Dreaming is Believing

As a kid growing up I had WILD imaginations about places to go that I would draw/write up in my notebooks…. but they seemed all fantasy to me. It wasn’t realistic for someone like me to dream on such things. So, I just stopped. Honestly, I can’t recall what first sparked my passion for travel. All I knew was that traveling could help me develop an eye for detail of my surroundings and the people in it. The world is too beautiful for anyone to miss out on. I wanted to see it all.

Fortunately, as a broke college student, I was able to take out loans to study engineering abroad in Australia. It was my first trip without my parents. There I was able to take the opportunity to “expand my horizon” school-wise. But during the trip, I realized there was more to it. It is about the people, the traditions, and their untold stories. No history books can tell you. You must physically go and nourish yourself into their culture or else you will never understand their point of view. After that trip, I started to dream again by speaking things into existence.

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At the Le Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh, Morocco soaking in all the blues

Recently, I had a moment of awe when I went back home to Nigeria last summer. I’ve visited numerous times since I was in elementary, but this time it was different simply because of my developed eye. From Lagos to my dad’s village, every day I witnessed the continuous hustle from the locals. Nigeria has so much to offer so I took that chance to not only indulge in my parent’s childhood stories, but to meet other people and learn from them. I feel it’s my responsibility to show Africa differently than what’s portrayed in the media.

“elegushi crafts market”  – Took my mom and aunt to visit the crafts market in Lagos where we bargained for hand-crafted items, art pieces, and printed clothing

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Elegushi crafts market : Took my mom and aunt to visit the crafts market in Lagos where we bargained for hand-crafted items, art pieces, and printed clothing

 

I currently work at AT&T Corporate as a data analyst and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) bot developer. People often ask me if I even work or if all my travels are work-related. Luckily, AT&T provides a set number of days employees can take off every year. Therefore, I carefully plan which places to go to, throughout the entire year. Right now, the two times to travel for me is summer and my birthday in November. When I am planning my next travels, I traditionally start brainstorming on Instagram. I have almost 20 folders in my collection due to different parts of the world I would love to visit. It is so important to save the beautiful photos of the places that intrigues you. Then I start calculating the best dates to go, in terms of flights. Sometimes you think planning by the season is best,  but you can never be so sure until you look at it financially. Since I plan things out so far ahead, I create a reserve of money for future trips. I use apps such as Expedia and Momondo to find cheap tickets. 

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Of all animals I have ridden travelling abroad, the camel was the most relaxing experience. Enjoyed staying at Scarabeo Camp “Stone Desert” for a night to enjoy good company and see the starry nigh

This past year made me realize that you cannot wait for someone else to join you for  travel…you just have to go! If it was anything else of the sort, my mental state would simply crash. No matter how big or small your dreams are, you always start from step 0. With proper research, there are plenty of places you can go travel by yourself. There are so many supporting communities/groups that hone in on travel; more specifically for curious women.

There is so much time in this world, don’t waste it on “what-if’s”. I continue to travel because I am passionate about people and art. I love sharing opportunities I’ve been through, because anyone can do it too if you put your mind to it.

ubud bali
Ubud, Bali

Uloma Okoro

IG: @llamamama_

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