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It is that time of the year again, just like summer, December also means you will be seeing a number of your friends, course mates and colleagues planning to travel abroad or back home overseas for the Christmas festivities with their family and you may be feeling kinda left behind.


Your social media feed may also not helping matters at all since one in five posts you scroll through this period will be that of someone you’re following living their best life in an exotic location overseas.


I remember when I was in college, I only use to go home once a year and sometimes I went once in 18 months; I remember feeling left behind many times, especially at this time of the year when all my school mates will be going back home to their country whilst the ajebutters a.k.a daddy bees will be travelling to London, Yankee and Dubai for the Christmas and there I am left alone in my face me I face you one-room wonder compound house I used to live in. Although circumstances have changed for the better.


You are not alone if you have ever felt you needed to get away to a foreign country to experience the feeling of the euphoria of novelty that travelling overseas ignites? 


Well, It doesn’t have to be that way, that’s why I have written this piece for you on 10 ways to help you stay enthusiast and enjoy local travel within your country: 


  1. Open up your heart to learn the history and experience the very city or country you live in from a different perspective. 


Just like travelling overseas, you set out knowing that there is so much to discover, to learn, to be fascinated by and to experience. So carry this openness with you at home and it will lead and keep you motivated to go digging for those gems you may never even know existed!

Be intentional about genuinely learning the history of your country: Research on the internet, take a day to go to the national library and talk to the librarian or archivist. Find out what makes this city of yours special by engaging with other locals and find out why they do what they seem to do daily. You’d be surprised on some interesting fact you will learn about where you live and that will get your even more curious to discover more 


  1. Create a bucket list of places, events, festivals and experience you will like to indulge in.

Plan out your schedule: you can use Facebook events or Eventbrite for your search.


I recently attended a Durban, a royal parade and festival in Kingdom of Zazzau, Northern Nigeria which has been and continues to be on my bucket list to experience it over again in different royal kingdoms.

I have over 30 lists of places and activities I want to experience in both Ghana and Nigeria, and I think you should too in your country.


  1. Change it up: go to a different side of town every week or even visit a new city every other week. Take a different mode of transportation to work or even change your route every other day or week. Routine really creates boredom, frustration and sometimes even depression which may be the reason you are feeling like running away all the time! So mix it up 


  1. Dress up and join a free walking tour and events for visitors/traveller/ex-pats 


Most cities now offer official free walking tours, in some cities it’s daily and in others, there have specific days, you can join the tourist and visitors from out of town to explore your city 


You can also attend events targeted to tourist or the ex-pat community in your country to network and see through their eyes what they love and cherish about living where you do. You’d be surprised what you will find out, check out international, meetup , embassy websites and your local tourism board’s website for details. 


  1. Offer to show visitors around to your favourite spots and spend time with new people often

Platforms like Airbnb experience, Couchsurfing and even your social media feed could be a valuable platform to connect you with people looking to experience your city! Offer to show them around for free or you can even charge for it here 


  1. Organize a meetup and Invite a group of friends to join

Plan out a simple outdoor experience, it could a sports game, a concert, an instrumental practice session, an excursion or a culinary experience to taste a new local cuisine you haven’t tried out. Doing this will leave you in awww of so much your city/country has to offer that you never knew


Be creative, organize or join a photo walk tour: it’s that simple! Get fashion enthusiast, travel lovers, photographers and other creatives together to capture all the sweet madness the street has to offer. Abuja photo walk is a simple example of these. You don’t have to have a website, you can simply create a facebook group to do that.


  1. Volunteer for a worthwhile cause


This is one of my favourites, there is an unexplainable joy that comes with giving out your time, money or other resources to support a group or a worthy cause. Find a local charity, orphanage, community or school and offer to volunteer your time every other month or so to share your skills, help them with a fundraiser, organize a local event or something. This could be a very enjoyable way to experience your city, appreciate the things you have and more importantly an opportunity to serve 


Lastly, remember that life is a season and nothing is permanent: if you are not able to travel overseas now, don’t stress about it! Enjoy travelling local for it offers its own unique experiences and exposures to what your country or region offers that will make you even more proud of where you live or come from. You will see people, the food you eat, the route you take and the monuments you see every day from a cultural richer perspective, giving you more bragging rights! Like the #GhanaJollof Vs #NigerianJollof war that never ends


If money or time is the main constraint currently, travelling local will also give you the time to increase your income or save more towards your dream travel destination whilst also not experience the FOMO from all the photos you see online.

Africans Living Fully

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