From a young age I was always been fascinated with travel. I remember, as a child, I would always put in the extra effort to pass my exams just before the summer holidays, knowing it would fast track a trip.
The endless possibilities of places to visit and locations to explore excited me but the options were always “jand” or “yankee” (i.e. England or America), it was almost like other African countries were never destinations of interest.
Recently, within the space of a year, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit six African countries and one of the best reasons I think everyone should travel Africa (besides it being cost effective) is because it will change you in so many ways- all for the better. I’ve learned so much from my trips, and every time I return home I find myself more educated about our continent and its people and I feel as if I’ve gained so much more respect for mother earth. There are countless ways these trips have changed me; the following stand out and have inspired me and my attitude towards life.
It changes your perspective about life
One of the most incredible things about travelling to places you’ve never been before; is the new perspective it gives you on life. You’ll experience other people’s lifestyles and by seeing and learning about these things you’ll also understand the value of everything in life and be more grateful for it. You also learn how people view your country and it challenges you to take a harder look at your personal stances.
Don’t you think the world would be a better place if we all left our comfort zones and experienced other
cultures? This brings me to my second point…
Admiration & respect for diverse cultures
Once you find yourself in a different country you can’t get around different customs and habits anymore. By that you’ll learn to understand them, adjust to them and love them. Negative stereotypes disappear when people are exposed to new cultures and places.
I’m not even gonna lie, if I had the resources I would spend the rest of my
life travelling the world and eating all types of food. I’m a foodie, so for me, it’s easily one of the best things about travelling: getting to sample delicious foods from different countries. The only problem with this is with each new country I regularly find myself in the midst of an existential crisis when I realise I only have a limited amount of time to eat ALL the food.
It brings new friendships and connections.
Never have I ever met as many people as during my travels! It doesn’t matter if you travel solo or with friends, meeting someone from another country changes you. You get a fresh outlook on the world from the conversations you have and time spent together, I’ve made friends on my travels and there are people I’ve met that I would welcome into my home if they landed in Lagos today. Travel friendships are some of the most unique relationships you can have and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
Sparks new ideas and creativity
Very often you will hear that, while travelling, a business owner thought of a new product or a ground breaking idea that changed their business dramatically or that while travelling, people think of ideas and open their own business. This was the case for me; I recently launched my kimono line “Abebibytan” which was inspired not only by my love for kimonos but also because of an experience I had on my most recent trip.
Travelling has a unique way of helping you clear your mind, which in turn helps bring out all of the creativity inside of you. If you are feeling like you are just going through the motions in your life, take a trip and see how travelling can bring clarity and help you figure out what you should be doing. If you are at a point in your business where you feel like you are stuck, try taking a trip to a place that you’ve been wanting to go and see if that helps reignite your creative thinking.