Where you should spend Christmas.

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Yaay it is nine (9) days to Christmas. I am so excited. Christmas is definitely the best time of the year. I have never spent Christmas away from home but I am planning to this year and I have some amazing destinations I am looking at. While researching the destinations, I know I cannot be the only one thinking of where to spend Christmas. So I will be sharing 7 amazing destinations both within and outside Nigeria where you should spend Christmas.

Where you should spend Christmas

  1. Dubai

I am sure y’all are like what is with this girl and Dubai 😆. Dubai is definitely one place I look forward to spending Christmas in. 

There are a whole lot of activities one can do in group and with families in Dubai, from shopping at the Dubai mall, to visiting Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world), to  desert safari, the Dubai fountain, club hopping, Dubai beaches etc. Activities to do are just to much and I believe you can’t easily get tired. Dubai is a place you will enjoy spending Christmas.

And you know what is awesome? Airlines like Arik Air have cheap flights to Dubai. 

  1. New York

Spending Christmas in the city that never sleeps will also be fun. Maybe it’s the books I have been reading and Landmark Christmas movies have been watching on YouTube, I have really been thinking of how cool it will be to visit New York City during Christmas. There are a whole lots of activities one can do like visit time square, Central Park, empire state building, Statue of Liberty, city hall etc.

  1. Calabar 

Why go abroad when you can have the best Christmas ever in your own country. Calabar is one place you should spend Christmas. One can stay at the Obudu cattle ranch during Christmas or Tinapa resort and go into town for the calabar festival. 

Where you should spend Christmas

  1. Bauchi

Bauchi is a place I have in mind because of the Yakari game reserve national park. Visiting the national park is as if you’re in Kenya. It is hard to believe a gem like that is in Nigeria. The park also has a resort with affordable accommodation. I definitely can not wait to visit this place. It is definitely a place I can spend Christmas and enjoy myself. 

  1. Take a Western tour

After all deliberations, this is what I have decided to do for Christmas. I am going to take a western tour of cities in the West like Oyo, Ekiti, Osun, etc. I partnered with three amazing people and we all are going to the major tourist centers in the town we pass through. Spending days on the road during Christmas is definitely an adventure I look forward to. You can follow the hashtag on Instagram #ontheroadNG

  1. Maldives

Maldives is picture of paradise. With luxury bungalows extending over crystal clear blue water. Have you been thinking of scuba diving? This is the city to give it a try. I heard Maldives is one of the premier scuba diving destinations on earth. Take bae and go to the honeymoon city with clear blue water to spend Christmas. You don’t want to visit this honeymoon city alone.

  1. Lagos 

There’s no party like a Lagos party! Christmas period is when Lagos city is hot! A lot of Nigerians who have been out of the country during the year comes in this period. Lots of concerts and events to attend. In fact there’s no Christmas like a Lagos Christmas. There are so many fun activities to do in Lagos during the festive period. Even without the festivities, Lagos is a city of fun with so many activities and adventures to embark on. One can never get tired of Lagos beaches, Lagos night clubs, tourist centers like Omu resort, Lekki conservative center, Lufasi Park, freedom park, fela shrine etc. There is always something for everyone to do in Lagos during Christmas with little money. 

 

Where do you want to spend Christmas?Anywhere on the list mentioned? Comment below let’s talk and if your destination is not on the list, please mention it so we can have more destinations to think of.

When Shooting Your Shot Gets You Brunch At Gypsy’s Restaurant.

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Gypsy's restaurant

Shooting your shot has been made synonymous with asking someone out. When I meant I shoot my shot, I meant I did something I wouldn’t have done on a normal day cos we all know I’m shy bee 🙈

Infusing hotel and restaurant review has been part of the plan of what goes on the blog right from the onset. 

So when I saw Dme.ng follow me on Instagram and I checked their page like I always do to most pages that piqued my interest. I had to go to their website to read up on Dme works and they are really good. 

Dining made easier (DME) style of writing is fictional. I love the fact they captured the details of the restaurant they review in such a descriptive way with nice pictures. I had to go back to Instagram to dm them and commend them for their good works. When I see something good, I can’t help but appreciate it. 

Gypsy’s restaurant

Immediately DME replied and was like they will like to work with a lifestyle blogger, my niche goes with theirs in a way. I was so happy. I was like eskis me sir, whoever you are, do you read minds lol.

This is the head start I needed to infuse restaurant reviews on the blog. 

We exchanged contact, talked and viola a collaboration was born. 

A background run on what Dme is about.  Dme meaning dining made easy is a website that provides all necessary information needed for an enjoyable outdoor dining experience in Lagos. 

Gypsy’s restaurant

So Dme sponsored me to help them experience a restaurant, then do a live video of the restaurant. It was my first time doing an Instagram live video, so yea, I jumped into the idea.

On this faithful Thursday, I got to visit Gypsy’s Indian restaurant at Ilupeju. To be honest, I was happy that I was going to experience a restaurant that was named out of the idea of “people traveling”, yes, “Gypsy” means; a group of travelers. I had a test that afternoon in school, and I almost canceled. Thankfully, I was able to finish my test early enough. 

I took Taxify; using Google map, myself and the driver were able to locate the address. 

Gypsy’s Restaurant & Bar is located at 

34a Gbolade Adebanjo St, Ilupeju 100252, Lagos. 

