My Trip to the Homeland
my trip to the homeland
Read Time: 4 minutes
If you haven't had a chance to take a trip out of the country, my advice to you is go.
Go see what the world is like beyond the typical 4 walls of America or Britain or Canada or wherever the heck you're reading this from.
Listen to another dialect, try another type of food, have a true local experience - and you won't return the same person. I promise you - it's so eye opening and unbelievably incredible.
2 weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to take a short trip back home to Nigeria with my mom, dad, and sister. I definitely treated it as my "Post Grad" vacation and was happy because it was paid for (thanks mom and dad!)
But aside from that bit, I was actually really nervous to visit... I had no idea what to expect.
I only had a slight relationship with my family that was over there and have only communicated in the last twenty years in phone calls where I awkwardly answered "Hi, how are you, I'm fine" in the little dialect that I knew.
I was also terrified that I would be ostracized for being "American".
Let’s be candid: the last time I was in Nigeria was exactly 2 decades ago. I was 3 years old, about to turn 4. So even though I've grown tremendously in my culture over the past 4 years (big thanks to Houston for being the Nigerian capital of Texas) I actually knew very little about where I came from.
Of course I could give you the easy buzzer answers like the village my parents were from, but something as simple as what my grandparent's compound actually looked like was completely new to me.
And it's really sad to say but I actually expected the worst. I mean, not to blame the media, but poverty porn regarding Africa is literally shoved down our throats.
Although I understood that obviously not everything and everybody in Africa was poverty stricken, a part of me thought when I walked the streets of Nigeria I would see big sad eyes, sorrow, desolation, and much more. And it scared me.
But what I actually saw when I went completely blew my mind.
The land was beautiful. The food was amazing. But most of all, the people were so happy. Like genuine joy and content.
Yes, children walked barefoot in the streets, yes, there was trash littered everywhere, yes, a lot of the buildings were half built and tattered, yes, the street traffic and driving was chaotic, and yes, the air was constantly filled with aggressive honking and shouting.
But what you don't realize is the children were always laughing and playing, as they made their way down the market.
The beauty of the land's vegetation - with healthy thick-leaved palm trees framing the roads and and the sun glittering off the streams and the beaches
The fresh juice of an organic, unadulterated, non-chemicalized ripe orange that you can pluck right from a tree and eat.
The miraculous joy in my grandparents' tears when they laid eyes on me for the first time in 20 years.
All of that, was absolutely, 100% amazingly unexpected. And that, is why it's important for you to see the world. Because I can't sit here and tell you about my experiences, or you can go see for yourself. Something that you will cherish for a long time, just like I will.
Stay adventurous friends,
- Corporate Queen
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”