From young I was always nosey wanting to know everything lol (which was a good and bad thing – story for another time) I remember learning about the world and wanting to wander around the world. But there was one trip that opened up my eyes to the passion I now have for travel.
The year I returned home was when I fell in love with exploring the world. I still remember this trip so vividly like it was yesterday, so let me take you back . . .
The plane doors opened my family and I + many others eagerly descended onto the tarmac after a long flight. We were hit by that thick air, the humid air we all know. We were greeted by smiling family members who took us to where we were staying. Although we were very tired and hot my siblings eyes and mine darted around throughout the car journey trying to absorb all that was around us. We had heard and learned so much about this place, Nigeria – this place our home
. . .
As we sat in traffic I was able to observe the bustling streets from a still point of view. I noticed ‘Aunty’ first whom effortlessly balanced a big basket full of foods on her head – all I could think was what kind of juju? (lol) and does her neck not hurt? The car crawled slowly through traffic as I glanced across the road I saw cool ’pure water’ bags being sold by a tall slim man whom had been kissed by the sun. The sweat dripped down our faces as the heat intensified my cool water now luke warm. The sounds of car honks, music, street hawker and people greeting each other echoed as I sat in the car thinking how long till we get there.
. . .
The sun had still not risen but the sounds of prayer and worship wakes us up later being accompanied by the cock a doodle doo – this was the daily routine
The dust shuffles across the ground, heat rises throughout the day, we chill out then play. The cooking was done over an open fire in the backyard the sweet aromas spread throughout the compound tantalising our tastebuds. My ancestral hometown is where we stayed and it felt good to be there with the buzzing Christmas vibe of the people around. Some nights ended with us sitting on the veranda watching people pass by as my older cousins talked and chilled.
At night everything was still the hum of the generator could be heard along with the cries of the goat in our compound. I lay awake most nights looking up to the sky recapping the day, thinking, imagining what other parts of the world may look like and counting sheep till sleep came (because that goat was not trying to let me rest).
. . .
I had settled in smoothly the days flew by and although only here to visit it felt like everyday life if you know what I mean. I don’t know how to explain it but there is no feeling like being home, amongst your people. We stayed mostly in the village and I loved everything about it! We ate, visited family, explore the town, went shopping, played games, chilled and more. We had spent 4 + weeks there time blended into one feeling like we had always lived there.
Some of my highlights were:
- Following the masquerades at a distance
- The taste of the cold Nigerian fanta! (if you know you know)
- Going to the shop and buying powdered milk to go home and lick it from our hands (don’t judge it was something me and my siblings did lol)
- Spending time with my wider family
- Oh and I can not forget about the delicious food I ate
One thing I do not miss was Christmas day when I saw the goat dead (this was a shock as I was young – little did I know we had been fattening it up as part of ‘making Christmas’ – I did not eat any meat for over a week even though my mum tried to force me too!)
This trip taught me so much at my young age
NOTES TO SELF:
I am my ancestors – the rhythm of them flows through me no matter where I am
Don’t be afraid to try new things
Travel is an amazing thing and I love how the experience can do so much and means something different to every individual. I am excited for where my passion of travel will take me next and I shall continue to share my journey and stories.