Getting to the restaurant, here were my observations:

This restaurant occupies the other half of a twin duplex, and since both the up floor and ground floor were covered with glasses, I was able to get a sneak view of inside of the restaurant from outside. Oh, boy! I was blown away! I have this weird attraction for see through the glass windows, it stems from my love for window shopping lol. 

I was able to get a sneak peak of the restaurant through the window glasses.  On this day, the restaurant was full of Middle Easterners, especially Indians. 

I’ve been to the Spar at ilupeju several times and I knew from going there the area is full of Indians. I wasn’t too surprised!

It’s obvious the founder saw the need for an Indian restaurant in that particular area. 

On entering the restaurant, the lobby has all this cool artwork on the wall and I was awed. I knew it’s going to be such a cool experience dining here just from the whole setting.  

Gypsy’s restaurant

Entering the main restaurant I was welcomed with a warm lovely smile from one of the waiters and I requested for a window seat. Lol, I’m see-through window glass obsessed.

While I was still waiting for the DME crew to join me, a young Indian lady, Priyanka, who’s the manager of the place walked up to me and we had a nice chat about ourselves and the restaurant, she confirmed my thoughts of the need for an Indian restaurant in that area coupled with the fact Gyps restaurant is one of the nice if not best (confirmed by me) restaurants in the whole of that area. She also mentioned their menu fitting the Nigerian tongue because most of their meal are spicy. 

Dme crew joined us while we were still talking and she offered to take us on a tour of the restaurant before heading out. You bet I jumped on it. That was the whole point of coming to the restaurant in the first place. 

To ensure the food will be ready after the tour, I placed my meal order which was the most common Indian foods. Tandoori Chicken, Gravy, Naans, Prawns and Rice. 

I whipped out my phone; taada, off to Instagram live video, we first went back outside to talk about their soon-to-launch patio which will be the smoking area for guests. This was a very nice and airy space with a little garden touch to it, pot flowers here and there, while inside was more chilled and cosy, and of course, no smoking inside.

We went back inside and I noticed a cocktail bar that could host about 5 people, sitting arrangements for about 5 or 7 people, nothing too cosy.

Gypsy’s restaurant

We went upstairs and I was wowed! Just after the stairs was this super cosy area with dim lights and romantic décor, and already set tables for two, no TVs upstairs to avoid distractions with intimacy, this was when she explained to me that this was the lovebird’s corner. It was really nice. The area was well suited to accommodate at least five pairs of lovebirds. I wished I went along with bae at this point. Romantic dining arrangements make me mushy 🙈

Gypsy’s restaurant

Just further into this cosy space was another dining hall for guest, it is called the Flamingos hall. Telling from the table settings, I could tell that it could perfectly fit for group dining and hosting banquets and buffet dining for special occasions. I just loved the feel of black and white checkered floors with wooden seats and brownish cream wall painting. It really gave this place the feel of a typical Indian home, at least telling from what I see on TV.

We went back downstairs after the tour and our food was ready, they came in like a feast! Who knew all these things we ordered will come in such large portions! Oh I might have guessed from watching lots of Zhee world 😆

Am I sure we’re going to finish this today? Tandoori Chicken, Mutton Masala, XO Sauce Prawns, Chicken Pot Rice and Chapman in that order. Oh my! I didn’t even know where to start from; I called myself a bush girl on live video lol because I was honestly confused on where to start from. 

I started from chicken pot rice and tandoori chicken, it was damn nice! I can’t really put into words how the whole food tasted lol but I ate and ate till I was filled up. I had to ask the waiter to pack the remaining food for me. 

Anyways I really enjoyed myself at Gypsy restaurant, it was a nice experience eating Indian food for the very first time and also doing instagram live for the very first time on Dme Instagram page. 

I shared my experience on DME blog in a more fun way; click HERE to read. Remember the style of writing is fictional!

I can’t share a budget break down of the meal because I was sponsored by Dme but you can see the full menu of Gypsy’s restaurant and any other restaurant in Lagos on Dme website.

Have you ever been to an Indian restaurant? What was your experience like? Kindly share below and if you’ve not; will you like to go?

Share this article via the social button below if it’s useful to you. Sharing is caring!

Follow on Instagram:

@princess_busayo | @dme_ng

@gypsyslagos

The blog is One! Ten Lessons I have Learnt So Far.

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The blog is one! Ten lessons I’ve learnt so far.

The blog is One! Ten Lessons I have Learnt So Far. Whoop whoop who is excited? I am ooo. The blog clocked a year last month. Yaay! This post has been long overdue but I have been dealing with some issues I mentioned in my why I have not blogged in a month blog post. 

I even ran a blog anniversary giveaway on Instagram and a lovely  follower won a kayaking experience with Kampari tours.

View this post on Instagram

Finally guys the giveaway is here 💃💃 You guys should know by now I will rather spend on experience rather than things, this giveaway will definitely be about an experience. I collaborated with a tour company who organizes amazing tours in Lagos. One lucky winner will be joining @kampari_tours Lagos kayaking experience on September 23rd. Rules of the giveaway: 1. Tell us why you want to have this experience. 2. You must be following @princess_busayo and @kampari_tours. 3. Tag people to like your comment. The highest like wins. Note that: the ticket for the kayaking experience covers kit, access fee, food and drink. Let the best man win!! Ps: winner will be picked on Friday.

A post shared by Travel | Lifestyle Blogger (@princess_busayo) on

While I have dealt with and still dealing with some of the challenges I faced and still facing as a blogger; this blog has actually been a blessing in disguise. It gave me a platform to express the things that truly matter to me; and the things I am passionate about.

