Over the past 22 years, I have been very fortunate to live in and visit many awesome countries of cities. I consider myself a citizen of the world as I call Nigeria, Germany, and the US home. Two weeks ago, I visited the Island of St. Martin/Sint Maarten on a work trip and had the time of my life.
In this blog post, I'll share the five things I do whenever I travel. Check out my other Her Relocation blog posts about my experiences living in Nigeria, Germany, and the US.
#1: Remember how privileged I am to travel
Every time I board a plane to go somewhere new, I am thankful for the opportunity to see more of the world. While I was growing up in Nigeria, I could never have imagined how many countries she cities I'll get to visit. When I returned from my recent trip, I told my husband I wanted to travel more.
#2: Do my research and get prepared
Traveling is still a major event, and I do not take it for granted. Before visiting any country, I like to learn about them and plan what I'll do there. Often, I prepare the logistics like where we will stay, what we will eat, how we plan to get around, and what I'll be wearing. Travel planning is a lot of fun for me. One of the areas that being an immigrant has made me very conscious of is the requirements for legal entry into a country. I spend time studying the immigration requirements to make sure I comply. My worst nightmare is to experience any trouble entering a country, so I make sure I'm over-prepared. I still carry additional documentation on my trips, just in case someone asks. Thankfully my travels have been very smooth.
#3: Explore the location
When I visit places, I like to know that I have experienced as much as possible. On my recent trip to St. Martin, I was very fortunate to be able to go on a long tour of the island. It was very important for me to see the real life on the island. My favorite part was seeing mango trees, which reminded me of growing up in Kaduna, Nigeria, with many mango trees. I asked the tour guide to stop by a roadside stand that sold mangos so I could taste the local varieties. The excitement that came with eating a mango was very real. You would think I was enjoying a special delicacy. Well, in my book, it was.
#4: Capture and share Memories
My extended family is now spread across multiple countries. We have a tradition of sharing the memories we make when we travel. It allows us to keep up with our adventures and experiences. Interestingly, one of the first things I do when I travel is to send my twin a picture of where I am and tell her about what I am doing and the food I eat. She also does the same. I enjoy seeing other parts of the world through her eyes as well. Looking back at pictures helps me relive the memory.
#5: Celebrate how far I have come
Stepping away from my normal routine helps me reflect on my journey. I still remember the first time I visited Germany in 2000, my first trip to the UK to see family, multiple business trips, and the farthest trip I have been on to India. Whenever I see another part of this beautiful world, I am grateful and excited for my future.
If you asked me 22 years ago why my journey as an Immigrant would take me, I could never have imagined. I am ready for the next trip with my family.