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The Lady Wanderer

Looking at the high influx of Instagram pictures by popular influencers and their friends, comfortably seated in business class on their way to yet another exotic destination, customary glass of champagne in tow, one can’t help but wonder, how? It’s almost as if they live in a world where the USD to Naira rate isn’t dangerously flirting with the N800 mark, inflation (save for the price of oxygen lol) isn’t staggeringly high and insecurity doesn’t exist. Again, I ask (on behalf of all confused Nigerians), how?

Could it be that truly “any money wey dem get na for enjoyment”? If so, food, shelter and security nko? What happens to feeding our families, fuelling our cars and generators? Did I forget to mention that the price of diesel seems to be running a 100m sprint? These are the issues!

Travelling in this economy has become a huge challenge, such that trying to prioritise it seems downright irresponsible. However, like some wise people said, in the face of uncertainty there really are opportunities. Sorry if I sound philosophical, I’m just channelling my inner depth (you know, the depth that brings forth those quotes that makes others sigh and go “hmmmn!” – yep, that depth lol). The pandemic already made most of us feel stuck, such that we couldn’t wait to jet out of the country or at least visit a neighbouring state. There just seem to be so many obstacles, largest of which is the ever-rising cost of living, particularly in the Lagos metropolis!

So which way forward, then? Where are the opportunities? Do they even exist? I believe they do! With the increased level of insecurity and the sometimes-daunting stories on social media, one would doubt whether this truly could be a time for domestic tourism to thrive. It is, but with caution. In my search for local zen and relaxation, I discovered a bunch of gems that offer similar relaxation and holiday vibes (in millennial parlance). It may not be the same as waving our infamous airports goodbye, but it gives one a sense of a break and leaves you feeling refreshed and recharged (which is the point, right?).

Another option is considering pan African travel, as well as more affordable but less traditional holiday destinations. Traditionally, Africans tend to focus on Europe and North America for holidays, which unfortunately has become increasingly expensive. Destinations like Egypt, Morocco, Kenya and Turkey offer 5-star experiences for much more reasonable prices and are visa friendly. I’m all for the perfect Santorini sunset and the dreamy Amalfi coastline that Europe offers, but we must embrace more affordable options whilst we await God’s blessings and mercy on our currency, economy and nation. Amen? West African travel has also become more acceptable, with couples choosing to honeymoon in places like Ghana recently, which is great for the region and continent. Senegal, The Gambia and Ivory Coast also offer some fancy, luxury holiday experiences as well. It would help if flight connections were more reliable, frequent, and affordable, but we have to start somewhere.

We need to be more creative in our pursuit of happiness, balance, and our dreams to “live our best lives”. The world is constantly changing and so we need to keep adjusting. Nigerians are known to be extremely resilient, and this is the time to show that resilience as strength. Let’s change the narrative and see things with a different set of lenses, because our (travel) dreams are valid.

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