The blog is one! Ten lessons I have learnt so far.

It has been an amazing year of sharing; learning and enjoying the process. The blog is one! Ten lessons I have learnt so far:

  1. Do it afraid: starting this blog taught me how to do things afraid; I can remember vividly when I paid for my hosting plan and domain name; I was excited and scared at the same time. In fact for a month, I didn’t post anything; I have contents and ideas, I was just too afraid to start. The fear of failing was just too much and I didn’t want to start. Thanks to those who believe in my dream and gave me the extra push I needed. Truly, your network is your net worth. Hands down, this has been one of the best decisions of my life so far.  If there is any big lesson I have  learned from this blog; it has to be starting afraid, starting with fear but rising above it to do what truly means so much to me. 
  2. Constantly put yourself out there: I have never met anyone who underrates their craft like I did mine. It was a real struggle at the beginning to put myself out there. I will publish a post and be so scared to share with my contacts. With time, when I see people commend me for what I do; I knew I was not pushing out trash; I put out valuable contents and there is no reasonable reason apart from fear why I shouldn’t put my contents out there and scream about it. It was so hard at the beginning to even introduce myself as a blogger. Some Nigerians are not even helping the situation tagging you as a gossip blogger; once you tell most people you are a blogger, they just assumed you are Linda Ikeji type of blogger. I am digressing! This is a topic for another day. Starting this blog has actually made me to constantly put myself out there. 
  3. Collaborate with people in line with your work: oh mine!! This took me a while to get. And I am still learning. Collaboration with people in line with my niche has helped in a lot of ways. 
  4. Reach out to those who started before you: anytime you’re lost and can’t get your mojo back, reach out to the people before you. They have  been through the phase you are going through. They are definitely in the best position to help. 
  5. Have a role model: having some people I look at their craft and getting inspired by them has been really helpful in this blogging journey. 
  6. Be you: this one might be hard l know. I mean I have people I look up to; writing like them might be something I want but writing with my voice has been what made my craft unique. Never ever try to write in another person’s tone as a writer. Being you is what makes you unique! Never lose that. 
  7. Never lose your voice: stay in your lane; always go back to the why when it seems you are not doing it right. Never lose sight of why you started in the first place. 
  8. Expand your knowledge: never ever stop learning. Constantly research on what will make your blog better all the time. I’m honestly still learning this. Learn and implement, please. My blog has been down about three times in the past one month; if I had learned some techy aspects of the blog, this wouldn’t happen. 
  9. It’s okay to hear NO at times, don’t give up! This is a note to myself all the time. I don’t do well when I hear no. Still very much learning to deal with rejection. You reached out to a brand to publish something about them and you keep hearing no most times, this will make one almost give up. Never ever do that. 
  10. Be patient: you know when you are putting in all the work and can’t see the result yet, it can be really annoying. Be patient, and consistent, everything will pay off at the end of the day.

 

Thank you all so much for always coming here; dropping comments and supporting me. It’s our anniversary; wish us well in the comment section.

Life Lately And Why I have Not Blogged For A While.

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Life has been a roller coaster lately, from getting disappointed at so many things I was looking forward to and just generally loosing my drive. I would say this year has really been a challenging one. Through it all I thrive; because God is with me. 

With everything going on; I started a business yaay; I have so many ideas and I finally started on my idea of doing surprise gift and experience packages. So if you want to surprise your partner, friends and family with dinner date, a vacation to an exotic island; gift items like gadgets, customized t-shirts etc I’m your plug ☺️ Just send a mail to busayoblog@gmail.com. 

Life lately and why I have not blogged in a while

Why I have not blogged for a while:

For a month now I stopped posting on the blog, at first, I told myself it was school exam and the domain name  expired due to my naivety (will talk more about this in my next post) but deep down I knew I’ve lost my motivation for blogging. 

I needed time to go back to my WHY?

Why did I start doing this in the first place? What is my long time achievement with this personal online diary and family I have?

I hate doing things without direction and the why kept nagging at the back of my mind. 

Within this thinking phase the blog clocked a year yaay and that made me excited and I almost got my mojo back but I needed to really think through my long time achievement with blogging. 

Reasons why I started blogging:

  • I started this blog because I want to share my personal experience in life (lifestyle aspect of the blog) for people to learn from it.
  • I started blogging so as to change the narrative of Nigeria in the media. I want people to see Nigeria from a Nigerian perspective through my personal adventures in Nigeria. 
  • I want people to explore our culture, uniqueness and diversity with me on a budget. Hence why I named the blog Explorewithbusayo. I want people to see a Nigeria rich in culture and people unique in their diversity. 
  • I started blogging because I want to inspire people to travel more, be blessed with the beauty of the world. Like one of my favorite quotes says : “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 harbor. Catch the trade winds in you. Sail. Explore. Dream. Discover. ” Mark Twain
  • I started blogging because I want to travel around the world and share my adventures with my readers. 

I still very much want to do everything I mentioned but it’s needed to go back to the why when one is losing the motivation to go on and that’s exactly what I did. I can say there’s more clarity to my purpose going back to my why. 

Moving forward; I have something cooking with a fellow travel blogger to fulfil one of the reasons I started blogging which is for everyone of you who have been with me from the beginning to explore the culture, uniqueness and diversity of Nigeria with me. I will share the full details when we are ready. 

