Travel

#WhenInLondon… Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew

With spring in full bloom and the sun gracing us with her presence almost daily, an afternoon outdoors was long overdue.

As unplanned as this trip to Kew Gardens was, I’m glad my friend Yuqi convinced me to join her. The Royal botanical gardens are a perfect example of what happens when you take super great care of fresh grass, indigenous plants, flowers and aquatic life – a whole ecosystem is born and thrives, gifting us its natural, effervescent beauty.

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72 hours in Paris

Hello good people!

Hope the month of May is treating you as well as it is me. I recently came back from a nice little weekend in Paris and all I kept thinking on the way back was I wish I had more time there! Paris is a beautiful city and three days is not enough time to really get a feel of it.

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#WhenInLondon… Take a street art tour in East London

So school’s out for a few weeks and with so much free time on my hands what else is there to do but explore London for the great city that it is right? Only problem is, finding exciting stuff to do here can rack up quite a dent in your bank account if you are not careful. My tip to any newbie in London would be to find events/activities that cost 10£ and below, to partake in. Most of them turn out to be free/cheaper if you go in a group or sign up early.

My friend Jordaania found this amazing website called Funzing that curates a whole bunch of unique and fun events and experiences to do in London. The first event we signed up for was a street art tour of east London. I had been there a month ago on assignment and I absolutely loved the eclecticism of the place so was really glad to get an opportunity to go back and explore it better.

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#WhenInLondon… Visit the Sotheby’s art gallery

London is a city rich in history, in culture and also rich in art. Galleries and museums are a dime a dozen in various parts of the city and the exhibitions showcased at some of these places are not to be missed. One such gallery is Sotheby’s.

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#WhenInLondon… Visit The Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets are quite a big trend in Europe and I only just realized that two weeks ago. London is looking very festive now that the holidays are literally right around the corner (read next week) and amongst all the Christmas markets popping up all over the place, one in particular is quintessential to London and that is The Winter Wonderland Christmas fair.

The markets have one common factor – they all have vendors selling nice little holiday trinkets that you can’t find at a normal store and a lot of homemade decor, accessories. The food at these markets my goodness! So much variety and so much yummy goodness from all over the world, all under one roof.

Okay I’m going to stop reminiscing now and give you a recap of three out of very many Christmas markets in London that you should visit.

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Travel Essentials | Roadtrips

In preparation for my upcoming roadtrip to Edinburgh, I want to touch on a topic that will be helpful for any budding travel lovers out there or anyone planning a trip soon – Travel Essentials. There are different sets of travel essentials for different types of travel, so I’ll cover each in consecutive posts to come. For now we shall start with roadtrip travel essentials.

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My Travel Bucketlist

So I just realized for someone who writes so much about travel, I’ve never really shared my travel bucketlist on this blog! I have it written down on my journal and came across it today; five years later… Decided it would be great to share my ambitious goal of visiting an insane number of countries (read every single continent) with you all. Who knows, some of you may want to join me on my #traveltheworldmission.

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#WhenInLondon… Visit the Imperial War Museum

London is a very historic city and with history comes museums filled with culture, tradition and art. Museums are some of my favourite places to visit. I relish at the thought of learning about the different historical periods of the host towns and the various cultures accompanying them. The Imperial War Museum is a tad different from the usual culture/art museums as it is one dedicated to encouraging the study and understanding of the history of modern war.

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Kigali Living

I recently took a trip to next door Rwanda to be there for my friend’s birthday and also to get out of the hustle and bustle of Nairobi for a few days. Time out is my new middle name these days it seems, lol. I’m always looking for a getaway here and there and it’s actually not such a bad obsession as it really helped me clear my head and get me ready for the next chapter of my life i.e. returning to school for a Masters.

Enough digressing though. My wanderlust addiction took me to one of the most peaceful and most serene countries in East Africa; Rwanda. I was in the capital- Kigali where my good friend @DreamSmurf from college hosted me at her family’s home. When they said Kigali is the land of a thousand hills, they never lied. Hills on hills on hills! A photographer’s dream with all the scenic backdrops against the magic that is the East African sun as you can see in the very first picture I took below. We were driving into town and I managed to catch that shot really quickly using my phone. Yay to the awesomeness of the iPhone 6 camera. I was here for about 5 days and in such a short time I learnt quite a lot about this small but resilient city.

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The Food: My foodie self had to make sure to eat everything I could get my hands on and in Kigali – Starch is life. Starchy foods are basically their staple food. A lot of bread, rice, potatoes, plantains… Needless to say, I went on a week long detox after I got back home because I have never eaten so much starch in all 3 meals of the day EVERYDAY. Not complaining though, who doesn’t love a baguette, home fries and fried plantains all at once right?
Kigali doesn’t have as diverse a food culture as Nairobi i.e. they don’t have as many fast food restaurants as we do back home. Aside from A casual pizza place downtown and A casual place for fries and chicken… there’s not much else. Most restaurants are within hotels so it’s either always fine dining or just eat home cooked food. The upside of this is it forces one to eat organic food at all times which is always a good thing, downside.. when that fastfood craving hits… You can’t really have your pick at what to eat.

The People: So beautiful! Rwandese people were specially made I tell you. Both men and women are stunning and it’s that natural beauty that strikes you at first glance. And I don’t know if it was just the people I got to meet but Rwandese people seem to be a very chill, very relaxed crowd. No need to rush anything, no sense of urgency and very laid back attitude all over the place. Makes one feel bad for even trying to stress or worry haha. The language barrier could be a problem for those visiting as most of the locals only speak French and/or their native language i.e. Kinyarwanda. Coming from Kenya I could note some similarities between the Rwandese language and Swahili as some words are quite similar. My friend’s dad speaks fluent Swahili so at least I could communicate with him quite well, her mum says she still finds English a challenge but we could still communicate so you’re not too badly off Mrs Kanimba! My friend and her siblings all went to school abroad and thus speak perfect English and French and Kinyarwanda. So cool to be trilingual like that.
The people of Rwanda have really come a long way from the genocide era. I visited the genocide memorial while there… The saddest thing. So many years later and the emotions it still evokes is powerful. I could not believe how low humanity had sunk at the time. I applaud all the souls that fought to protect their own and lost their lives doing so and I also applaud all those who confessed their wrongs eventually and sought forgiveness from their fellow brothers and sisters as peace was being restored back in the country. If ever you are in Kigali, please make a point of visiting the memorial, it will inspire you in so many ways.

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The Weather: Amazing! I love the sun and the sun loves me. That is all haha.

Kigali as compared to Nairobi barely has any traffic Thank God! Anyone who knows me knows how the Nairobi traffic drives me crazy every single day and I think that is the one reason I could easily move elsewhere. The peace and quiet was a welcome change to the chaos and noise that surrounds me in Nairobi (I live on a highway so – constant noise argh!). My friend’s sister is recently engaged and one of the SEVEN ceremonies that happen before, during and after the wedding happened while I was there. I cannot remember what it was called but it’s an occasion when the parents of the bride to be go to meet the parents of the groom to be for the very first time. I remember Beline (Bride to be) was so very anxious because her parents are very chill and easy going as opposed to her fiance’s parents who are quite the opposite haha. The meeting went well though, both parents can tolerate each other and now we have a wedding to plan! The next time I shall be in Kigali will be for her wedding so watch this space for the pomp, colour and celebration that is a Rwandan wedding.
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Major thanks to the Kanimba family for hosting me, I loved every single moment there and Rwanda is definitely a country I would love to visit once more.