This post is best viewed on a laptop or tab to keep the arrangement of the pictures in tact.
I travel for relief….
After lamenting on social media about how work was clutching life out of me, and how I felt like I was losing who I am, I craved a trip to somewhere new, somewhere I could forget about work and just get back to me.
“We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the secret tonic to creativity.
When we get home, home is still the same, but something in our minds has changed, and that changes everything. “ – @ay.firefly
Remember my Easter post? I wrote about my desire to tour the Northern part of the country but plans didn’t work out well. click here for post
Well, I finally got the opportunity and I owe big thanks to Social Prefect Tours (Check them out on Instagram – @socialprefecttours). I have to give it to the Social Prefect team, the entire trip was worth it, even better than I anticipated.
|Seeing my name printed on the gift item (notebook) was everything, the personal touch was very welcoming
In the Easter post, I also stated I wasn’t comfortable travelling with ‘strangers’. Well, lets say the lyrics of Jack Garratt’s song got to me. I mean, I keep saying I want to break out of the norm, explore and actually live life. The only way to stay true to my words is to start living it.
“Speak and open up your heart
It’s something you should do all the time
Keep exploring, seek and find
You know you might surprise yourself”
– Jack Garrat (Surprise yourself)
I opened up my mind and signed up for the trip. Though, I got my close pal – Mute, to sign up as well. I had to go with a friend just incase I couldn’t blend in
due to my anti-social ways.
|Group photo before take-off
When we first boarded the bus, I gave Mute a nudge and whispered, ‘everyone else seems to know themselves. This is so going to be a personal journey for me even though we are in their midst.” He replied saying that was his sentiments also.
That changed few minutes later as I realized they were really cool travel buddies and I eventually blended in. My friend, Ivan, would be proud of me, when he learns that I finally played the concentration game and was about the fourth or fifth person standing out of over twenty participants. 😀
Officially, this has got to be one of my best trips yet. Not largely due to the scenery, the road trip or photography, but to a large extent due to the wonderful persons I traveled with. Their zeal, open mindedness, bonding with young entrepreneurs – people who have consciously decided to take their future in their hands…it was refreshing being around all that energy.
Our take off point was Millennium park in Abuja. This was the first time I went on a journey without checking out its position on the map. After we crossed Nassarawa and Plateau States, that’s when I realized how ‘Northish’ Bauchi State is. But I was already on the bus and there was no going back.
What’s a trip without contingencies? I take such as part of the adventure. When the bus developed fault along the way, while a few complained, I simply got off the bus to take in the Plateau air and practice my photography. This one was small ish compared to when I had to sleep on the road in a foreign country during an excursion to Benin Republic. That was 2008 or so.
I have a new travel rule – No headphones when travelling to a place for the first time. I want to have a complete experience of the place, open up my senses to the elements and feel saturated by it all. No distractions. This was the plan but it got even better. My mobile phone had absolutely no reception throughout the three days. I was totally cut off from the outside world and it was perfect.
“Half the fun of travel is the aesthetic of lostness“ – Ray Bradbury
On arriving Bauchi, our first stop was the Government House, after which we visited the Emir’s palace.
From there we embarked on another journey to Yankari Game Reserve. It was indeed a journey. Even from the gate of the reserve to the facility is a journey on its own. We settled in, had dinner (one thing you can’t take from the Social Prefects, is the proper food provided – breakfast, lunch and dinner were all on point!)
The next day the exploration began proper though it started in a weird/funny way. Mute, two other travelers (Pamilerin and Tobi) and myself had an encounter with the Baboons (a.k.a area boys of Yankari). Post for another day
There was the walk to the restaurant for breakfast which gave us the chance to take in the beauty of Yankari Game Reserve;
There was enough food;
There was dance (though I hid behind the camera to prevent taking part);
There was the pre-safari ride photo shoot;
There was Yankari museum tour (pictures courtesy of Tunji);