africa. A lot of people are unaware that Africa is rich in Safari, history, culture and architecture. I remember vividly when I went with some of group of ladies to Seychelles. To my surprise, I discovered a lot people do not know about it and its existence in Africa. Seychelles is one of the most beautiful tourist sites to visit but somehow, a lot of people are yet to visit there.

In my numerous adventures of travelling the globe, there was a period I was torn between having a reasonable work-life balance. I was always caught fighting to put my laptop away and enjoy a voyage. It got to a point where I needed to slow down life a bit, for the sake of my health and business. From then on, I learnt the beauty of not just travelling for the sake of it, but travelling consciously and embracing each moment. I open my mind to enjoy the fun activities, explore and enjoy every country has to offer without having loads of expectations at the back of my mind. My perception of the world has totally changed especially after my visit to India in 2018. I spent two weeks and marveled at their religion, food, culture shock and diversity too.

 I have come to realize that the more I travel, the more I host trips, after all, that is the business that I run. I have hosted quite a number of trips and have a community of women who love to travel. We are over 250 in number and have visited quite a number of countries in almost all the continents of the world. It’s exciting to see some of these women travelling out of their countries for the first time. We have been to Greece, Brazil, Bali, Italy, Ghana and other places. The fun in travelling with these women is enormous because I can relate to their excitement and curiosity as women. I started building this community of women to travel with because I saw the need for women to engage in some level of self care, unwinding, relaxing and reflecting.

I have actually realized that running a travel agency at the moment is like an unchartered territory. It’s quite new. It is not a well defined career path. People are still figuring it out and learning how to navigate through it. What matters for me is making sure that every trip I embark on is worth it in every sense of it. There is lots of planning ahead of each voyage to keep any form of hitches away

Over the years, making funds available for trips have been an essential part of me. Right from my college years, I had imbibed a good saving habit. I saved anything I could. I minimised my online shopping, created a separate savings account, emergency account and making sure my finances were aligned to experience something worth it. On a larger scale, apart from personal investment, there are travel grant which is not very accessible to women of colour. Often, it’s up to us to forge our own path.

For me, travelling is basically about taking risk, getting out of your comfort zone, meeting new people and making the most of life. With a sunscreen, good skin care products, phone, camera moisturisers, face masks and other essentials, I spread my wings and fly!

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2 Responses

  1. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say fantastic blog! Life Experience Degrees

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