The Forest!

 

On Friday the 13th of April, I took a trip to Kereita Forest, which is in Limuru. I went to visit a not so known place (which is a shame because it’s amazing) called The forest.

It’s just what it is, a forest. And, surprisingly, has the longest zip line in East Africa! Cool, right? Apart from that it has a couple of other activities, like: mountain biking, paint balling, nature walks, horseback riding, foot golf, camping, tree planting, team building, fly fishing and archery.

There are a couple of packages, I would best recommend the full zip line tour which is ksh. 2800 per head. There also weekday specials. It’s closed on Mondays, apart from public holidays. All this and more info can be found on their website, Click here to go to the website.

The reception:

MY EXPERIENCE

While at the forest, my mom and I did one of the weekday specials packages, which cost ksh. 3000 and included an hour of two zip lines, one hour of archery, lunch and a bottle of water. Here’s a couple of pictures from all that;

  1. Zip lining   

We started off by getting the harnesses and gloves and the instructions;

 

Then we went to the practice place, where there was a short zip line, where the instructor showed us how to break and what to do if we got stuck in the middle of the line (yes it happens). She also taught us how to hold on to the harness and the right posture to maintain while going down the line;

After each one of us had done a practice round down the short line, (I had to do it twice because I couldn’t brake well the first time) we went to the first line, and because my mom and I were doing just two we went first.

For me, it was CRAZY. Well at first. Here’s how I felt; AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaa…. oh, okay, WOW, THE VIEW IS AMAZING. Then before I knew it I was done. My adrenaline was pumping, the guy at the end was asking why I was breathing heavily and I barely even switched position. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

After the two lines we walked a little, up hill and my unfit chest was already heaving.

2. Archery

Then we went to do some archery….

To be honest, I never thought there was so much of any formula to drawing a bow and shooting an arrow, but turns out there is.

Before we started the archery instructor showed us how to hold the bow, how to load it, the right way to stand (upright and 90 degrees from the target), how far to draw the bow (right before your left eye) and how to focus.

 

It was so much fun. We went on for an hour, and we did a competition as well. As soon as we were done we headed back up to have lunch.

3. Lunch

I was starving after all that, and the food the served did not disappoint at all.

The food was really good, it was some sort of buffet. I had roasted potatoes Grilled chicken and ‘Nyamachoma’ with BBQ sauce.

Lunch was part of the package we paid for, along with a bottle of water. 🙂

The end. 🙂

After all that, it was finally time to leave, we had to get going before the clouds broke and the rain fell. It was really a memorable experience and I would highly recommend. It’s ideal for team building, bonding with your friends or family, or you could go by yourself and make some new friends as well.

I’m definitely going back, this time to do all the six lines and maybe paint balling.

Don’t forget to go check out their website, Click here to go to the website.

Thank you for walking with me!

 

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Happy Global Warming Season!

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On the 28th of February it was so warm that sleeping with clothes on was out of question.

Barely a week later the rain and cold weather that struck was hardly believable.

it was a spectacle.

Rain fell along with hail stirring up excitement among the many Nairobian ‘born taos’ / town bred human beings whop hadn’t yet encountered, let alone imagined the occurrence of hail in Nairobi. Wow. Crazy.

It was also pretty much interesting watching the many perky teenagers and self imposed ‘slay queens’ marvel at ‘ice cubes falling from the sky’ as one put it. ‘A Christmas miracle come early’ said another. Or maybe late? We cant quite tell.

It’s 21st March and it’s still quite cold. The rain falls, either a drizzle or a downpour (nope no hail yet) and the sun still shines, once in a while, either to warm our nearly frost bitten fingers or to scorch our scalps and foreheads. You can never be sure about the weather anymore. you might as well carry a raincoat and some sunscreen as well as you leave the house haha..

and who do we have to blame for this, you may ask?

(Well my answer would be ourselves)

But ask anyone- literally, anyone- and the answer, very simple and clear, will always be one: Global Warming.

