Nigerian Girl in the Alps: How to Enjoy your Unplanned Planned Trip
How rarely do the words "Nigerian" and "Alps" appear together in the same sentence. We Nigerians just aren't about that life, myself most of all!
One bright, sunny day in Geneva, my friend Emily suggested we spend the weekend in a little Swiss town known as Interlaken, spend the night in a hostel, take a train to Grindewald, where we would hike up Jungfrau, one of the 3 summits of the Bernese Alps. As Emily is making this suggestion, immediately of course, my Nigerian self is mentally and violently shaking her head, but we snubbed her and booked those tickets anyway, baby!
It was a very exhilarating experience; first time sleeping in a hostel with complete strangers, ascending over 12,000 feet above sea-level (note: Ibadan, the town i grew up in is about 300 feet above sea-level) but hey, life is about taking chances and setting fire to your comfort zone, aye?!
Here are 6 ways to enjoy your next unplanned planned trip!
1. The obvious; Travel prepared!
Saying I wasn't prepared would have been an understatement. True, the trip wasn't really in my plans but i did have enough time to prepare. We went up over 12,000 feet and i had forgotten my gloves back in Geneva! I can't begin to describe how my hands felt. Ok, I can- I felt like i was in 'The Revenant'. Emily gave me her spare socks as gloves anyway, which saved my soul and my fingers.
2. Get creative with your memorabilia and photos
Sometimes, the spontaneity of unplanned trips gets your creative juices flowing, especially when you are on a tight budget and you can't go wild buying souvenir chocolates and fridge magnets. So i had bought a coke with Ed's name on it and since it was in my bag, took this photo! He loved it! We still have that Coke, it's 2 years old next month! Smh.
3. Take it all in!
About 16 times, I considered ditching my city life and moving here; i'd buy a cow, throw my phone away and open up an African restaurant with a cheese themed menu. There's something about mountains- the solitude and tranquility connects you with something unseen. I totally get why Moses and the others kept climbing mountains to hang with God. New respect, Mo.
4. Travel with friends!
The best trips are with friends! All those embarrassing memories.......... someone has to remember them at your wedding! I got a mild panic attack like halfway up. I was on relatively flat ground but i thought i was falling off....it's complicated. When you try this, let me know how it went. Lol.
5. Travel with friends with geographical acumen lol!
I still get lost on my street here at home, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I got lost up in those mountains. If Emily wasn't there, my #3 cow-cheese African life would have unraveled immediately. Cheese-egusi. anyone?
6. Get goofy
It's your vacay, so do whatever brings you joy. Don't be afraid to get a little goofy, no one is going to see you again anyway. At least, i know no one will be seeing me on Jungfrau for eternity. Back in my comfort zone, on level ground.
Any out-of-your-comfort zone adventures recently? Time to populate that bucket list!