Have you ever been inspired by one of my write-ups and experience a place because I shared my experience on the blog?? Kindly comment below; I will really love to hear your feedback. 

How To Deal With Jet Lag.

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I could remember my first trip by air; I experienced motion sickness guys, not jet lag cos it was a domestic flight.

I know about jet lag, but I’ve never experienced it, hopefully soon ☺️

Jet lag can occur when you travel across two or more time zones. It might be when you book that cheap flights to Dubai from Lagos.

The more time zones you cross, the more likely you’re to be sleepy and sluggish. It’s a temporary sleep disorder.

Since I’ve not travelled across two-time zones and I don’t know much about jet lag, I had a chat with a pilot friend who is more experienced in this topic. Here are the 8 tips Captain Ola shared with me on how to deal with jet lag.

8 Tips On How To Deal With Jet Lag

1. Adjust your sleeping time.

According to Captain Ola, you need to adjust your sleeping time to that of the country you’re travelling to.

2. Sun exposure.

Little exposure to sun always helps recover from jet lag.

Your body’s internal clock controls sleep and wake cycle, a set of structures in the brain called the Suprachiasmatic nuclei are the same structures that regulate your body temperature and some hormonal fluctuations immediately you’re exposed to sunlight. This suprachiasmatic nuclei senses when you are exposed to sunlight and resets your body clock. So, it is good to get a little bit of the sun.

Note that it’s just a little healthy amount of sun you need to be exposed to.

3. Avoid coffee

The caffeine in coffee will affect your sleep cycle. If you have started practising what we discussed first, with the adjustment of body rhythm, coffee can change everything because it will deprive you of sleep when you need it.

4. Avoid Alcohol

Avoid alcohol because of the effect of alcohol at altitude will increase tiredness and cause dehydration, making it even harder to overcome jetlag.

5. Exercise

Do some exercise to let your body adjust to the new time zone.

6. Get enough rest while flying

Get enough rest while flying and eliminate anything that can distract you during your short nap. Use earplug or an eye mask to remove distraction.

7. Eat

Start eating proper meals and ensure you eat healthily.

8. Be prepared fully for your trip.

Ensure you’re well prepared ahead of your trip. If you’re well prepared and you are not so worked up, your body would adjust to the new time zone without difficulty.

 

Thank you, Captain Olagbemi Olayinka of Isleepeatfly, for sharing how to deal with jetlag tips with us.

Have you ever experienced jetlag? How did you deal with it? Kindly comment below. If you have never experienced jet lag I hope the tips have been useful to you.

Till next post lovies!! Don’t forget sharing is caring!! Share this post on all your socials and follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

5 Things To Do While You Can’t Afford To Travel.

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Look at me guys!! I wrote about the ten places I will like to visit in 2018, the year is almost over and I’ve been to only one of this places.

RELATED ARTICLE: EXPLORING BADAGRY, ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW.

So sad! I’ve actually been broke and I can’t afford traveling at the moment. I know there are people in this with me ( haba I can’t be alone) and it’s just a season that will pass definitely.

While I’m still very restless without traveling for a while now, there are quite a number of things I’m doing to keep my restless side busy. I will be sharing 5 things to do while you can’t afford to travel. The tips I will be sharing has actually been working for me and I hope it will work for you too.

1.Read books:

Books are powerful and I believe to an extent what you read will determine who you might become later on. Read lots of book on politics, adventures, religion etc. those who read will keep learning and we can add books on how to be financially Bouyant so we can afford our travel dreams.

Note that; reading shouldn’t be something you only do while you can’t afford to travel. It should be a continuous thing.

2.Join an NGO:

Help your community, help someone with your time by joining an NGO to help people. You don’t have to donate money, your time is money enough. And as little as N1000 will go a long way in someone’s life.

One of my plans of 2018 apart from my travel plans is to join an NGO, not just an NGO I will be in without making impact.

I joined Lagos food bank early this year but I couldn’t really attend any of their outreach. And I had to pull out till I joined Hashtaghappybaglagos where I felt I’m more useful and the feeling of been part of a team that makes a difference by spreading happiness like confetti is priceless. Our next outreach is September 29th, you can send Hashtaghappybag_lagos message on instagram to volunteer or donate.

There are quite a number of NGO you can join like; Lagos food bank, socially Africa, slum to school, hashtaghappybaglagos (the highlighted blue text will take you to their Instagram pages if you will like to join them).

There are still other NGOs out there, google them, so far they are in your area of interest.

3.Visit a local tourist destination:

Hey! Don’t be scared, I know visiting some local tourist attractions at times attracts some entrance fee but there are places you can visit in your city without paying a dime. In my city, Lagos, you can visit Nike art gallery without paying a dime to go in.

4.Hangout with your friends:

You can plan a beach hangout or movie hangout with your friends within your city. I’m sure it wouldn’t really cost that much. I planned a beach hangout with my friends with just N4,000.

5 Things To Do While You Can't Afford To Travel.
With one of my friends at Atican beach.

5.Binge on travel blogs or travel bloggers instagram pages:

One of the things I like doing when not traveling is reading my favorite bloggers travel tales on their Instagram page or blogs. Since we can’t afford to travel at the moment, let’s travel through other people’s experience.

Here are few travel blogger pages I follow on the gram:

Naijanomad

5 Things To Do While You Can't Afford To Travel.
Naija nomads Instagram feed

Glory Osei

5 Things To Do While You Can't Afford To Travel.
Glory Instagram feed

Funmi Oyatogun

5 Things To Do While You Can't Afford To Travel.
Funmi Instagram Feed

Amarachi Ekekwe 

5 Things To Do While You Can't Afford To Travel.
Amarachi Instagram feed.

What are the things you do while you’re not traveling, doesn’t mean you can’t afford to though. Please comment below. 

