Our nomad of the week today is Bisola. She is a Nigerian who loves to travel and explore new places. Her love for travel started at a very young age when she was working with a travel company. Currently, she is an engineer based in UK. Despite the nature of her work, she makes good use of her leave and holidays to travel. So far, she has visited 13 countries and still plans to travel more.
According to her, you have to embrace every opportunity that comes your way to be open to new experiences. She loves to share her experiences at new destinations on her blog. You can also follow her adventure on Instagram
WHEN GOING ON VACATION, WHAT DETERMINES YOUR DESTINATION OF CHOICE?
I’m frugal franny, serious Ijebu, so cost is one of the main things that determine my destination. I also have a mental list of places that I want to visit that I add to almost every day, haha, so I check the prices of some of those places first and if it makes sense, leggo! Flexibility is a major part of keeping my travel costs down so I’m pretty open to visiting a lot of places (as long as it’s safe and they’re cool with black people). I love culture, so places that have very rich cultures will always draw me.
WHAT ARE THE THINGS YOU CAN’T DO WITHOUT WHEN ON TRAVEL?
My power bank, phone and Carmex. These three things right here, I can’t leave the house without. I just bought a new 10,00mAH power bank and I was so excited! This thing charged my phone in about 1.5/2 hours and I still had 3 out of 4 lights left and I was dancing around my house like I just bought a Chanel bag haha! When I travel, I use my phone as both my map and camera, so I need to have it working all the time. Dry lips are never cute so Carmex is essential and it has SPF. When solo, definitely a good book and earphones as well.
WHAT TRIGGERED YOU TO TAKE UP TRAVELING?
I think I got the travel bug pretty young through my mum. She owned a travel agency in Lagos and I worked there after I finished my JSCE exams mainly because I was bored sitting at home until school resumed again. I learnt how to book tickets and the visa process, did airport runs with my mum and I couldn’t wait till I was the one going on one of the many trips I was booking. I remember once I mistakenly cancelled someone’s ticket and they got to the airport and got told there was no booking, I just made myself very scarce when the call came in. My mum almost killed me when she found out it was me haha, thankfully that didn’t deter me. This life na one o (this life is one) and I want to see and experience as much of it as I can, so I became intentional and started saving for travels after university (when I was no longer a poor student).
HOW MANY COUNTRIES HAVE YOU VISITED SO FAR?
I’ve visited 13 so far, mostly in the last couple of years.
WHERE IS YOUR BEST TRAVEL DESTINATION SO FAR?
That’s a tough one! I’ve loved them all for different reasons. Barcelona is my favourite European city so far. I love the vibe, I love Gaudi and the fact that the beach is just a short walk away; it’s really the best of both worlds! Malaysia, Singapore and Oman, I also loved! They’re all so different but I had amazing experiences in all.
WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE THING YOU HAVE DONE ON YOUR VACATION?
Hmm I’d have to say travelling solo for the first time to Thessaloniki! It’s so memorable for me because I pushed myself way out of my comfort zone to travel alone, I met some amazing people, I never felt alone, did some hiking (which I never do on holiday) and just generally had the most amazing time. I even met a Greek man (I call him OluwaCostas haha) by the beach who spoke Yoruba, pidgin and a little Igbo! It was amazing!
HAVE YOU EVER HAD DIFFICULTY PLANNING AND EXECUTING A TRIP? IF YES, WHICH TRIP WAS IT?
My trip from Atlanta to Maryland last year was a movie! I went to Atlanta just before hurricane Irma hit so I couldn’t leave Atlanta till Tuesday. I made the rookie mistake of booking with Spirit airline (ah ijebu will not kill me) because it was cheap and turned out they love to cancel their flights. Got to the airport and they announced the flight was delayed first then after about 30 minutes they announced it was cancelled because they couldn’t find the pilot! I was so annoyed, even the way the woman announced it annoyed my entire life! So I had to call my cousin and her friends to come back to the airport, if not for them, it would have been even worse. I went back to the desk to get a rescheduled flight for the next morning and low and behold, that one too got cancelled, after I woke up at like 5am to catch it. Later, I ended up booking another flight for later in the day with United to Maryland, ended up getting there 2 days later than planned.
