The weekend review: the imperative to do
Something that the true connoisseur of the weekend understands is the imperative to do. For those of you who have read the first few reviews, you will understand by now that I offer a guideline (within my curious life experiences) of how best to enjoy those precious 2-3 days that Global culture has decided is the universally acknowledged time off from the dogged necessity that is paid employment.
As a traveller (essentially someone instilled with a close to constant wanderlust) and within my occupational experiences as an Actor, Broadcaster and occasional Journalist, I have come to notice that those people who truly are able to enjoy what seems to most a limited space of time are able to do so by simply doing things. While the rest of us are bogged down with endless lists of pros and cons they draw a simple destination arrow from where they are to where they want to be. And a number of these “Jollof ministers” (like myself) have become masters of The Weekend Getaway.
It’s my personal favourite way to enjoy the weekend: travel to a nearby destination: simple, effective and a great way to take in more of the human experience than you would in your everyday life. For each destination you choose is an opportunity for a cultural exchange, a learning opportunity and a unique way to adjust your perspective; and it is also possible to do all this on a budget.
If like me you’re planning your trip from Nigeria, this can be daunting: we know what the Naira is saying in comparison to the Dollar however a good way to make sure your weekend Getaway sticks within budget, is to minimize on accommodation costs and this can be done by reaching out to your international circle friendship circle.
If you know someone in a city or village or neighbourhood you have never been to, ask if they can put you up for a few days and plan a visit. Because it’s for a short space of time most people are happy to see you for a weekend, now if you’re travelling with a family this could prove challenging, but the weekend getaway is best as a single or couple experience.
Now When it comes to choosing a travel destination I am generally happy to visit most places within the African continent, because each area, each town and each village is so unique, from landscape to customs to food. If you’re looking at booking flights within the continent try www.travelstart.com.ng or www.cheapflights.com.ng as I’ve managed some great deals. Do be warned however that cheap tickets have their own hidden costs, if you suddenly need to move flights or there is a delay, this could cost you more in the long-run so consult your booking agent or with the airlines closely or just pay a little more for flexible tickets.
If you’re looking for things to do a little closer to home, or at least a good resource to fill you in on the variety of experiences possible on the Nigerian(and mostly Lagos) scene, check out www.nothingtodoinlagos or www.tripzapp.net who will curate local experiences at a fraction of the cost!
The Imperative to do of course doesn’t just end at booking a flight to a destination, it’s what you do when you get there that matters. The temptation is to do nothing but sleep and order take in all day, but then you might as well have stayed at home. When your hosts/tour operators/friendly locals offer an activity that you have not tried before, say yes. It’s usually worth it.
I recently took a trip to South Africa and ended up in a small village on the Western Cape called Napier, a pretty quiet little town steeped in Afrikaans history. The first and most fun thing to do in any new Location is to eat and if you can tie in sightseeing with a little food, then even better. I took a 73km drive from Napier out towards the coast to Hermanus so that we could watch whales and eat. How could I say no?
Hermanus is rated by the World Wildlife Fund as one of the 12 Best Whale watching sites in the world, we managed to spot a Southern Right Whale frolicking as I devoured the yummiest seafood curry I have ever had and took in the view; All completely worth the hike up a side of a cliff to leave the restaurant.
The Imperative to do is present every weekend in your town to be honest, you really don’t need to travel far to get the most out of your weekend. If you live in Lagos there are a number of experiences being offered, and all you need do is try one : Reggae Jamaican nights at club Nitro on (Thursdays) but if that isn’t your thing you can combine some truly delicious food, cozy ambience and delicious sounds at The Music Lounge which is presented by TML World entertainment and held at Villa Medici.
And finally, the imperative to do is not limited to movement, it is deep like the knowledge found in books. Do start reading again like you promise yourself in those odd moments when you struggle to find the right words and are jolted into the embarrassing realization that your vocabulary has become limited. Do take a little time to brush up on your language skills. Over this period I have tried to take time to do both, first by purchasing my first Bek Okri Novel, “Starbook” which is the book after his highly acclaimed bestseller “The Famished Road” (most likely Ito be contrary) and Then I have gone back again(this will be my 2nd attempt) to learning Yoruba via FSI Basic Yoruba which can be found on several websites.
The feeling of a well spent weekend is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world and usually comes about when you have spent that time off exploring things that you want to do so why wait? Carpe Diem because time is what you make of it.
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