The Traveler’s Tales Featuring Atabo David Of Comemakewego.

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The Traveler’s Tales Featuring Atabo David Of Comemakewego

Atabo David of Comemakewego, the man who is doing a wonderful job of marketing African’s only suspended lake ‘Ado Awaye’ to the world is our traveler’s tales guest for this week.

The Traveler’s Tales Featuring Atabo David Of Comemakewego.
The only suspended lake in African.
Photo credit: Comemakewego

David has been an helpful colleague in this industry and I really do appreciate his good work.

The Traveler’s Tales Featuring Atabo David Of Comemakewego is all about David telling us more about his brand, how he was able to get the local members of Ado Awaye to see the gem in their community, what motivates him, the biggest lesson he has learned, his advise to intending travelers and other things.

The Traveler’s Tales Featuring Atabo David Of Comemakewego.
David Atabo

1. Can you kindly tell us about you and your brand?

I am Atabo David, a brand strategist; particularly leveraging on digital platforms – I help brands tell stories that sells. Currently bootstrapping a destination marketing startup ( Comemakewego) – with the mission to shed light on local communities in Africa with tourism and other investment opportunities. I believe in sustainable development, hence, we make it as a core benchmark at Comemakewego, ensuring there is a balance in economical and socio-cultural benefit between a travel and the locals, as well keeping the environment safe for living.

2. You are a destination marketer of Africa’s only suspended lake; how did you discover this gem?

The Traveler’s Tales Featuring Atabo David Of Comemakewego.

I came across Ado-Awaye while exploring local communities in Oyo state, I saw the potential of the destination this led me to meet the local chiefs and King, and luckily for me, they received me with warm arms, and since then, it’s been quite a journey. Lol

3. I want to commend you for all the good work you have been doing with Ado Awaye. You are one of the people I tap inspiration from. You have marketed Ado Awaye in such a way the community members have been able to see the potential in their land? How did you achieve this? 

Hahaha, you also inspire me much! – It hasn’t been easy getting the locals to put hands together. At first, I was trying to involve the government, after weeks and months of meeting with their officials, I got to realise I was just wasting my money on transport LOL. I needed to change plans but still had the goal in mind. Then I got back to the local chiefs and king to discuss. First, I stayed with them for 2 months or more (This showed my commitment to them -I became one of them, I slept where they did, eat what they ate, and breath same air with them. lol) – I was called the king’s son. It became easy for them to understand.

4. What is the biggest lesson you have learnt  ever since you started working as a destination marketer?

Being a destination marketer in a country like Nigeria…mehn! I have learned a lot of lessons. First, if a plan doesn’t work, change your plans and not the goal. Secondly, be patient and persistent. Then, let every step you take lead you to achieving your goal.

5. What motivates you?

In terms of motivation – I would classify what motivates me into “internal and external factors” – constantly reminding myself where I want to be (vision) triggers me to not give up, knowing that the current issues will definitely pass with time; does the magic. Also, I get to receive some “touchy” messages from random people that have heard about Ado Awaye because of me, these messages gets my head swelling and I definitely won’t want to stop receiving them, so I have to do even more. Hahaha

6. How many places have you been to and which of this places will you like to live forever? And why?

Where I would like to live forever would be anywhere in Africa. If Africa was a lady with flesh, she would have been the standard of beauty for all ladies.

7. What was your worst travel experience? And what could you have done to make it better?

Yet to have any bad travel experience, as I am in that class of people that barely plan travels. I just teach myself to anything I see. (Never expecting anything, avoids disappointment).

8. How do you combine your 9-5 with marketing Ado Awaye plus the good job you’re doing with it?

My time has been flexible up until I finally established myself at AdoAwaye. Currently, my 9-5 has to do with digital marketing; which of course is in line with destination marketing.

9. How rewarding is traveling to you?

“Consciously traveling” opens your mind up. You become a citizen of the world. I have met lot of business partners through travels, I have made life changing decisions through travel, I have touched lives in my little way, and locals have touched my life as well.

RELATED ARTICLE: THE TRAVELER’S TALES FEATURING NNENNAYA FAKOYA SMITH OF NENE UWA HUB LTD.

10. What advise will you give to intending travelers?

It’s one thing to travel, it’s another thing to consciously travel. If your reason for travel is just to see, then you better stay in your house, save your money and “travel through Google images/Youtube” . Consciously traveling is seeing and engaging with locals; asking locals for direction instead of Google maps, eating the local food instead of bringing yours from your house, enjoying the potholes and mosquitoes instead of complaining. Hahaha

This is such an enlightening interview, I enjoyed every bit of it. Thank you David for taking out time to answer my questions. You can read more about his good works on his website : miztaatabo.com.ng . Get social with him on Instagram @iamatabo and Twitter @iamatabo. 

Travelstart Nigeria And Uber Nigeria Announce Flight Partnership With ‘UberEscape’.

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Travelstart, Africa’s leading Online Travel Agency has announced the launch of ‘UberEscape,’ a collaboration between Travelstart and Uber to allow customers book flights through the Uber app.

Let’s dive into a little history about TRAVELSTART and UBER before going into the full details of the partnership between them.

