“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous
God knows this is one of my favorite activities in life. In one word; Adventure. I like to see new places, hear new languages and relate with new people. I love my homeland, so much but there is something knowledge of another world adds to your life, a sort of flavor, just like curry and salt do to what would have been plain soup. Or polka dots on what would have been a plain cloth; and mix the colors up. Will ya?
Like everyone else, I have a dream destination. The day I will set foot in Venice, Italy, the world will know what ecstatic really is. A dear friend and mentor, Dr.Sabrina Kitaka did me a major injustice during her recent visit to this heavenly city by updating me constantly on the sights and sounds she was experiencing. My imagination never fails me, all I had seen there was coming to life on my phone as I played and replayed the videos and re-viewed the pictures. Am very grateful that she did though, it just lit the fire even brighter for this dream to be a reality. I just told God that this has to happen for me before He calls me home. He is my father, He has to understand what this means to me.
Amen! Thank you, Lord.
“You don’t have to be rich to travel well.” – Eugene Fodor
In Uganda, those who travel are seen as very privileged. Whether it’s for work; where they most times see nothing more than their hotel room and conference venue, or pleasure. Now those who travel for pleasure are super privileged. Don’t even talk about those who get to live abroad. Well, there is a disclaimer for that. These things are making me appreciate my homeland and love it even more. I wouldn’t have known, had I not broken the border barriers between my homeland and the other worlds. Now this may make you think I have traveled far and wide, on the contrary. I have so far only visited our neighbors to the East and South West; namely Kenya and Rwanda in case your Geography is on leave right now. But it’s just the beginning, there are more borders calling me to cross them, and I will.
So many great people have talked about the benefits of travelling and just a few have been quoted in this particular article, starting with the opening quote. But more importantly, we have all witnessed how privileged those who have traveled are. Leave alone your fellow villagers being all over for having visited a great city like London. I mean privileges in knowledge and understanding. You just know so much more than the average person when you travel. From how to make use of technologies around you, understanding rules and guidelines, and also a first hand awareness of what many don’t know. It could be as small as being comfortable in a lift, yet others still throw their insides up just by sitting in a moving vehicle.
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert
When you experience new cultures and interact with different worlds, you are humbled beyond kings and entire royal courts, because you realize how much bigger the world is and that you are just a small portion of the larger whole. You realize that you are not the best at anything, that there is more. And this encourages you to dream bigger and aim higher in life because the potential to grow is magnified when you see what has been achieved out there.
“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark
In your usual world, you know what to expect when you open your eyes, when you step outside the door, and you pretty much can tell what the day will be like until your back to bed at night. But in a strange town, a new place your visiting, the moment you open your eyes and realize it’s not your usual environment, your curiosity is awakened. You get anxious and yet are excited to experience a whole new world. You literally step out into that new town cautiously because you don’t know what to expect but most importantly, you are aware of your surroundings like never before. You are truly alive and awake. Taking in every sight, living every moment as it comes. It’s exciting. On my first visit to Nairobi, I took the night bus, and daylight broke with a view of the beautiful rift valley lake Nakuru in the distance. It was a breathtaking sight. I did not blink for the remainder of the journey to Nairobi. Everything was new, and I wanted to know all about it. Here at home, I could easily use the same street for months without ever noticing a shop or landmark lying there in the open. Do not be surprised when you ask someone the name of a building in town and they do not know it yet the pass it everyday. Yet they will be completely aware of where they are in strange town.
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide
I love Kigali, because I found it so peaceful. Just how I like to unwind and relax everyday. Something about this city that just gives me a peace like none I know back home. I cant explain. But of course my beautiful friends just make it all worthwhile. I cannot wait to go back there.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine
We have so much out there waiting for us to discover it and all we have to do it set out and see it all. I am guilty of not visiting the major tourist sites in Uganda and I have already started organizing for this mighty trip around the country. And I will have plenty stories to share with you.
Otherwise, do not confine yourself to just one world, get out there and see more of God’s creation. I see people comment wrongly about things they have never experienced, people they have never met and places they have never been to. While you may feel cool amongst your peers, you are just a big fool for commenting ignorantly about anything. Go there first and talk with facts, then you have authority to talk. And thus, I will leave you with this quote, which is my goal going forward;
“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Anonymous