Simi Odusanya, a cyber security analyst and travel junkie, was our guest on the second edition of #NigeriaTravelChat on Twitter. “I get asked a lot how I balance work and travel from colleagues and friends on how I combine both”, she began. “You have got to ask yourself, what is your motivation for travelling?”, she continued. “To experience life? To do something adventurous? What are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your ideal travel-lifestyle balance?”.
Here are Simi’s thoughts on this all-important topic.
For me, it’s all about the mindset. Reasons people give say they can’t travel 1) no money 2) no time 3) too busy. If travelling is really that important to you, then they are excuses. These days, social media is pushing the agenda that you have to quit your day job to travel. I don’t agree with this.
I would be sharing with you guys awesome tips you can do to ensure you travel without forfeiting your 9 – 5.
Tip 1: Take advantage of Public Holidays. On a average, we have about 25 public holidays in Nigeria. Short trips can be planned around those days, that way you can travel without using up your vacation days from work. Vacations can be set around public holidays. You get to stretch your vacation days and the no of travel experiences. Early December there was a public holiday; I had no prior plan for it then but decided to make good use of it.
I wasted no time taking advantage of the opportunity by planning a 2 day road-trip with a couple of my friends. We visited 2 states, 4 attractions and were back in time to enjoy the public holiday on Monday. You can read all about my experience here – bit.do/swroadtrip
If you are asking yourself, where do I start from? or where do I go? I designed a couple of road trip itineraries which you can gladly use.
Tour operators relieve you from the stress of planning and you get to meet new people and experience something new. If you don’t want to stress yourself, tour operators such as @ @TVPAdventures @SocialPrefectTours @IrinAjo and many others have trips planned all year long.
Tip 2: Some jobs allow you to travel or offer the opportunity to travel for business. You can utilize such trips to explore the town and experience their culture/food/people. In December last year, I was in Abuja for work and I was able to sneak in a day road trip to Kaduna with my friends. We were able to visit 2 attractions (Nok Village & Matsirga Falls). Read about it here – bit.do/kadunatrip
Tip 3: Day/Weekend trips – You can start by exploring towns or states that are close to you. For instance, you can visit Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Agodi Gardens in Ibadan, Idanre Hills in Ondo from Lagos. Tour operators like @ organizes day and weekend trips to the famous Kajuru Castle from Abuja.
My first ever tour within Nigeria was in 2016, a trip to Olumo Rock. You can read all about it here – bit.do/olumorock
If you are quite adventurous, you can go camping. I went camping this year. Click here – bit.do/omoforest
@ a tour operator in Lagos, is having one soon; so you should tick camping off your bucketlist.
If you’re keen to explore the West Africa. You can visit neighboring countries such as Ghana, Benin Republic, Togo. All you need is a valid passport and a yellow card, off you go to Seme Border. During the Easter Break, I visited Togo with @ and it was fun. Click here – bit.do/roadtriptogo
Tip 4: Explore your surroundings – Look for new places close to home. You can start with Tarkwa Bay or even Lekki Conservation Centre.
If you stay in Abuja, you can visit Nike Art Gallery or Bwari Pottery Village. When I moved to Lagos in 2015, the first tour place I ever visited was Lekki Conservation Centre with my friends.
I’d love to visit Badagary and Tarkwa Bay in the near future. Nike Art Gallery is an awesome place to go on a date if you love art. And most recently, we embarked on a trip to Farin Ruwa falls in Nasarawa State, Nigeria.
You can even go on a daycation or a girls weekend out at one of the resorts in Lagos
Finally, travel is not a competition. It’s really just about YOU. Try experiencing your city as a “new city”. You never know what new gem you can uncover.
Tip 5: Be friends with people who love travelling. They will entice you to go on a trip or an adventure. For instance, my bestie @ and I usually go exploring together. There’s simply nothing like it.
That will be all for now. Hope I have been able to shed light on this particularly thorny issue?
Feel to tell us about your experience working a full-time job and living your dreams. Looking forward to your thoughts in the Comment Section. Cheers!