I haven’t traveled much. I can count the places I have been to and not exhaust my fingers. I love travelling though but this confession does not support my love for travel. I have been around for four decades, I should have done much better than that. Travelling is not cheap. Its costs time, emotions, separations from your comfort and loved ones as well as money. I applaud all those who are able to travel a lot and cope well especially with the first four (time, emotions, separations from your comfort and loved ones). Am not trying to justify why i have not traveled much although to some extent, the above has contributed.
I was 21, when I took my first solo trip to Mombasa from Nairobi. At the time, there was no Facebook, Instagram, Google and mobile phones. This was in the year 1997. The year Safaricom was formed but we did not have affordable mobile phones and network until 2000. So safe to say, there was no mobile phones in Kenya. Facebook was founded in the year 2004 and Instagram in the year 2010. Gee, makes me feel quite old and like i lived in the prehistoric age.
Unlike today, when you can get support groups for travel on social media and research more on travel from how to travel, where to travel, lovely destination, costs, how to save and all on Google, those days, there was little of that. You had a dream and fulfilled it. Period!
I took a shuttle to Mombasa on December, 23rd, 1997. I was the only single lady in the shuttle. The rest were families traveling for the Christmas holidays. I knew no one or nowhere in Mombasa. My trip plan was very simple. A bus ticket, some money and a place to call home for a few days. I booked a place through searching on yellow pages. If you belong to my age group, you know the yellow Directory and it came with a tagline “Let your fingers do the walking” and sure the fingers would walk on those pages and find everyone and everything. It was pretty well organized and user friendly I must say. I wonder if they print this anymore.
Following this trip, I have traveled to Turkey, Dubai, Uganda and Rwanda – all solo trips. I got into business and Dubai became my frequent destination. I have been there more than 15 times and i feel confident to blame it for not travelling to as many other countries.
I then opened my home to guests and started a different kind of travel. I started travelling from my living room in to beautiful souls. I started hosting in 2012 when I discovered Airbnb. I opened my home to visitors and have never looked back. I have met lovely, amazing people. I have learned about their countries, their foods, culture, tradition right from my living room. I have made friends throughout the world.
My first guest was a girl from Italy, Vittoria. She was going to be in Kenya for three months. When she traveled home for Easter holidays in the middle of her stay in Kenya, her mom sent her back with a gift for me. That touched my heart and I knew I was doing the right thing and could not wait to meet many more sweet souls. Sade showed my son how to make Mac & Cheese pasta. He has never forgotten. Sally and Muya, we were the perfect housemates. We still have our whatsapp group for chats and still meet up . Anna learned to ride a motorbike after living with us. Dr. Tom from U.S.A always made really nice food and taught me to make chicken kiev but the best was getting out for a drink and our trip to Mara. Jessica from Canada gave me a name Mama J. Boi and Mariana so sweet and caring. Waseem, the brother from another mother. Taught me how to make Ghanian food and has been a brother. David, Daniel, Barbara, Amal, Marilyn. Esi, she has the most amazing mom. Spending time with her mom is something i will never forget. We did house moving and shopping. I love her. I have traveled to visit my mom with Anna, Jacob and Natallie. They all learned to greet my mom in the traditional greetings and she was ecstatic. Irene from U.S.A, her huge undying love for elephants is unforgettable. Jeannie (Wacera her given Kikuyu name) and Austine, such a lovely couple. I wish i could list everyone here. I have hosted over 100 people and have fond memories of each and everyone of them. We have shared a home, meals, traveled together, parties, brunches and barbecues.
Through my guests, i have met many more from their social networks here in Kenya. I remember Dani from Canada, this girl loved my little ones. Sindy from China, Milena from Colombia, so sweet and caring. Venla, she will keep your smile on. Alexandra from Germany became my best friend. Hannan, Rodgers, Varun, Pieter, Tim, Charlote, Elizabeth and many many more wonderful people i have met.
I have been blessed to meet such beautiful souls who have touched my life and that of my loved ones in very special ways. I keep in touch with majority as much as i can. As a result, i have friends from Italy, France, UK, U.S.A, Germany, Sweden, Greece, South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana, Zambia, Ghana, Gambia, Republic of Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Holland, Australia, Canada, China, India, Philippines, Kenya, Brazil, Colombia, Finland, Turkey, Cameroon, Denmark, Ethiopia, Sudan, Nigeria, Liberia. I could have forgotten some countries. This is how far i have traveled through these beautiful souls.
I am in the process of planning a world tour with my fiance’ from 2018. We will visit all the seven continents and I can’t wait to link up with my friends. Am so excited knowing that i know someone in many countries of the world.
I would love to say thank you to all those who have shared my home and those i have met through my housemates for making my life so beautiful. I have fond memories of each one of you and even though i have not listed all the names here, your names are all warmly printed in my heart. I love you and hope to see you soon as i do the world tour.
I love you.