About Travelstart:

Travelstart is Africa’s largest online travel agency, with headquarters in Cape Town and a local office in Lagos. Founded in Sweden, Travelstart opened its doors in 1999, as the brainchild of travel visionary Stephan Ekbergh. Nearly two decades, plenty of learning, growth and one African immigration later, today Travelstart proudly employs a team of more than 200 staff with offices in Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Turkey and other countries. Nigeria opened in 2012 and has grown to close to 50 staff. The company provides access to more than 500 airlines flying to more than 11,000 destinations. Travelstart Nigeria is the 2017 winner of the Best Blog at the Nigerian Tourism and Travel Awards. Book affordable flights now on www.travelstart.com.ng .

About UBER:

Uber’s mission is to help people get a ride at the push of a button – everywhere and for everyone. We started in 2009 to solve a simple problem – how do you get a ride at the touch of a button? Eight years and over five billion trips later, we’ve started tackling an even greater challenge: reducing congestion and pollution in our cities by getting more people into fewer cars.

Uber is available in thirteen cities in Sub-Saharan Africa (Cape Town, Durban, Joburg, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Nairobi, Mombasa, Lagos, Abuja, Kampala, Accra, Kumasi and Dar es Salaam). Overall, the Uber network is available in over 600 cities in over 75 countries including spanning 6 continents. To request a ride, users must download the free application for Android, iPhone, Blackberry 7, or register for Uber at www.uber.com/go. For questions visit www.uber.com

 The Partnership Details:

From September 10 – September 12, 2018, customers will be able to book their flights by simply opening their Uber app and clicking on ’UberEscape.’ Customers will then be directed to the secure ’UberEscape‘ website where they can access exclusive flight deals to some of their favourite destinations. These flight deals are powered by Travelstart. The company is known for their cheap flights to Dubai, London, New York, Johannesburg and more.

The journey to ’UberEscape‘ will kick off on August 27 with an exciting competition on social media titled “Snap & Share.” During the competition, Uber riders will be asked “Where To?” Participants can pick from any flight route, snap a selfie and share it with Travelstart, UBER and their social media followers to win a trip to their dream travel destination. One lucky Uber rider will win two FREE Economy return flights tickets! The competition will end September 2, 2018. Here is how it works:

UberEscape

How it works:

1. From August 27, select Uber cars will contain fill-in-the-blank “Where To?” signs.

2. Use the wipeable marker to fill in your dream destination in the “Where to?” section of the board.

3. Snap a selfie with it and post on twitter or instagram using the hashtags #UberEscape #PoweredbyTravelstart

4. Make sure you tag @travelstartng, @ubernigeria and the person you will fly with.

5. At the end of the week, 1 lucky winner will be randomly selected to receive TWO return flight tickets to their destination.

 ‘UberEscape’.
A sample of the ‘whereto’ sign you will see in your uber.

Read what top managements of both companies said about this collaboration:

Speaking about the partnership, Commercial Manager, Travelstart Nigeria, Bukky Akomolafe said “We are excited to partner with Uber to make flight bookings even more accessible. With this partnership, customers will be able to book their flights as seamlessly as ordering their next ride via the Uber app.” This reinforces Travelstart’s promise of making flight bookings even simpler for Nigerians.

Margaret Banasko, Uber Country Marketing Lead, Sub-Saharan Africa, said;

“We are constantly looking for new ways to excite and create value for our burgeoning customers, and we are thrilled to be collaborating with Travelstart through the launch of ‘UberEscape‘. ‘UberEscape’ allows Uber riders to book a flight to their next destination with just a click of a button.  “We are happy to be enabling even more options for their urban mobility needs” she added.

To make this competition a fair one, we have few terms and conditions that must be followed.

Terms and Conditions

• Travelstart is responsible for the cost of the return flight tickets up to a value of ₦700,000. All other expenses (hotel, visa, transportation) are not included in the prize.

• Travelstart reserves the right to select the airline to the winner’s selected destination.

• This competition is promoted by Travelstart & Uber and is open to Nigerian residents, aged 18 and above that live in Lagos.

• Employees or agencies of Travelstart Web Logistics Ltd (“Travelstart”, “We”), Uber or their family members, or anyone else connected with the Competition may not enter.

• The winner will be contacted via social media handle, mobile and/or email used to enter the Competition.

• The winner must respond to the email within 24 hours to claim the prize.

• Winner agrees to supply a photograph for publicity purposes.

• Travelstart will attempt to contact the winners at least 3 (three) times, but if Travelstart is unable to contact the winners within 2 (two) days, such winner will forfeit his/her prize and Travelstart reserve the right to re-draw the prize.

• The winner agrees to share photos/stories of their travel experience with Travelstart & Uber.

• Failure to comply will disqualify the entrant from winning, and a new winner will be picked. Entries close on 7 September 2018. The winner will be announced by 14 September 2018.

• The winner may be announced in Travelstart & Uber’s newsletter, social media, print media etc.

• By participating in this competition, you agree to all the Competition Rules set out above, without exception. Entry into the Competition is acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.

• In the event of unforeseen circumstances or causes beyond our reasonable control, Travelstart & Uber reserves the right to cancel this Competition, or to change the rules at our discretion, or to change the number or nature of any of the prizes at any time without notice to you.

The Competition Prize Includes:

• Two free Economy class return tickets to the destination of the winner.

• Booking dates are from 15 September – 20 November 2018 and 01 February – 15 June 2019.

