Hello good people!
One month of unemployment has been particularly kind to me. I have been visiting my mother every week – enjoying hours of the Food Network on her large TV screen and the occasional coffee date at Java, I’ve been able to sleep to my heart’s content, I have been reading every chance I get, and I got to cross the border and visit a friend in Arusha, Tanzania. In summary, undulating landscape is breathtaking with lots of trees and rain forest cover, the people are friendly and chatty and they speak a fluent and flowery Swahili, and life there (compared to life in Kenya) is a lot cheaper.
My Instagram account,@sharonogugu, is full of pictorial evidence of the same.
Naturally, there was a handful of lessons on travel to pick on this trip. I thought to share them with you:
1. Plan in advance. Make calls and bookings early. Find out as much as you can about the weather and culture and local language.
2. Pack sensibly. Ladies, please don’t carry five pairs of shoes and matching outfits for a weekend trip. Comfortable closed and flat often work. Sneakers too. Maybe one pair of nice sandals. Two sweaters – one black, one white. A pretty dress. One pair of dark blue pencil jeans. Two vests. Shorts. A couple of socks, undies and an exercise outfit. Roll up your stuff into neat packs and fit it all into a backpack. Keep the personal effects in a smaller traveling bag which can double as a handbag – therein could be a smaller plain (like black) purse which you could use for lighter days spent outdoors.
3. Mix up the wardrobe just in case; make sure you have comfortable shoes and take one nice outfit for a day and/or night out. Pack for warmth, heat and cold. Some plain clothes and some colourful ones.
4. Carry at least one change of warm clothes; a warm jacket, sweats, thick socks, scarves (different colors). You’ll likely need these at night or in case the weather decides to change. Because it happens.
5. Plan your spending and work on a budget. Refer back to your daily expenditure and allocate cash for everything.
6. Be kind and helpful. If, like me, you are hosted – whether at a home or guesthouse or hotel. Pick the bill when you and your host go shopping or out for lunch, help out with some house chores, babysit or offer to take the kids out on a weekend. Keep your room clean and organized. Take part in common activities – gym days, market visits, movie nights.
7. Initiate plans. When asked to, have something to do in mind. Even simple visits to the city or local museum. You might have to do some things on your own, and you’ll likely crave some alone time too.
I hope this post, and these pictures, awaken your Wanderlust.
Eid Mubarak, to my Muslim brothers and sisters!