Even for those that can’t exactly define global warming.

So until we come up with a better reason.

Happy Global Warming Season!!!

CHANGE is good….

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Metanoia.

“The process of fundamental change in the human personality involving the dissolution and replacement of everyday ego and consciousness.

A spontaneous attempt of the psyche to heal itself of unbearable inner conflict by melting down and then being reborn in a more adaptive form.

A psychotic breakdown that could be understood as an existential crisis occurring as an attempt of self reparation.

The abandonment of the scripted false self for a more open one.

A process marked by a mixture of intensity, despair, depression, self surrender and encounter within inner void.”

Change is good… for anyone and in whatever way. POSITIVE change in perspective, change in heart, just any change. As long as it’s change; is healthy and though hard to accept and embrace, its necessary.

Sometimes everything just becomes too much. Coming from a 16 year old you probably wouldn’t take this that much seriously, but I do know and I do understand that some aspects in life could become unbearably overwhelming.

And in such cases, change, whichever it may be is really advisable to bring in.

It could be change in environment. Sometimes you just need a change in the places you go to and the people you see every day.

Now because this is a Travel blog, it would be really helpful if I gave you a couple of recommendations on where exactly you could go if you wanted a change.

But maybe you’re a 16 year old, just like me, or relatively a teenager so-so. And you cant afford to even take a train to the coast haha and cool down.

I would then advise you to just relax.

I’m working on a list of ways to….cope.

It gets better.

Trust me.

Stay tuned to my next blog posts for more of this.

I love you all.

 

Exploring my new hometown; Naivasha.

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First off, Naivasha is BEAUTIFUL!

At the beginning of my two month November/December holiday I took a road trip with my Aunt Natasha and my mom to Naivasha. My mother has recently moved to Naivasha because she has been transferred there for work. While I called her from school she would always tell me how nice the place is and we’d compare it to Kisii, where she was living previously. Naivasha is closer to Nairobi and  is a far much better town. The scenery is beautiful from anywhere and I just generally like it better than Kisii, though Kisii is also a relatively nice place to visit 🙂

The journey was brief and pleasant, spent on admiring the changing scenery from Nairobi town to Naivasha and leafing through Chimamanda Ngozi’s Americanah(a doubtlessly wonderful read that I would recommend any day.)

We arrived in the evening and the sun had already set so it was quite difficult to see the surroundings of my new neighborhood, which seemed to be located in a somewhat remote place, a bit far from the town itself. the house, however turned out to be a neat cozy bungalow located in a safe, clean and beautiful neighborhood. The best part about the place is that right behind the home is a hill.

We stayed for a week and while we were there my Uncle Sunday came over. We climbed the hill and went round the ridge and listened to music, took loads of pictures and generally just had a lot of fun.

While in Naivasha I visited the Olkaria Geothermal Spa and the Hellsgate park, on which I will soon do a small write up on.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, email me your questions, suggestions and any other inquiries.

Like or leave a comment. Thanks. 🙂

 

 

 

13 Reasons Why I travel☄

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This is a response to some of the questions I receive through my email. Your feedback is very much appreciated. I’m looking forward to answering more of your questions.😊



13 Reasons why I Travel

1. When I travel I challenge myself.

Sometimes I crave New experiences and new challenges. Something exciting and different, and I feel that travel is the ideal way to test myself. It pushes me to my limits and gets me outside my comfort zone.

You discover how resourceful you are when you’re exposed to new places, people and experiences. Maybe it’s finding your way around a busy city. (I’m still learning how to find my way around Nairobi. I know.) Or ordering a meal when you don’t speak the language. (It could even be that Chinese restaurant somewhere) Or zip-lining. Or even rafting. Or maybe hiking in the hot sun for the whole day; not to mention walking endlessly on a railway line covered in gravel that threatens to tear at your soles and braving the strong cold wind that passes by and takes away all the moisture from your face, then having to pitch a 6-man tent on a really rocky site. I know some people can relate.

