When my friends see my adventure pictures, the first thing they ask are questions that are most times shocking.
To the typical Nigerian, an adventure should have a setup like this- green/brown bottles at the center, pepper soup to the left, tooth pick to the right.
Not like I don’t like the above mention but those aren’t life changing for me, they are tummy changing.
While to someone this profile might be one type of adventure, it’s not for me. From my seven months touring/hiking around Nigeria, I have heard people say a lot. As usual everyone likes the hiking pictures but thinks what I am doing is scary or sounds mad.So give me 10 minutes of your time to bust the top 5 myths about adventure travel in Nigeria.
MYTH #1: ADVENTURE IS STUPID AND A WASTE OF TIME
I have seen my close relatives ask if I was OK ? To them traveling for the sole purpose of adventure doesn’t make any sense.
Did you really travel that far to see just a mountain? Ordinary Mountain?
A reason why I chose We are nomads, we are Not mad as the slogan for our adventure group-Naidrenalin.
Some even go as far as asking if I have a day job? Everything in life is all about making plans and time for what you love,
Someone even once asked what do you gain from from all these?
What do I gain? Nirvana is the word. I gain what money can’t buy-Happiness.
Every place I have been to, my soul gets renewed and energized.Once the hustle and bustle of life is getting too much on me, I find opportunity to go somewhere new and reconnect myself.
Too many things can make once life clumsy in Nigeria, so constantly I travel to dump them, I can’t wait to leave this trash for LAWMA.
Adventures build your confidence; and with each successive one, you challenge yourself just a little bit more.My biggest joy is traveling through a place and looking up to the hills and mountains and saying I conquered you, it gives this sense of accomplishment.
An adventure can be frightening, or it can be great. It can cause pain, or produce joy. It can end badly or well. But you never experience an adventure unchanged. In fact, adventure is all about change. It’s about growth. And growth is the core of life.
MYTH #2: ADVENTURE IS EXPENSIVE
THE TRUTH: Well getting to the summit of Everest is about 50,000 dollars, to the top of Kilimanjaro should be about 5000$. Yeah that’s adventure and thats not cheap.
But truth be told, you can visit amazing spots close to you in Nigeria for close to nothing, the problem is we look down on what we have.
I have traveled to more than 15 tourist spot in the last six months and trust me I haven’t spent up to 100,000 Naira in all my trips(feeding and transport inclusive)
So how do I do it-
It’s quite easy-
First, always travel with a group, it always cheaper, this was a major reason why I started Naidrenalin- to make Nigerian see that adventure is not a luxury thing.
When you travel in a group, you can always get discount, be it transport or hotel accommodation.
Secondly, you don’t have to travel for the sole purpose of adventure.
Once you find yourself anywhere far, let say it’s work related or may be you came to visit a relative or friend, find time to quickly explore what the state has to offer, every part of Nigeria has something beautiful it’s got. Find it and explore!
I visited Esie Museum sometimes last month, Esie is home to about 1500 carved stones and also the first museum in Nigeria(1945).
I didn’t plan for it, I was coming for a Burial in a town and quickly search around to see what I can explore after my program, luckily I saw Esie musuem, a 15 minute drive drive from there.
End of story– I spent just 100 naira tor the entrance fee and was able to kill two bird with one stone.
Thirdly, join Naidrenalin and travel cheap-
The sole purpose of our adventure group is for people to travel cheap. All these includes deep researching for cheap comfortable hotels, getting discount on group travels, individuals bringing food and sharing becomes caring.
Proof-When we visited Idanre as a group, we ended up traveling cheap, first we were able to get a comfortable hotel right on the top of a hill for a good bargain- we shared rooms and each paid just a 2500 Naira. We came together in a single car, this same car carried us around idanre city so there was no need to pay extra for taxi, plus feeding and everything I spent not more than 10k Naira, this was the same trip a friend that traveled solo spent 50 thousand Naira on.
MYTH #3: ADVENTURE IS FOR KIDS
Truth-One problem in Nigeria is how we are forced to grow and behave like “adults” even before we know how to spell ADULT, an adult should engage in only serious stuffs, any playful act is childish.We quickly categorize activities into two-Adults-Kids. Watching cartoon is childish, playing video games are for kids and adults who play them are childish.
The first time I brought the idea of paint balling as a group , someone said Mba this is too childish-How can we grown up people be shooting ourselves with toyguns, rara o!
Most friends I hang out with who previously didn’t see adventure as a culture now have embraced it fully and are always eager for the next trip.
If being adventurous is childish, I chose to remain a child then, after all everyone thinks they’re prepared for adulthood till it hits you like an airplane.
MYTH #4: ADVENTURE TRAVEL IS DANGEROUS AND RISKY
Talking about security, Nigeria is still far from that term but we are getting slowly closer.
Most of my trips/destination, I first google search to see if someone have traveled there before now, read tips about the do’s and don’t, and make sure I am not going there solo.
Truth-When you get to your destination, always find a local who will take you around, be polite and give them tips.
Before we head out we spend sometime researching and talking to locals about the conditions to help prepare for any potential risk. Pay a visit to the king or leader of the host community, especially when you go in groups, it’s rude just trooping into someone’s territory without a friendly hello.
Proofs-I wanted traveling to visit Kagaro hills in Kaduna, first thing i did was ask someone who has been there and he gave me a candid warning about the security issues there right now and I cancelled all plans. When we visited Owu falls in Kwara, our first visit was to the king’s palace, and this paid off, because he gave us a free tour guide, who followed and showed us the path to follow, and even gave warnings about areas that are deep and shallow around the waterfall.
Let me tell a big secret – adventure travel is only as extreme as you make it out to be. Adventure is relative, you don’t have to try extreme stuff likes jumping out of jet(did that once), feeding sharks at River Mississippi, taunting angry bulls in Spain or bungee jumping etc, that’s not for everyone but I really won’t mind doing them.
MYTH #5: ADVENTURE TRAVEL NEEDS FITNESS
I have heard people say-I can’t hike my weight won’t let me or adventure is for athletic people
Truth-As far your doctor don’t say certain adventure means risking your life, you don’t need to be “Christiano- Ronaldo- fit” to lets say go hiking.
Proof-Most people I have hiked with aint even athletic and yet they always one way or the other make it to the hike end.Your body size should even make you hike not run way from it
Still Not Convinced That You Can Be An Adventure Traveler? Leave Your Doubts In The Comments!