Hey guys, its been a short minute but i’ve been taking some time to work on some other things and you know just do life… ya’ll know how adulting can be lol. I promise to be a bit more consistent :-).. Sooo okay I recently just went on a summer break and visited two countries, England and Turkey. It was very much needed as I haven’t been able to leave the country for a while. One of the most beautiful things about traveling for me is getting to explore different cultures and the diversity. I’d rather save to travel than to get a new bag/shoes… yes, i’m that girl. I just find it so fascinating how different countries have different habits and ways of life and that to me is the biggest life eye opener. We tend to live in a bubble when we are only exposed to our own environments and reality, there is soooo much out there to see.
Living in Nigeria as many of you know is such an experience, as they say if you can live in Nigeria, you can live anywhere else. A lot of things we get adapted to, without even realising. One substantial thing I’ve noticed about Nigerians, is how friendly and interactive we are as a society, this is something I think most of us take for granted till you visit other countries at least. I was on the TFL train that goes to Liverpool street in London and I was so exhausted from the night before. When you’re on holiday you tend to over maximise the few days you have. I was so tired and kept drifting in and out of sleep. I noticed this white lady stared at me for like 5 secs and I thought to myself “what exactly is she looking at?” only to realise 30 seconds later that the train had gotten to the last stop and I was still seated because i slept off. (if only i had a penny, LOL) I was the only one left on the train. The lady didn’t say anything to me, like literally no one hinted me or tapped me, nada. In Nigeria?? That could never happen, someone must wake you up because we subconsciously look out for each other, either out of friendliness or out of just being in each other’s business.
If you happen to live in an apartment building in Nigeria and you have clothes out while it starts to rain and you’re out, a neighbour will pick out your clothes pending when you get back.
In England, not so much.. I mean you can actually live next door to someone for years with out ever saying a word. All you guys will probably do is smile at each other occasionally. There was a day I had locked myself out in my airbnb apartment in London…the horror!!! I called my host but he was working at a restaurant and couldn’t make it back. I stood out in the cold (the little corridor between the door and the glass door) for hours… I was still there. i sat, i sang, i slept… The neighbour’s saw me but went about their business lol. I was there till my host asked one of the neighbour’s to give me the spare key. Thank God there was a spare key around to begin with LOL. In Nigeria that could never happen, you’d probably get invited into a neighbours home till you get sorted out. As a society English people generally just aren’t that social even with themselves. It’s very intriguing, they might not be the most friendly when it comes to day-to-day activities but professionally they are top notch. They are always so warm and inviting. From the girl that works as a sales assistant in zara to the bank manager at Nat West, their professionalism is something worth emulating. Nigerians are generally warm, friendly and extremely interactive but professionally it always depends on their mood… You never know what you’d get and sometimes it’s almost as if they pour their frustrations with their jobs on the customers.
Also, in Nigeria I have always struggled with working out, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. I try to do brisk walking for about 20 minutes and I get so tired and I want to pass out. But what I just suddenly realised is, it’s not that my body is tired, it’s just the environment is not very conducive. In London you tend to walk a lot, from your house to the station (usually 5-15) minutes, from the station to your destination (say 10-15 minutes) and then back again. Visiting this summer I’m pretty sure I did a 2 hour walk every day without complaints. From visiting friends, to shopping, to going out to eat. The environment, the shops on the street, the calming smell of coffee, the weather, the breath of fresh air, all of this stimulates the brain so you don’t get tired easily, it motivates you. In Nigeria the system is organised in a way where you don’t walk a lot, and even when you make the conscious effort to do, the heat, noisy cars and horns, will not let you do for so long.
Also on my trip I noticed how paranoid and alert I’d get while someone was walking so close behind me on the street, or when I heard a really loud sound or some dodgy movements. These are things i feel I’ve picked up from living in Nigeria, instinctive survival skills because anything can happen at anytime so you have to be extremely alert.
So on my Turkish trip, I visited Istanbul which is the capital, although quite short but was very eventful, it was a lot to take in actually. Right from the airport, I started to notice how people looked at me differently, the men most especially. An airport staff who was supposedly to help me in getting my visa, kept trying to get me to smoke with him. His English was terrible so I could barely hear what he was saying, next thing I knew I was in a hallway that reeked of weed lol the horror. In getting to my hotel the stares continued and made me so uncomfortable. At first I was scared because of the fact it’s a predominantly muslim country so maybe i was indecently dressed but then I realised these stares weren’t about prejudice but pure lust. These men were looking at me like a snack. The hotel staff who was trying to help me sort out the wifi for my room started to ask for my number and asked if he could book a room so I could come over. I mean as unprofessional as Nigerians could be I had never experienced this in Nigeria. In getting to explore the town I started to walk around and this is where it gets interesting, Literally every driver would stare and look at me like I was just thrown into a lions den. Some would stop, and start speaking to me in Turkish, and some would just tap their friends to look at me. Some would stop their cars and offer to drop me at my desired destination. I mean, I’m a beautiful girl but even I knew it wasn’t about that. I later realised that they have a very strong fetish for blacks. The darker you are the more infatuated they became. They literally treat blacks like celebrities in some parts and this was such a breath of fresh air to me because it goes against the narrative of racism. If i ever thought Nigerians were friendly these people took it a whole other level bruv. I had never felt so exotic, so desirable and all because of my dark skin color. It was an empowering feeling because the attention and love was overwhelming and i’m definitely coming back with my girlfriends this time.
This is probably one of the reasons I love to travel and explore other countries and cultures, the fact that there is a lot to soak in and experience. So if you’re a black girl/guy and you like your snowflakes then Turkey is definitely the country for you… they love us out there lol.
Now, all these were my experiences, the beautiful people I met, amazing places I went to, all play a huge factor in this, I could go back next year and experience different situations altogether.. Every country has it’s own unique culture and although I believe we can all learn something from the other, this doesn’t make any better than the next.. we’re just all different due to different histories and experiences.. and I look forward to exploring a lot more of the world with you guys.
Thanks for reading
Love & Light xo