• Booking must be made 3 months from the date of announcement.

• Once selected the destination and airline cannot be changed.

• Tickets are issued by Travelstart Office in Lagos, Nigeria.

• Tickets cannot be reimbursed, exchanged for monetary gains, transferred, renewed or extended.

• Blackout dates, change fee, no-show fee, cancellation charges apply.

• Tickets are subject to the selected airline’s terms and conditions.

Let the best man win!

Don’t forget you can book cheap flights on Travelstart website and download the UBER app to make the competition more easier for you.

An evening of good music, good food and great company at the backyard of Lagos with Ruby Gyang.

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An evening of good music, good food and great company at backyard of Lagos with Ruby Gyang.
On the swing

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.

~Plato

Sometimes, I get too comfortable in my comfort zone and don’t want to go anywhere. I’m really glad Monday was not one of those days I get dressed and change my mind (Ahhh surprised right!) I do that a lot.

How could I miss good music, good food and great company? No way!

Many of you might know Mr Niyi David of Morecreamthancoffee from my travelers tales series and when he invited me for an evening of good music, good food and great company at the backyard of Lagos with Ruby Gyang the sensational singer, I’m glad I could attend. It was an opportunity to also meet him, he has been my online buddy for so long.

good music, good food and great company at backyard of Lagos with Ruby Gyang.
Mr Niyi David and my new friend, Successa

The show was organized by Ruby Gyang and friends at backyardyard of Lagos. Apart from traveling and reading another thing I enjoy most is good music; good music is like a food to the soul that’s needed most times to fuel the energy within you. 

Ngohide Ruby Ann GyangGyang, better known by her stage name Ruby Gyang, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. She is currently signed to Chocolate City.

Different sensational singers came to sing and it’s amazing how many great musical talents we have in Nigeria that are yet to be well known.

good music, good food and great company at backyard of Lagos with Ruby Gyang.
With Ruby Gyang

The night was definitely a great one with the ambience and setting at the Backyard of Lagos. It was also my first time going to the restaurant.

good music, good food and great company at backyard of Lagos with Ruby Gyang.
On the swing

An evening of good music, good food and great company at backyard of Lagos with Ruby Gyang.

The Backyard of Lagos is a restaurant located at Musa Yar’Aduua St, 4B, VI Lagos. We had different varieties of meat, prawn, groundnut meat, fish, etc (I don’t know the general name of the dish, if you know please tell me in the comment section) during the show.

good music, good food and great company at backyard of Lagos with Ruby Gyang.
Varieties

Also had my first taste of beer; Budweiser. Budweiser beer was one of the official sponsors of the Ruby Gyang with friends show. And every beer lover I asked love the drink.

An evening of good music, good food and great company at backyard of Lagos with Ruby Gyang.
Artistic Budweiser beer keke

Ps: I don’t like the taste of the beer, sorry to the beer lovers here.

The incredible MI Agbaga came to close the show with the host and it’s definitely a night to remember for a very long time.

Do you agree we have amazing talents that are yet to be well known in the country and what do you think can make them be well known staying true to their own song, not the normal shouting songs we glorify?

And have you been to backyard of Lagos before and will you like to go if you’ve never been there?

The Travelers’ Tales Featuring Nnennaya Fakoya Smith of Nene-Uwa Hub Ltd

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For some reasons; I’m super doper excited about this week travelers tales guest. She’s one of the people I’ve been admiring from afar in this industry. She’s doing a great job and I’m so glad I finally get to ask her all the questions on my mind.

Don’t worry guys! I’m not selfish; I asked the questions for all of us.

I’ve also written about our brief encounter at Nigeria travel week. (Click the highlighted blue words to read).

Nnennaya Fakoya-Smith also known as Ajala Nene of Nene-Uwa Hub Ltd is a tourism enthusiast, tourism promoter, tour broker, travel blogger and tourism business coach. She’s a mumpreneur and post card collector.

She has travelled to 15 countries within and outside Africa and will like to live in Seychelles because it’s peaceful and nature centric.

The travelers’ tales featuring Nnennaya Fakoya Smith of Nene-Uwa Hub Ltd shows Ajala Nene talking about her brand; her biggest lesson ever since she started; what inspired her to choose the unsaturated part of the tourism business; her upcoming tourism boost camp workshop; how she handles been a mumpreneur and so many other things.

I had a great time putting this together, I hope you will enjoy reading it.

Kindly tell us about your brand

Nnoo! Ekabo! Sannu! My name is Nnennaya Fakoya-Smith also known as Ajala Nene.

My brand, Nene-Uwa Hub Ltd is an indigenous Tourism Brokerage Firm that creates ‘Life Changing Travel Experiences’ through promoting tourism events and package. We also encourage practicing Sustainable Tourism as a tool to maximize impact on the environment, society, economy and the local communities. Our goal is to make an impact, no matter how small, in the lives of people and communities of tourist destinations in Nigeria, Africa and the World.

Nene-Uwa Hub Ltd provides the following services:

(1) Organizing tourism events such as volunteer activities, workshops, seminars, fairs, e.t.c. This is to educate travel and tourism enthusiasts and the general public on the benefits of practicing Sustainable Tourism and being a Responsible Traveller;

(2) Marketing and selling both local and international tours that promote local-content and sustainability;

(3) Collaborating and building partnerships with both public and private organizations, government agencies and individuals who have similar objectives in creating awareness into the possible and lasting benefits of tourism.

