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The weekend review: Spontaneity and all its ramifications

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PHOTO: gazette.jhu.edu

PHOTO: gazette.jhu.edu

The last two weekends have been some of the most spontaneous, tiring and epic weekends of my young adult life. And this is all thanks to a little spontaneity, a little bravery and a good helping of curiosity.

I turned 30 a few weeks ago (A shocker I know right?! Physically I’m still stuck somewhere in my early 20’s which is awesome!) and because I wanted it to be memorable I planned and executed a trip to Brazil in about 2 weeks.

Now full details of the trip will be coming out on my site and the stories are too many to go into here, but I would really like to share some the lessons learned and hope that you can apply it in some small way to how you approach your weekends.

Lesson 1: Be Spontaneous. The dictionary defines spontaneity in a variety of ways:  “ performed or occurring as a result of a sudden impulse or inclination and without premeditation…” “having an open, natural and uninhibited manner”. These definitions simultaneously fill adults with hope and with dread: hope because the desire to let go and simply act on impulse can be strong but is usually tempered by very adult concerns of how allowing oneself to act without pre-meditating the action and its effects, is a reckless and childish act. But so what? Personally I subscribe more to the second definition of premeditation and periodically push to be free of inhibitions. The possibilities of every weekend are virtually endless but if we choose to see each of these through the lenses of “Responsible choices” and “ What would people say”, we can end up losing out on some the more incredible experiences life has to offer. And usually experiences found nearby and not necessarily as far as Brazil! For example:

Exploring Nigeria’s new and developing railway lines! Lagos – Ibadan and Abuja – Kaduna are trips worth exploring with a friend or two! To the skeptics, this is something to laugh and shake a head at, while muttering about how quickly it will all fall apart, but to the one willing to be free of Inhibitions, it’s a chance to Learn more about the country we call home first hand! It’s bound to be a journey with some challenges but the best way to find solutions is to explore, examine and join in a collective effort to see how these experiences can be improved for the benefit of us all! The website is pretty basic but offers contact numbers to reach the Nigerian Railway Corporation (+(234) 7038 35 6015) and that way you can decide with a group of friends what journey to try out! http://nrc.gov.ng/ (My tip, keep it day time and always travel in pairs).

Lesson 2: Embrace the Experience. Often picking a new adventure, event, or place to visit over any weekend can end of being a far cry from what you initially imagined.  Whether it’s disappointing food, poor customer service or just unexpected nostalgia from being so far away from home; being spontaneous has consequences. However just because the experience is different to what we expected does not mean that there isn’t something to be learned from it.

Take every new experience in your stride and prepare to embrace with the curiosity of a newborn child learning their way around everyday objects. It tends to put you in problem solving mode and in a much better mood, which at the end of whatever difficulty or travail you might have found yourself, will leave you with a memorable and often hilarious story to tell friends afterwards.

So this weekend you might want to check out a shopping party (Check out The Style Avenue Shopping Party #SASParty this Saturday In Lekki) or go adventure seeking curated travel experiences (There’s a very exciting unveiling of a new travel brand called Trek Buy Fly at Tivoli Garden in Ikoyi from 7:00pm)  or go all out like I did and visit somewhere completely unknown to you, but use a reliable agency (Jekan Travels hooked me all the way up and offer some great deals but more on Brazil in another post) so that if the experience is more intense than you feel you can handle, they are there to ease the way!

Lesson 3: Seek Culture. Preserve culture. This is the lesson I learn every time I try something new. When I refer to culture I am talking about the ideas, art, customs and social behavior of a people, and that is made up of so many things! It means therefore that every time we decide to try something new, and embrace the experience of the uninhibited decision, a remarkable opportunity presents itself to be exposed to a facet of culture that you had not experienced before.

And then when that happens, you can decide to capture the moment (take a photograph, buy a token etc) and quite possibly find a way to preserve and even promote what you have experienced. This is the best use of any weekend by far and it works virtually all experiences. I could go into a long rant about the importance of preserving culture and a bit of history to grow the future, but that would take up more words than I have left to offer. I would suggest visiting the Brazilian Quarter of Lagos Island, checking out Nigeria’s first indigenous Samba group (www.ekosamba.org) and studying the few original buildings left. This in a small way gives you the benefit of helping to preserve this important part of our history (especially as it now faces destruction in the name of building a future) while experiencing something new.

So open your eyes, your hearts and your minds to the never-ending possibilities of each weekend and the ‘jollofing’ will never end! Until next time, Carpe Diem good people!



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