Amarachi Ekekwe is a system engineer, writer and travel blogger with a travel blog called “Travel with a Pen.” She shares her experience on travel blogging.
By Amarachi Ekekwe
I was introduced to the travel lifestyle at a very young age. My dad would move from place to place (within Nigeria) and we would get a chance to either move with him or visit so, I grew up loving this lifestyle. But it was not until 2015 when I took my first solo tour in Europe that I really embraced it.
That trip changed me – for the better – in so many ways. When I look back, I think that the events of that trip were what really kick started this phase I am currently in, pushing me also to start a blog to inspire others to travel as well.
Destination of First Trip
Within the country, Benin, Edo State since it was the first state we moved to when I was younger. I could also say Jos, Plateau State – which was the first state I visited with an intention to explore the sights and sounds. As for trips out of the country, my first destination was Paris, France.
Planning Her Travels
I have a full-time job, so I try to book my vacation days close to public holidays. That way, I get more time off by taking a few days off work. And in terms of finances, I prioritize travel over many things, so I can save up and explore places – typically on a budget.
The Role of Capital in Travelling
While travel can be expensive, it does not always have to be. When you learn to change your perception of what travel is, you will find that you can explore places within your budget and at your own time and pace.
I have taken trips to neighboring countries that cost less than N20, 000. For sure, it was not glamorous, but it was not any less of a wonderful experience. So, again, while travel can be expensive, it does not always have to be.
I started my blog as an online personal diary about 3 years ago. I wanted a place to store and share photos and experiences from my trips with friends and family. Gradually, more and more people began to visit, I saw a niche I could contribute to and I pursued it. I have loved every moment since.
I guess it depends on the traveller and the environment they find themselves in. Some people see (frequent leisure) travel as a waste of time and resources, so there is usually some sort of discouragement around it. Some others also view it as ‘running away’ from responsibilities, from commitments, etc. I think the key word here is balance. Finding some between passion (in this case -travel), finances and responsibilities.
Favourite and Least Favourite Place
It is a bit difficult to pick a favourite place because I have had unique experiences everywhere I have visited. If I were to pick from a recent trip, I would say Morocco. I visited Morocco earlier this year over a 16-day period and it was truly magical. The contrast of the weather (desert on one hand, snowy mountains on another), the food, the culture, the company I had, everything added up to make that trip memorable.
As for least favourite place, honestly, nothing comes to mind. I have enjoyed visiting every place I have been to.
Advice(s) For Travellers or Potential Travel Bloggers
For a potential traveller who is waiting for the ‘right time’ to travel, conditions are never perfect and sometimes, later becomes never. Remember you always make time for what is important to you, if that thing is travel, you will make time for it. And as for the money, you can start small and scale up later.
For the potential traveller who has made up their mind to go , you are about to embark on one of the most amazing journeys of your life. Enjoy it!
For a potential travel blogger, as with most things, do it for passion and always remember the essence of travel. Do not let the blogging bit overwhelm you so much that travel then becomes a bore and something you need to escape from.
Role of the Government
We must give people a good reason to leave their comfort zones to come explore our country or states. Basic amenities are a must. Good road networks, safety, accessibility, and something more than lacklustre sights. When all these are put into place, we must sell our country to the world. No one is going to do it for us.