I once poached this quote from Warsan’s twitter feed “We are what we’ve been looking for.” I’m not sure if it’s her own or she was edifying someone else's work, but what a complete statement of contentment, revelation, accessibility and inherent beauty it is. It’s a quote that can seal the doubt and open doors in many areas of one’s life. Currently, it’s the quote the sums up my deep belief that the continent of Africa should be the ultimate travel destination in the world.
Three years ago I made a very impulsive decision to move back to Ghana. I had no idea what I would do career wise or what life would be like after living away from 'home' for so long, but my soul was pulling me back to the land of my birth in a way that I couldn't resist. Three years later, I finally understand what it means to be at peace. Being on the continent has brought me a calmness and a confidence that only comes from connecting to your roots and exploring true beauty.
“We are what we’ve been looking for!” 54 distinct countries. 30 million square kilometers of unadulterated beauty. Hundreds of cultures, thousands of languages and a plethora of landscapes to choose from.
“We are what we’ve been looking for!” Currently, Africans on the continent travel more frequently to Europe and North America than they do within the continent. There are varying reasons for this phenomenon and one of them is undoubtedly the high cost of travel between countries that are so close in proximity. A flight to Dakar from Accra should take you three hours. However, depending on the airline you take, it could take you a minimum of 10 hours and cost you about $600. Add on $200 and take away 4 hours and you’re in London, England. I get it. With London, you know what you’re getting.
For me, the issue is that the masses are simply not aware of the sheer magnificence of a city like Dakar. They don’t know about its booming and vibrant art scene. They haven't heard of Medina, a true representation of a bustling African city: Packed with people, food and goods on every corner. They’re completely unaware that a short ferry ride will get you on the shores of Île de Gorée (Gorée Island), packed with a dark history yet brimming with beauty, hope and possibilities.
“We are what we’ve been looking for!” The grandeur of Africa is undeniable. The beauty is untapped and doors are open for exploration. I encourage any and everyone to visit the continent at one point in their lives. There are 54 unique options for you to choose from, and companies such as Tastemakers Africa (founded by a woman, might I add) are making travel to Africa less 'daunting.' More than that, I encourage Africans and people of African descent to spread the word about the dynamism of their land. To do that, you must travel it, breathe it in and love it.