I feel pride when I finish my trip successfully. Overcoming challenges brings me joy and energy for future tests. I realize how capable I am and build my confidence.

2.When I travel, I learn.

Learning is a strong reason why I love to travel.

Whenever I travel, I want to experience something unfamiliar and leave with new skills or knowledge. Seeing the world is more educational than a high school or college class. This condensed crash course in discovering how the rest of the world lives actually will cover subjects like history, geography etc etc.

Every destination has something unique to teach visitors, and immersing themselves in a completely different world is the best learning experience.

People may travel to learn something specific: a new language, a new cuisine, aspects of a different culture, or a deeper appreciation of faith or spirituality. As a bonus, they’ll take away more than their specific goal. They’ll discover totally different ways of doing things. They’ll also gain awareness of new customs, cultures, people and places. And because you’re actually experiencing this learning in real life, not reading it in a textbook, it will stay with you for a long time. You’ll gain a deep sense of satisfaction with the new skills you’ve learned – and new insights you’ve gained.

By being exposed to new places, people and cultures, you develop a wider world view.

3. When I travel, my perspective expands.

Another reason why I love to travel: it helps open your mind. Lately, I have come to realize that there’s no one way to live life.

Meeting people from other places has shown me that my world view isn’t the same as everyone else’s. You can’t imagine how different life is in another place until you see for yourself. Everything from work to family to beliefs to interests is not what you might expect from your own experience.

The different setting also helps me discover and consider fresh ideas I hadn’t thought of before. I get back home with different notions and possibilities.

By being exposed to new places, people and cultures, I develop a wider world view. And that makes me, in one way or another, a better-rounded global citizen. It’s a great reward and big reason why I Love to travel.

4. When I travel I get in touch with myself

Getting away from home gives me the opportunity to reflect on my life. I have the needed time and space to let my mind wander and take stock.

Traveling is one of the best ways to learn more aboutmyself and brings a new set of issues and opportunities. The way I handle those also gives me some kind of insight into who you are. I get back home knowing myself better, and with a fresh perspective on what I want out of life. The experience changes my life.

(This one sounds really mature, doesn’t it?)

5. By travelling I’ve learnt to appreciate my life.

When you’re used to your daily life, it’s easy to lose sight of what you have. Your eyes aren’t open to what’s really special about your home. Exploring another place will give you a fresh appreciation for your hometown, country and “real life.” Once you’re back, you’ll feel lucky to live where you do. You’ll see that there really is no place like home.

6. Travelling builds and strengthens relationships

The shared experience of travel brings people together. A family getaway or a long weekend with your feiends can strengthen important bonds.

That travel could be a family vacation, or it could be parents and children going acrossthe country to visit grandparents at their home.Whatever it looks like, travel is an opportunity to connect with each other. It may even smooth over any family grudges and build happier relationships.

Travel is a special way to deepen friendships as well. Whether it’s a quick drive to a lake or a hill climb or whatever. Or even maybe a local Or international trip with your highscool friends, travel will remind you why you became friends with them in the first place, and how good it is to spend focused time together.

Travel is also a great opportunity to make new friends – either fellow travelers or locals. Meeting and befriending new people is a valuable travel benefit. And once you’ve bonded, new possibilities for future travel unfold – either to visit them or journey with them.

7. It’s all about the Adventure!

Conquering fresh territory is exhilarating – and one more reason why I love to travel. Humans crave new experiences and travel lets us tap into that craving.

A trip is the perfect time to do something different and exciting, especially something you can’t do at home. The thrill starts the minute you land in a new place.

Conquering that territory could be trying spicy street food or conversing orally with your rusty knowledge of maasai greetings.

Or it could be a physical experience, like scuba diving or rafting or even hiking. You’ll have lots of fun. You’ll revel in the rush you get from your exploits. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. And you’ll return home with the best souvenir of all: a memory of your incredible adventure.