How many places have you traveled to and which of this places will you like to live forever. And why?

I have traveled to over 15 countries within and outside Africa. I will like to live in Seychelles because it very “nature-centric”  and peaceful.

The travelers’ tales featuring Nnennaya Fakoya Smith of Nene-Uwa Hub Ltd

 You’re a tour promoter and that’s really unique because it’s a market that is unsaturated and untapped in the Nigeria tourism. What inspired this?

When I wanted to start my tourism business, becoming a Tour Operator was my plan. But two things held me…I am not really good at packaging tours (I keep saying it’s not my calling!) and I also noticed that there were already a lot of local tour operators springing up. So I thought about how I could add value in my own way in the industry. I decided that since I love what my fellow tour operators are doing, why not have a platform to help market them? That’s how it all started. From there, I also started partnering with my fellow tourism enthusiasts to organize events that promote tourism in Nigeria and Africa.

 Ever since you started; what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

That patience is a virtue! Lol! Unless you have passion for the tourism industry, you might not last if you are in it for the money. Consistency is what pays off. Another thing I have learned is “valuing your relationships”. Collaboration is the new competition! People are your greatest asset in this industry or in any industry you find yourself. So value each and every one of them.

 I have watched videos of events you talked about postcards. Can you kindly share your knowledge on postcards with us and how important it is to the travel industry? 

The travelers’ tales featuring Nnennaya Fakoya Smith of Nene-Uwa Hub Ltd

My dad inspired my love for postcards. His job required that he traveled a lot, and most times he would send us postcards when he was in any of these countries. I was always excited to receive and read them. I loved the fact that these postcards were handwritten by my dad and that they were from “far away countries” that I had never been to then.

One of the nostalgic experiences postcards gives is the act of sending and receiving postcards from friends and families from far and near. Postcards connect people in a special way because its a ‘hardcopy’ memory one can refer to time without number especially in this digital era. It also helps to tell stories of other’s culture which in turn encourages cultural exchange. In 2014, I joined an online community called Postcrossing.com where postcard lovers from all over  the world send each other postcards. I just love the fact that I can share my country and culture with others through handwritten postcards. So for me, postcard is a Tourism Destination marketing tool that can be used to promote a country’s cultural heritage.

Whenever I hear your name; I picture innovative thinker almost all the time lol. And obviously you’re one. You have an upcoming tourism boost camp workshop to  teach people the business of tourism. The idea behind the workshop is great and I have really been looking forward to workshops like this.  What prompted this great idea? And why must people attend workshops on the business of tourism.

@ innovative thinker – Lol! Aren’t we all are? *wink*

Well, to answer your question, I noticed that anytime I am invited for speaking engagement, people would ask me if I did training for people who wanted to start their own Tourism Business. So I got to work and decided to host our first ever Tourism Boost Workshop. The workshop is for ‘serious minded people’ who genuinely want to start their own Tourism Business. I say serious because like I previously said, if you are coming into this industry for the money only you would get frustrated. So the workshop is for people who have passion for the Tourism industry and want to add their own quota and of course eventually make money. The workshop includes experts in the Nigerian Tourism industry, Branding/Marketing and Vision Building field. It holds on September 1st, 2018 at ATTWON Creative Hub in Yaba, Lagos. Anyone that is interested can click on this link to register:  http://bit.ly/TourismBoostWorkshop

The travelers’ tales featuring Nnennaya Fakoya Smith of Nene-Uwa Hub Ltd

 You’re a mumpreneur; or should I say super mom?
How do you handle being a mum and the stress that comes with been an entrepreneur especially the industry you’re working in? 

Ah! I love this question! @ super mom – Oh how I wish!!! LOL!

The truth is it hasn’t been easy balancing a young family and working from home. But I am grateful for the awesome support system I have around me. I find joy working from home because it allows me to have more time with my children and at the same time do what I love. For me, its important my children see what mummy is doing so that they can be inspired to start their own business when they are ready. At the end of the day, being a Mumpreneur is about finding what works for you and how you decided to balance being a mother and and wife too! *smiles*

The travelers’ tales featuring Nnennaya Fakoya Smith of Nene-Uwa Hub Ltd

 No doubt; the Nigeria travel industry has come far; but change is a constant and necessary thing. What do you think the industry should be improved on? 

So many things need improvement. Social Infrastructures such as good roads, constant electricity and basic amenities need to be looked into by the government. Without them, Tourism cannot thrive to the capacity we need it to. Security and proper rules and regulations guiding the industry are also crucial. Then, we in the industry need to do less talking and more actions in our own little way. We don’t need to wait for the government to promote Nigeria. Let’s continue to share and sell the positive side of our nation and make our own little impact to improve the industry.

What advise will you give to intending travelers? 

Explore every corner of the world as much as you can! Life is only lived once. As Helen Keller said “Life is a daring adventure or nothing”. So explore it! And as you do so, be a Responsible Traveller. Leave footprints of positive impact in every land you go, no matter how small.

 How rewarding is traveling?

Very very rewarding! Travelling opens your mind! It enables you to understand others who are not like you. And the beautiful thing about traveling is that you don’t have to go far to explore. You can explore within your city, town, village and community and still learn a lot! Just explore with an open mind and you would see the reward of traveling.

“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 harbor. Catch the trade winds in you. Sail, Explore, Dream, Discover” Mark Twain 

Thank you Ajala Nene for such an enlightening interview. You can get social with her on Instagram Ajalanene and her business page Neneuwa.

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