YOU ARE AN ENGINEER. HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO COPE WITH YOUR WORK AND TRAVEL?
Ah well, I just try to make the best use of my annual leave and the other opportunities my company affords- I’m able to buy 2 extra annual leave days which I have done this year! I’ve also had really great managers that understand my love for travel, advocate taking a break from work to reinvigorate and don’t reject my leave requests. I do put my best foot forward at work so it makes it easy for them to approve my leave.
WHAT COUNTRY ARE YOU CURRENTLY AT? CAN YOU TELL US 3 MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE PLACE AND WHY YOU THINK NIGERIANS SHOULD VISIT?
I’m currently back home in the UK, just got back from Thessaloniki in Greece so I guess I could talk about that. Not sure about any misconceptions, maybe regarding the financial crisis there means that they don’t like tourists, which is definitely not true. Nigerians should visit because it’s quite cheap, you can spend as little (or as much) as you want, enjoy yourself and eat really good food. You can visit with a Schengen visa as well. You can go from there to Halkidiki or Sithonia which have some beautiful beaches.
HOTELS OR HOSTELS?
I’ve never stayed in a hostel so I’d say Hotels or apartments. Apartments because they’re usually cheaper and Aparthotels over hotels because you get the feel of a hotel, breakfast if it’s included and you still have a small kitchen and fridge. If solo, then either a private room in a hostel to meet people or apartments/Airbnb if that hostel life isn’t quite for you. I’ve stayed in a dorm in high school in Nigeria so I feel like I can do anything now haha.
SOLO OR GROUP TRAVEL?
Ooo this is tough! I love going away with friends, the shared experience and memories are great. You also have people to take your pictures on tap haha. But solo is great because you see the city on your own terms, no one to consider but yourself, free to do and see whatever you want. I can’t pick! Going forward though, I see myself doing way more solo travel.
THREE DESTINATIONS YOU CAN RECOMMEND FOR A FEMALE TRAVELER?
Greece (Thessaloniki), Spain and Singapore. All these locations are safe, have lots to do and easy to get around by yourself.
AVID TRAVELERS HAVE BUCKET LIST. WHAT DO YOU HAVE ON YOURS?
Iceland (For the northern lights but it’s so cold there lol!)
South Africa (let me too go and do Gwara Gwara in SA)
Cuba (Feel like I’m in Cardi B’s “I like it” video)
The list is truly endless but I’ll stop with these.
WHERE IS YOUR NEXT TRAVEL DESTINATION?
It’s either going to be Portugal or Croatia, not yet set in stone.
YOUR DREAM DESTINATION?
It has to be French Polynesia especially after I watched a TV show about Marlon Brando’s hotel there, it looks unreal!
YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL QUOTE?
Can’t say I know many quotes, so full disclosure, I googled some so I can sound woke, haha! So here it is:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in the sail. Explore. Dream. Discover” – Mark Twain,
WHAT IS THE GREATEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT FROM YOUR TRAVELS?
To be open to new experiences, embrace every opportunity and say YES way more! Doing these has led me to going on a film set in Malaysian China Town and meeting a Greek man that speaks Yoruba on a beach in Greece!
ANY ADVICE OR TRAVEL TIPS FOR THE NOMAD FAMILY? PLEASE SHARE.
Make time for and prioritise things that make you happy. Travelling is one of those things for me so that’s where I spend my money in place of buying nice designer things (Anyone feeling generous to buy me Gucci gang, holla at your girl lol!). Don’t let flopper friends stop you, go solo. I did and I loved it, you might too! Don’t wait for anyone to start living your life, do it now!
Many travellers prefer to travel solo. Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comment section. As for us, group travel is a YES!
Do you want to be featured as our Nomad of the Week? Call us or send us an email today!