8. To travel is to escape.

People seek from their travels what they don’t have back home: better weather, nicer scenery, the freedom to do what they want, experiences they can’t normally have, a slower relaxing pace.

Travel has the power to let you not only escape but also heal. A new place with lots of fun distractions can work wonders. You’ll return home more at peace with yourself and your challenging situations.

A relaxing setting and good weather are common ingredients for a trip foused on relaxation.

9. Travel is relaxing and rejuvenating.

Maybe you’re not looking to escape your problems. But everyone can benefit from a break from our usual diets of all work and no play. You may not realize how much you need to disconnect from the ever-present pressure of being available by phone, email or social media.

A restful vacation is just what you need to renew yourself.

A relaxing natural setting and good weather are common ingredients for the R&R-focused trip. But everyone’s idea of the perfect rejuvenating vacation is different. One person might want to trek through a rain forest. Another may want to lie poolside at a  resort.

What should you do when you’re there? Nothing, really. Relax and be present in the moment. Let sensations like the lapping water and the warmth of the sun, along with the sound of waves, recharge your batteries. Live day to day: focus on where you want to go sightseeing (if you decide to leave the beach), what activities you want to pursue (if any), what you’re going to eat, what souvenirs you want to buy. Travel helps your mind and body reboot in a way you can’t achieve at home.

10. Celebrating

There’s always a happy reason to take a trip. It could be a landmark birthday or anniversary. A graduation. A wedding – or pre-wedding festivities. Even a babymoon before a little one arrives.

A special occasion is made even more special by celebrating away from the hectic pace of life at home. It’s also a good way to gather family and friends from distant corners to mark the milestone. Celebration vacations provide a lasting benefit as well: shared memories for a lifetime.

11. Wanderlust

Wanderlust is a strange word but what does it mean? Descended from the German word ‘Wandern’ meaning to walk and ‘Lust’ which is described as ‘A very strong or irresistible impulse’. In short it means that you travel because you have the urge to. You may not have one particular factor that made you book a flight. All you know is that you want to travel and you want to travel NOW!

12. Bucket list!!!

Bucket List is a list of places where one wishes to visit before death.I’m not a fan of a bucket list, but I’m not completely against one. In fact, I’m currently working on mine. Sometimes its good to have one, you ll know better where to visit and where not to.Many of these bucket list sights are the main tourist attractions of a country.

13.To meet new people

Travel gives you the opportunity to get out there and meet far more people than you would at home. Meeting and discovering new people is one of the most interesting benefits of travelling. You can find friends for life type of people. Its really great for someone who finds it difficult to find friends and may meet people of his opinions in some other part of the world. People you meet while travelling usually become some of the most valued ones in your address book, giving you points on the map to visit. These folks give you a glimpse outside your hometown circle of friends, forcing you into new and refreshing perspectives on things in this world to explore.

White water rafting at Rapids camp, Sagana.🚣

On the 22nd of June, a Thursday, my dad, my cousin and I took a road trip to Sagana, Kenya with the main aim of white water rafting. The experience was exhilarating. The scenery was breathtaking. Everything about the place is amazing; the people, the fresh air, the refreshing mist from the waterfall….

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You can literally feel the mist from the waterfall from where I’m standing. It’s amazing.

The journey;

We left Nairobi at around 12 noon. We used Google Maps to get there because my dad wasn’t sure about the directions. It was really fun. We listened to X FM, a rock music station and when we couldn’t get the frequency as we went further away from Nairobi, we listened to really old music and sang along to Coldplay.

The journey took about two hours, so we got to the camp at 2 pm. At first the place seemed deserted and very unattractive. We even thought that we were lost. but as we drove further into the camp, we were relieved. The lawns were lush and green and we could hear the waterfall from the admin block. We met our tour guide and he took us to the river, showed us the rapids and the waterfall and gave us a quick preview of what we’d be doing then he showed us where to change into rafting-appropriate clothes.

