Oct 04, 2018

Unpacking my 6-month solo trip across Africa

You may have seen footage of me traveling across West Africa with my 50-pound suitcase tied to the back of a motorbike. You’ve probably wondered what I was up to in that part of the world – a world of beauty, excitement, and where you would encounter people with the kindest souls. With many twist and turns, this curious and fearless girl from a tiny fishing town in St. Vincent, embarked on a journey of connection, discovery, and empowerment.

I left Hong Kong for Ghana with 2 passports and 4 visas in hand. I was aware that my Caribbean passport afforded me reduced cost or visa-free access to many African countries so with time on my hands, I had intended on visiting as many countries as possible on a small budget. The visas I had acquired were for countries requiring application in ones’ country of residence.  My rough plan was to spend some quality time in Ghana, which had become my practice over the last few years, then head to Togo and Nigeria for the holidays. Ivory Coast and Angola were also on my itinerary although I had no set dates for both destinations.

With the privilege of having a choice of passports, I allowed the visa requirements of each country to dictate whether I would use my St.Vincent or US passport for entry.  My early itinerary was guided by my visa expiration dates hence the decision to head to southern Africa in the middle of my West Africa tour.  My original return flight to Hong Kong was scheduled for one month after my arrival on the continent.  However, two flight changes allowed the 6-month duration at a minor cost. Nothing could have prepared me for the life-changing journey I was about to embark on.

I had not done much research on each country prior to my departure so I relied on my network to attain recommendations on accommodation and things to do in each country. Although my mission evolved as the trip progressed, having a great time, connecting with locals and learning from them remained a consistent goal throughout my journey. Traveling throughout Africa has forced me to re-evaluate what I value and has shifted the focus of my business.  This was also the trip that proved to be the most fulfilling and led me to solidify the idea of launching my fashion brand, Beam Bold.

I believe the first step in investing in Africa is traveling to the continent and connecting with the people.  I plan to be your companion traveler as you navigate the continent one country at a time. Allow me to take you along as I recap my journey throughout the continent in chronological order. Come back weekly to learn about my eventful border crossings, country highlights, logistics & cost of traveling from one country to the next in my Africa Travel Series.

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