When it comes to living your best life through travel, it’s easier when you are a Nigerian abroad than a Nigerian living in Nigeria. My first traveling process outside my home country, Nigeria was to Morocco. I was an L.L.M student at the Queen Mary University, London and a couple of friends were planning a trip to Morocco. I was really skeptical, explaining to them why I could not go. “My Nigerian passport has a bad reputation and I’m sure my visa process might be delayed” I said to them. I was not ready to get a rejection stamp or have my passport held hostage, certainly not from the Embassy of Morocco. My friends insisted I still apply and were certain the process will not be the same as in Nigeria. They were so right! My visa was out in 2 days and I got one of my cheapest flight deals to date. £70 for a return ticket to Marrakesh? I was in heaven! It turned out to be one of my best travel experiences and it was in Morocco I got inspiration for the name “Naija Nomads”.
Nigerian abroad, a travel platform run by Glory, started of as a place for her to document the struggles of a Nigerian trying to navigate her way through Dubai. It has now evolved to an information portal for Nigerians interested in traveling the world. She captivates her community with her detailed travel advisory and her witty captions. When she’s not writing witty captions or throwing the shadiest of shades, Glory is an entrepreneur and her main focus is negotiation, product sourcing and procurement. Believe it or not, she calls Dubai home. You can keep up with her on Instagran: @nigerianabroad or blog: nigerianabroad.me
When you embark on a holiday, what determines your destination of choice?
I don’t really consider my travels a holiday. Most times I select my locations based on cost and distance. Sometimes it’s just random.
What is the one thing you cannot do without when you travel?
Internet. It is very important for me to stay connected since I work remotely.
Nigerian abroad Accidental or Intentional? Did you just find yourself being a Nigerian abroad or it was an intentional decision?
Intentional. I mean I finally found something I loved and I wanted people to be a part of it whilst learning. The decision to be this person took me 2 years of research.
You currently reside in Dubai. What’s the process for a green passport holder in Dubai in terms of applying for a visa compared to applying from Nigeria?
The residency process for a Nigerian living in Dubai is way better than most other countries, in Dubai they trust the documents you are submitting, there’s no question about it being real or fake. Your residency is tied to either your job or your business and it is always clearly stated in the residency sticker attached to your passport, your profession is also clearly stated e.g. Doctor, labourer, manager etc. From the profession stated on your visa they will be able to estimate how much you earn and your account statement will also reflect that, so it’s much easier really than applying from Nigeria.
Your page is an information portal for Nigerians traveling with a green passport. How long does it take you to research all this information you give?
Most of the information I put out had been long ago researched, like I mentioned, it took me 2 years of research to finally embark on this journey. For most countries I have a general idea of what the visa process is like. Even though I apply for my visas from Dubai, I have to always research the requirements for Nigerians living in Nigeria as most of the people on my instagram fall under this category.
You are usually very blunt with your commentary and that’s what people LOVE about your page. What’s that one destination you’ll advise Nigerians, “Do not waste your money going there”?
Please don’t go to Djibouti!!!!! Personally I will go anywhere and my regrets will be a story. But for someone with limited vacation days there is little room for experiment.
When I visited, it was 42 degrees in Djibouti about the same temperature as Dubai and finding a taxi with air conditioning is a luxury. I could not get a SIM card to buy because the only place that sells SIM cards was closed. I had to spend $300 to get an SUV with air conditioning to visit the only major tourist attraction in the country. Bathing water in Djibouti is salty. I had to buy $60 worth of bottled water to use after bathing with the salt water. – Glory Osei on her experience in Djibouti.
Glory is definitely a solo traveler. How do you go about sorting your flights, accommodation and itinerary?
I make all my travel plans myself, even friends and family come to me for that.
Considering the fact that you’re also known for budget trips; what are your go-to tools?
Skyscanner for flights.
Airbnb for accommodation.
Hostel world for hostels
Booking.com for hotels
Wego for flights
Hotel tonight for last-minute deals on hotels
Trip advisor for things to do and places to go.
Couch surfing for staying with locals for free.
Hotels or Hostels?
Apartments always. And if you are the adventurous type and don’t plan to sleep much during a trip, hostel won’t be a bad idea. After staying in a mixed dormitory with 40+ people(girls and boys) in the same without any problem, staying in a hostel is something I will recommend.
What’s the most fun travel activity you’ve done in recent times?
Seaplane ride in the Maldives.
Nigerian abroad is definitely goals! This year alone you’ve been to Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, Latvia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Djibouti, Lithuania, France, The U.K and we are still following! 😀 How do you juggle traveling so much with work?
I think I do well at multi-tasking. I always prioritize work activities before my travel activities. Waking up early to respond to work emails and sort out other work related responsibility. A few hours of sleep gets me going on most days.
Dubai!! Second home to Nigerians [London being the first. LoL]. Tell us 5 MUST DO/SEE for every Nigerian visiting Dubai.
Amusement/water park (if you are about that life)
All the malls (because shopping is life)
Miracle garden (I think it’s only open from November – April)
A cruise tour.
Still on Dubai. Tell us three affordable, great restaurants to eat in when visiting.
I consider Dubai home, I prefer to make home cooked meals since I mostly eat at restaurants while traveling. So I only have one favorite restaurant, KIZA. The Jollof Rice and chapman is close enough, someone should open a Mama Put (mama put means local restaurants which is popular in Nigeria) type restaurant here abeg, Nigerians would dig it.
Every avid traveler has a travel bucket list. What’s on yours?
Maldives (Been there but I am not even done with this place yet)
Bali (Currently visiting, seems nice so far)
North Korea ( No kidding, I am crazy like that)
What is your favorite travel quote?
I am not a quotes person but I googled this so that everybody will think I’m deep. Plus the quote resonates with my current state of mind. “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move”
What is your dream destination?
Japan. I don’t really know why, but Japan it is.
Anything else you would like to add? Travel tips or advise
When making travel plans don’t make solid plans you don’t have to e.g. Paid hotel booking if you don’t have to. Always opt for the option to pay on arrival if that’s an option.
Naija Nomads Note*: I loved being a Nigerian abroad because of the opportunities I had to live my best travel life. While there, I was able to visit Morocco, Turkey, Jersey (not New Jersey) and a couple of other U.K territories with so much ease. Limited flight options and expensive flights were all myths. Unfortunately I did not make out time to explore other parts of Europe which is one thing I absolutely regret. As a Nigerian abroad, whether student, worker or temporary resident, seize the moment and explore new territories. Remember, it’s 100 times harder back home 🙂 .