The Rafting Experience;

When we were done dressing, we were given life jackets and helmets and our guides carried the raft to the river.

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This was our canoe guy in case anyone of us fell too far from the raft.

(Don’t worry, we barely needed the helmets. It was for safety purposes. No injuries were incurred by any of us during the rafting tour. It is very safe. the life jackets were for floating in case anyone fell into the water.) 

So we go to the river and before we started the guide taught us the basics; how to hold the paddles, paddling types, what to do when you fall off the raft, how to sit on the raft, etc etc. Then he said we should first ‘taste’/’test’ the water (Well its because he said; “kwanza nataka tuanze na kuonja maji”- swahili, which in direct translation is ‘taste’ the waters but I’m almost sure he meant ‘test’ the waters so…😂) We had to get in and swim a little, rather, float and move around because of the life jackets, to get rid of the fear we might have had. the water was excruciatingly cold at first but it felt really good as we stayed longer.

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I’m the one in the pale yellow t-shirt holding on to the canoe.

After a short while we got onto the raft and practiced the paddling techniques. There’s something very interesting that our guide did.  It’s a trick he calls The Capsize. He turned over the raft and we all fell into the water. we were all extremely shocked and confused.

When we were done practicing, we started the actual Rafting journey.

We did all the other tricks that he had taught us as we went down the stream towards the waterfall.

The most interesting part was the waterfall. We tried as hard as we could to paddle towards the waterfall. We got so close we almost went underneath it, but the water was too much and too strong that it kept pushing us away. Normally, the raft is able to get to the other side of the waterfall but the guide said that at that time the water coming down was too strong.  But all in all just the feel of it was something. The roar of the waterfall in my ears, the mist and water falling on my face, the rush of adrenaline as we paddled towards the waterfall, the excitement and each burst of fresh air in my lungs. It was all so beautiful, one of the best feelings in the world in my opinion.

After the waterfall we continued down the stream through rapids and calm water. We got off the raft a couple of times and swam in the water a little where the water was calm.

After a while we got to a place with whirling water. Here, we got off the raft and the guide showed us another trick. It’s called the swirl. We would slide off a rock and into the water where the water was whirling and let the water spin us and then swim to  a rock onto which a rope was tied to. He specifically told us not to fight the water. That was also something else. The fear of drowning, the burst of energy while trying to swim away from the whirlpool.It was just amazing.

We did the swirl trick a couple of times before continuing down the stream. twice I thought I was going to drown, but the whirlpool pushes you up and away from it so all of us were safe. Once again, no injuries at all were incurred. On our way down, we went trough a level 5 cataract where the raft falls and splashes into a mild rapid.

We paddled on for little while and then we came to the end of our rafting journey, sadly, but every good thing must come to an end. we carried our paddles back to the camp site as we reminisced the good things that had just so shortly passed.

We got to the camping site, changed back into the clothes we came in and as we were about to leave, we met our hosts who were the owners of the place and they invited us for a cup of coffee.

They were very good company and they told us a lot about the place. They have really big plans for the place. Rapids camp, Sagana is a place to watch out for. It is a legitimate tourist attraction with beautiful scenery, fun activities to indulge in and it has accommodation, which are tents with all provided facilities. It is a good spot to host parties, to get away on vacation, or even for a one-day visit. They told us about the main Rafting tour that takes almost up to 3 hours long, which sadly we did not have the time to experience. They also told us about the waterfall plunge which for some reason I am not aware of, we also did not do. In the long term they are planning to have zip-lining and hotel rooms. It was finally decided that we have to, rather, must revisit Rapids camp, Sagana for the full Rafting experience and to also experience other water sports. I honestly cannot wait.

Email me your questions if you have any.

That’s it on Our Road trip to Sagana. Please be sure to like, follow and share. Thanks a lot for your support.

