A tour of Asia is one of the things we’ve been thinking of doing for a long time. So many interesting stories about the continent and beautiful tourist attractions and activities. When we see our Nigerian brothers and sisters touring the continent (probably on a different passport), we usually envy them (we won’t even lie) and wonder when getting visas to some of these countries will get easier for Nigerians.
Kola is our guest nomad for today. He’s a multitasker (studies, write and travel) who has a way of balancing his tasks. On today’s edition of Guest feature, he share some information we need to know about Asian travel, his view on Africa Travel and many other things. We hope you enjoy the interview with him.
COULD TELL US BRIEFLY ABOUT YOURSELF?
I’m your regular Lagos guy who has decided to take things a step further in every aspect of his life. To my cap that’s already feathered with being a Toastmaster, Author, Poet, Travel Junkie and lover of cars, I’m trying to add another feather of being a Finance guy by currently pursuing my MBA.
WHAT IS THAT ONE THING YOU CAN’T DO WITHOUT WHEN TRAVELLING?
Power bank to power my phone to take pictures. I love to capture every moment.
WHAT DETERMINES YOUR DESTINATION WHEN PLANNING A TRIP?
The main thing is the ease of getting a visa (green passport syndrome) and having access to a local in the destination, as I prefer someone showing me around. Also, there must be a lot of sights and activities.
YOU ARE A WRITER, POET, STUDENT AND A TRAVELER. WOW! HOW DO YOU BALANCE EVERYTHING?
I have my motivation stem from the urge and zeal to not allow life to pass me by. So, I get ideas to write while ‘wakabouting’, take break from school and work to travel and rejuvenate. All the adventures happen during vacations and breaks and sometimes even weekends!
TRAVELING WITHIN AFRICA FOR AFRICANS IS QUITE EXPENSIVE. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON THIS?
After understanding finance and how cost of flights are done, I’ve realized they aren’t expensive. Flight fares do not solely depend on distance. Asides that, I think it’s a case of under-appreciating what we have. The truth is that, until you visit those places, you won’t know there is value for money.
I’ll advice Africans to start exploring a lot in the backyard (other African countries). One reason being that it will boost your travel history, morale for your continent and open your mind more. It also helps that when you want to visit other countries like the USA and China, you already have quite a robust travel history.
WHICH OF THE AFRICAN COUNTRIES HAVE YOU VISITED AND WOULD YOU LOVE TO VISIT AGAIN?
Without thinking twice, I’ll visit Kenya again.
WE SEE YOU VISITED JAPAN. OBTAINING THE VISA IN NIGERIA IS LIKE TRYING TO FIND A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK. DID THE FACT THAT YOU STAY IN THE USA MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOU TO GET?
YESS!!! I have access to visas more easily now. I don’t think I ever have to fear being rejected by a consulate. If you plan with enough time in advance, you’ll be good.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE VISITED JAPAN SAY IT’S EXTREMELY FUTURISTIC! WHAT 5 THINGS DID YOU SEE IN JAPAN THAT YOU HAVEN’T SEEN ELSEWHERE?
Numerous magnificent and well-preserved temples and monk praying grounds.
The bullet train that moves as fast as 320km/hr. I passed Mt. Fuji while on the bullet train.
Green tea ice cream. In short, green tea everything.
Interactive robots to keep you company, make you coffee and open a bank account for you.
SOUTH KOREA AND FOOD IS LIKE 5 & 6! WHAT 3 WEIRD THINGS DID YOU TRY WHILE YOU WERE THERE?
Add 5G to that list because South Korea is in year 2049.
But the 3 weird meals were:
- Some local vodka called Soju, it’s much stronger than Vodka.
- Kimchi (fermented vegetables)
TOP EATS IN SOUTH KOREA
Sadly I do not have top 3 eats. Koreans and Japanese eat too many raw foods. Raw fish, raw steak, raw eggs. I literally suffered food wise in those countries but as a sharp Naija boy, I took Golden morn, peak milk, corn flakes and tetracycline along on the trip. I am picky with food, sorry! But one thing I’d say is that you must eat is Ramen!
THE ALBUQUERQUE BALLOON FESTIVAL HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS “MAGIC IN THE AIR”! BRIEFLY DESCRIBE HOW YOU FELT ATTENDING THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED EVENT IN THE WORLD.
I attended the balloon festival in St. Louis, and it was breathtaking. Thinking about it, it is the most photographed event I have ever been. I got to watch the race with the balloons also!
WHAT IS THE MOST AUDACIOUS THING YOU’VE EVER DONE ON A TRIP AND HOW WAS THE EXPERIENCE?
Fed a lion to its mouth. How did it feel? I kid you not, but I had a brain freeze so I wasn’t thinking.
Got to drive actual F1 race cars with professionals in a controlled environment. Came last though, as expected.
SOLO OR GROUP TRAVEL?
Solo. Helps me explore further and not have to deal with collective planning and decisions.
HOTEL OR AIRBNB?
Hotels. But like I said earlier, I prefer to know a local in the country, so most of the time, I’ve had to stay in a house. I’m not so sure of how I’ll feel in an Airbnb outside the USA.
UBER OR PUBLIC TRANSPORT?
Do I look like I have money? Public transportation! It helps you see the city better and understand/ explore a culture. Ubers are only better in highly developed cities with only skyscrapers to look at when driving around.
FINE DINE OR STREET FOOD?
I have an ultra-delicate tummy so fine dine. When I eat street food, I eat together with an antacid like flagyl.
HEAVY OR LIGHT TRAVELER?
Somewhat closer to heavy. New kicks for a new day (winks)
AVID TRAVELERS HAVE BUCKET LIST. WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN YOURS?
- Attend the opening of a major sporting event e.g. the Olympics.
- Take photos of my book at all 7 wonders of the world.
- Swim with dolphins.
- Bali, Indonesia.
- Take pictures with all those fancy vintage cars in Cuba.
WHERE IS THAT ONE DESTINATION YOU WOULD LOVE TO VISIT?
The northern lights. And I want to see them in Iceland
WHAT IMPACT DOES TRAVELING HAVE IN ONE’S LIFE?
As a child, someone told me his family had a runway in their compound in Lagos and I believed. SMH. When you travel, you see things and experience them first hand. It will be hard to be brainwashed by anyone or anything, including CNN. It’s some exposure that reading can’t fully help you accomplish.
TRAVELLING IS ALL ABOUT LEARNING. WHAT’S THE GREATEST LESSON TRAVEL HAS TAUGHT YOU?
The almighty USA may pass as a developing country beside Asian countries. Those folks have gone far.
ANY TRAVEL ADVICE, TIPS OR TRICK TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
Divide the cost of a trip by 10 and start keeping 1/10 monthly in a kolo (piggy bank). I’m 30 and I’ve kept a kolo for the past 5 years. That money is so handy when you open it.
Secondly, to get motivated to travel, stay glued to travel blogs, pages and google flights.
Did you enjoy the interview with Kola? If you would like to feature on our blog as a guest and share your interesting travel story, kindly send us an email.