The entire month of May, I had the most difficult time at work, with my blog and life in general. I was told that I was in one of those phases that everyone apparently goes through in their adult life, but this had lasted way too long, it began to bother me.
Thankfully, I have the best bosses in the world who noticed I was not myself, and suggested it was probably best to take some time off work; it was a little short notice, but because they missed me being that bright bulb I used to be, they decided to let me take a week off.
I thought to myself, the last thing I want to do is spend an entire week in this country with no electricity, I may just end up killing myself, so I thought, what is the most affordable place on my list of places to go and of course nowhere was as affordable as I’d hoped, so I turned to Ghana. I had no idea it cost N153,000 to go next door to Ghana – like, it is literally next door. Not to sound silly, but I don’t even regard going to Ghana as travelling, so I decided there is absolutely no way in hell I am paying that much to go somewhere so close to home when I can go to Tanzania, Senegal or Morocco for just over N200,000. At this point, I decided I wasn’t ready to go through the stress of deciding where to go.
After I decided not to travel anymore, my manager and one of my bosses spent a long time trying to talk me into it – “it’s not about the money, and sometimes all you need to do is make a decision and the universe aligns in your favour”, a motto I have now chosen to live by. Initially, I hit the comment with resistance, responding, “you can only say this because you earn so much, if I don’t have the money, how do I make the decision”, and I remember them responding “just do it, we take care of you, you know we’ll help, just do it”.
On Wednesday the 10th of May, after calling a couple of travel agents, I was not convinced of the prices being thrown at me so I decided instead to spend about 3hours searching for a cheap ticket from Lagos to Zanzibar. Somehow, I managed to find a ticket that was about N54,000 less than what I had been offered, and I thought, could this be a sign from God?
Later on that evening, I spent a few hours before bed searching for the best hotels. A friend of mine had stayed at the Melia hotel when she visited Zanzibar last year and told me how amazing it was. When I looked it up, it was so expensive I just let it go and carried on looking for other hotels. I managed to fall asleep not having found anything. The next day, I got up with one objective in mind – make a hotel reservation. I went over to my desk, checked the Melia hotel website one last time, and saw the most unbelievable thing – a 30% off discount on all their rooms. My eyes, mind, soul, everything could not believe it. The fact that I didn’t have enough money in my account to cover my stay did not deter me, as I was sure it was a sign from God, so I went right ahead and booked the ‘Garden View Room’, it was the cheapest room, it looked nice and I was okay with that.
It was Thursday afternoon, I had a ticket, and a hotel reservation for a solo trip to Zanzibar on Sunday, and at that point I stopped to think, what the hell am I doing? I’m pretty sure I’ve never done anything so impulsive in my entire life, and if you know me personally you’ll know I’ve spent my entire life acting solely on impulse.
I had never been on holiday by myself, but I had been told it’s the best feeling in the world so I did it anyway and I do not regret a second of it, in fact I don’t think I’m ever going on holiday with anyone ever again.
After booking my holiday, the next challenge was figuring out what to do during my 13-hour layover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On the same day I travelled , a friend of mine went to China and we made a joke about how it takes longer to fly from West to East Africa than it takes to fly from Africa to Asia – what a mess ?
I woke up on Sunday morning with a little voice in my head saying your favourite thing to do is to google things, why don’t you just do that, google and see what people do during such long layovers in Ethiopia. I found out that Ethiopian Airways gives you a hotel room with breakfast and dinner if you have a layover that’s over 8 hours long. Still not convinced, I called the airline and I was told I would get a room and a free transit visa, so I was sorted.
My journey was pretty much what you expect – a flight from Lagos to a shitty hotel in Addis Ababa but I cared not, I was on my way to paradise and in the words of one of the greatest orators to ever live Kanye West, “who gon stop me now?”
When I got to Zanzibar, we drove about an hour and a half to the Melia resort, and I was actually surprised at the fact that the places we drove through looked like I was back in my village in Oyo state. The Melia is in the North Eastern part of Zanzibar Island, and is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
I was way too tired to explore at that point in time, so I decided to go to my room, chill for the night and start my day early. The room was so much nicer than it looked online, with a little terrace with a garden view, an outdoor shower, a huge bath tub and a one of those cute little princess beds.
The Melia was so picturesque and I see why my friend (who had been) had no worries about my safety or anything else really. All she worried about was the fact that I was going alone and would have no one to take photos of me, but as you know If you follow me on Instagram, that worked out alright.
Some images of the Melia Resort, Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Some photos of my Garden View Room
P.S. I decided to split up the post because I fear that putting everything in one post will scare people off, so I’ll be sharing Day 2 and all the things I reflected on shortly.