Road trip to kilifi🌴

(Photos by Lloyd Kai and Bernard Macharia)

I took a road trip to Kilifi town, North coast with my family on April this year. We’d gone for some sort of bride price paying ceremony – long interesting process (I didn’t get most of it😂)

We left Nairobi at around 6 am and got to Kilifi at 7 pm😩. Kilifi is far from Nairobi by road. It’s faster by air though because flight time is about 1hr from Nairobi to Mombasa then an hour’s drive to kilifi town.

The drive was really interesting. Mostly because we had good music in the car, I had a good read (The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini) and my camera was charged up so I was taking random pictures of anything and everything that I thought looked interesting. We stopped a couple of times on the way to stretch and get food and take pictures.

We got to Kilifi (after what seemed like forever) when it was already dark. We stopped at a local restaurant and had dinner. Swahili food is good. Trust me. The rest of the night was spent catching up with family over dinner. The temperature difference between Nairobi Coast was really evident – it was raining in both places, Kilifi being less wet than Nairobi but Kilifi was really warm and humid. We spent the night at my aunt’s place and I slept like a baby.

The next day, which was a Saturday,  was the big day.

We all got dressed up and everyone was excited (My mum even started taking pictures before we left the house.)

Now, the ‘formal’ bride price ceremony proceedings are not all that interesting when you just want to go have fun at the beach but I’ll try to spice it up. We got to the home of the the bride to be’s family and as we entered there was singing and dancing then we sat down in a tent. The groom-to-be’s family was seated in a tent opposite to the tent of the bride-to-be’s family. According to tradition, the bride-to-be was not allowed to be seen yet, so she was hidden somewhere in the house.

There were speeches from both families, the swahili was intriguing, though I didn’t pay much attention to them. After the speeches and introductions there was another traditional procedure where a couple of young women are covered with lesos from head to toe then my uncle had to pick the one who he thought was his wife-to-be. If he picked the wrong girl he’d get fined. Predictably he picked the right girl. After that, we had lunch, the food was even better than last night’s.After a while the older, wiser members from both families went to ‘discuss the bride price’.

They said they wouldn’t be long, but we figured they’d take a while. Being as restless as young people in a ‘big people function’ could get, my cousins, my brother, my uncle and I drove to a nearby beach. The place was a private beach so there weren’t that many people. We climbed rocks and took loads of pictures. When we went back to the home the negotiations were still going on. Talk about not being long. They finished after a while and everyone was singing, ‘bibi tunaye hatunaye?’

When everything was done, we went back to my aunt’s place to freshen up and then left to a place called Tezo for dinner and ‘bonding’. There was good music and good food. We were taken home and the adults went to celebrate. The night was uncomfortably warm.

The next day was, sadly, the last of our short visit to Kilifi. We first went for a short visit to Bofa beach. It was really amazing. the scenery was breathtaking and the only thing to complain about was the fact that we couldn’t swim. After our short visit to the beach we headed to a store to get food for the road as we said bye to those we were leaving behind in Kilifi. After that we started our journey back to Nairobi.

Surprisingly, the journey back felt shorter to me. It’s probably because I slept through most of it since I was fairly exhausted from the weekend’s events. On our way back we stopped at an interestingly peculiar petrol station to stretch and re-fuel. The interesting/peculiar ting about this place was that the owner of the place seemed to have a particular liking for birds. Not just any ordinary type of birds. He kept some strange hybrid birds. There we miniature cocks and hens and huge chicken, multicolored doves and beautiful birds I have never sen before then.

I’ll post the pictures of these strange birds soon.

After the petrol station I read a bit then I fell asleep. The rest of the journey was filled with music, good conversation, sleep and Khaled Hosseini’s amazing writing.

We got to Nairobi safe, late and exhausted but the whole trip was worth it. I can’t wait for my next trip to the coast.

 

How to be a tourist in your own city

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Photograph by Brian Boinett 

(Make sure to go have a look at his work; Photography by Boinett on https://boinett.wordpress.com/)

Plan it out

If I were going to visit you this weekend, what would we do? Where would we eat? Where would we go? Write this down and then go do it yourself. Go to all the typical tourist spots. Hit up all the museums. Do all the quintessential things a tourist would do and that you normally wouldn’t be caught doing.

Explore new areas

Even though I’ve technically called Kenya home all my life, there are definitely lots of places I haven’t visited or explored. Some I’ve done when I was a kid or as a part of school, but seeing these same things would be a completely different right now. Others are areas that I’ve just previously ignore or even knew existed. Pick areas where your normal day to day life doesn’t take you.

Take a tour

See your city how the tourist see it by signing yourself up for a local tour if your city. If you normally walk, try taking a biking tour. If you’re a cyclist, try walking. Or perhaps pick a themed tour. Most cities offer food tours or underground tours. Do a little Googling and you’ll be surprised to find random, but cool sounding tours of the city. For kenya, you could visit jambonairobi.

Change it up

Keeping in line with exploring new areas, be sure to change it up every week. If you’re exploring a town this week, try heading to the mountains next if you have some nearby. Near the water? Perhaps go to the beach or a lake the next. Maybe there is a nearby national park you could explore. The more variety you add, the less bored you’re likely to be with it all.

Try new things

Sometimes being a tourist in your own city isn’t just about exploring it. It can also be about new ways of seeing it. Try new things like paddle boarding if you’re near water, or perhaps rock climbing or hiking if you have mountains nearby. Perhaps you’ve discovered some new activity while traveling abroad. Revisit those memories by doing that same activity at home.

Get up high

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The Kenya International Convention Centre, Nairobi, Kenya.

One thing most people like to do when traveling is getting a high vantage point of the city, and yet, they don’t do it when at home. Most cities have a tall building open to visitors where you can enjoy the city skyline. For example, there’s the KICC rooftop in Nairobi – it has an amazing view of Nairobi. (I’ll write all about it soon) Don’t want to spring money for just a view? See if there are any restaurants or lounges that offer something similar, or if you have friends in high places (ha ha, see what I did there? Sorry, puns are my specialty), maybe it’s time to pay them and their rooftop a visit.

Go back in history

One aspect of travel is learning about the area’s history so do the same for your own home town. Dust off your history books and see how the city came to be and what it is today. Then go visit all those spots. Plus, you get to look super smart and show off when you do have friends or family visiting from out of town.

Check out local events

Holidays are a great time to be a tourist in your own city. There are plenty of outdoor activities, exciting festivals and interesting events to participate in. Look up local blogs and check out local newspapers for event details.

Charge up your camera

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Photograph by Brian Boinett

You’re not on vacation unless you’re taking needless photos of everything. Charge your battery. Empty your SD card and get click happy. Take all the cheesy shots you want. No one is judging. You’re on holiday remember?

Utilize local promotions

Many cities offer promotional programs for their own citizens to explore the city they call home. This this opportunity to explore your city. Plus, often these promotions some with huge savings and discounts which makes it even better.

Day tripping

Okay, so technically this isn’t exactly being a tourist in your own city. Take the opportunity to explore the surrounding area and visit random towns or attractions that you’ve never been before. Are there nearby parks to explore? What about hikes? Make it extra special by finding a hotel for a night and make it a weekend getaway.

When you love traveling but can’t travel due to other commitments, then playing tourist in your own city is a great option. You get a tourist experience while fulfilling your day to day life. You get the experience without paying money to take a flight or pay for accommodation. It adds variety to your day to day, with something to look forward to. Plus, it’s so much fun!

How do you discover your hometown? Do you like playing tourist at home?

Traveller or Tourist?

“And if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born
Then it’s time to go
And define your destination
There’s so many different places to call home…”

(You’re a tourist – Death Cab For Cutie)

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The Great Rift Valley Viewpoint, Kenya.

Both tourists and travelers are on a journey. But the experience and destination are very different between the two. A tourist is someone who is visiting only the most popular places where other tourists will be. … By contrast, a traveler is someone who is less directed in the way they travel.

The terms travel and tourism are often believed to be one and the same. In the initial days travelling was considered as a means of survival, but these days things have changed, it is now considered as an art form.

A traveller is a person that prefers to travel light and without and tour packages. They prefer to move from place to place and never prefer to settle. Travelling in when the individual likes to immerse themselves in the culture, they prefer to spend time with the locals, they eat the local food. They like to go off on their on to find the nooks and crannies of the cites. They prefer to sit in a secluded corner and just prefer to live in the moment, without worrying about visiting something or any planned tours.

Travellers usually pack light and always go off on their own to look for the next best thing that the city has to offer. They may carry a translation book and prefer to converse in the language of the place that they are in.

A tourist is supposed to quite the opposite of a traveller. A tourist is usually seen in a huge group of people, family or tour guides. They prefer to stick of a schedule that may or may not be set by their tour guide. They prefer to visit the tourist places and snap photos of that place and themselves at that particular place. They also prefer not to mingle with the locals unless necessary, and prefer to speak in their own language rather than try the language of the locals. They do not prefer to try different foods and refer to stick to foods that they know, fastfoods eg. KFC. They often pack heavy and prefer to be prepared for any situation that they may come across.

Time is the biggest physical difference

Tourists, of course, are more governed by time. For me a traveller has a minimum of 3 months somewhere or at least a month per country to be visited. This contrasts strongly with the tourist who has a maximum of 3 weeks to cram in as much as possible.

A tourist feels the need to get as much sightseeing in as possible. The idea is that to visit a country and experience it, one must visit buildings, museums and historic sites. Taking photographs of yourself in these locations allows you to return to your country and show that you were there

Clips of you on a boat, at a castle, beside a ruin or under a big local fig tree become your narrative for what a country was like. Your limited time dictates that you must see, see, see and spend, spend, spend. Take home mementos and regale with impressive landscape and beach shots.

A lifestyle traveller on the other hand, does not need to rush. There are no sites that “need” to be seen in a hurry. There is a vague list of places to visit, but the essence of the experience is the journey and how you get there. Talking to a taxi man about his local football team on the way from a bus terminal, is as rewarding as watching a sunset over the Taj Mahal.

Moments of interaction, fun and spontaneity are what give the traveller satisfaction. Being with local people and telling them your story is what excites you.

The traveller sheds their first world inhibitions and becomes a formless sponge, taking in the world around and accepting it for what it is – imperfect, incredible and immensely different.

Being a tourist is great. You enjoy having what you want, when you want it and there is a level of intransigence about your personality. You like your life in your own country and are pretty sure that it is the best way to live.

You enjoy getting glimpses of other cultures (pictures of buildings and people etc) and trying a local dish is worth doing once or twice a year on your holidays/vacation.

You know that your money supports cultures when you visit them, and you are not afraid to demand value for that money you spend. You bring your expectations to other worlds and are sure that people should live up to them, not the other way round.

Being a tourist appeals if you are time poor and cash or credit rich.

Being a traveller is great if you want to immerse yourself in other cultures. While you have been brought up in an interesting country (or two), you are open to learning from people who technologically seem more primitive, yet when you delve deeper, appear more secure and happy.

The appeal of being a traveller is that you can soak up the mundane and day to day of other worlds, without the need to rush from site to site or tour to tour.

You know that all modern economies rely on cash flow to support cultures, be them 1st, 2nd or otherwise. Treating people with the same respect everywhere is paramount to you understanding this system. Your expectations are limited to expecting an experience, and being present to enjoying it.

Being a traveller appeals if you make yourself time rich and cash or credit rich too.

Either way both are very different and interesting experiences.

So, which one are you, traveller or tourist?