I have been asked, “why do you travel”? Such a simple question but for me tricky to answer. Why I said it’s tricky to answer is because to give the right answer, you must be able to discern why the question was asked. I am saying this because I have been asked that question many times directly or indirectly and over time I realized that the standard answer to this question does not suffice for everyone.
So Ovyay, why do you travel?
This may be asked because I am in my fifties and for some Nigerian folks, at my age, I should busy myself with more “serious matters” of life not going “up and down”, taking pictures etc. Yes, it’s true, I hardly meet people my age whenever I travel especially with Tour groups and that can make you feel odd if you don’t handle it well. But I enjoy traveling with these tour groups and also benefit from the energy and explorative abilities of my fellow young co-travelers. I love their sense of adventure and dynamism. I try not to get in their way or spoil the fun. In fact, join the fun when I can. So you see, I travel because of its fun.
At the top of Idanre hills
A skeptic may say what is fun in traveling? It’s a waste of time he or she may reason. You mean at your age, you leave the comfort of your house, loved ones even your bed, to go sleep on the floor somewhere at times in places that have no light or network services. Yes, I enjoy that as well. The journey can be nightmarish at times but when you are through, the adventure and the adrenaline pump is worth it.
Boat ride to Ilase Beach, Lagos
Our sleeping tents at Ilase beach courtesy of Irianjo
You are saying traveling through maybe dangerous routes, going to lonely places, climbing mountains or getting into dark caves etc is fun? “Yes, it’s fun for me”. The same way people like skydiving, bungee jumping, car racing, Power bike riding etc. That’s their fun. My wife loves Formula one cars. She loves the speed and has told me when next she goes overseas, she is going to drive one of those Formula one cars. That’s not my thing. Different folks, different strokes.
Have you ever seen people climbing mountains? It’s not an easy exercise. They may get injured, some even fall off and die or become paralyzed. And after all said and done, when they get to the top of the mountain, they hoist their flags, take pictures and come down. Looks meaningless and unnecessarily risky to some people because all they see is the suffering that comes with the climb. They can’t comprehend the conquering joy of getting to the top of the mountain and the adrenaline pump that the victory gives. Look, the sense of accomplishment that comes with such a successful climb completely nullifies all the risks and the pains associated with the climbing.
Enjoying the view at the top after hiking Olumo Rock at Abeokuta
What if something happens to you on any these trips?
I have had nightmarish journeys but God helps so no harm befalls me. One thing I do on every journey, I pray. I also take safety precautions and avoid unnecessary risks by using good judgment.
Read my travel nightmare story by following the link below
Life itself is a risky adventure if you understand me. People in their houses have been struck by stray bullets, houses have collapsed in unexplainable circumstances etc. Whenever I travel with a tour group, I go with groups like Irinajo_ng that I have known to be responsible.
What is the financial benefit of all this traveling?
The benefits are enormous but I don’t rate everything I do from only financial gain. Yes, I have sold the frames of a few of my Travel Photos but that is not my motivation. I know that there are people who make good passive income from Travel Photography and that’s good but it’s not my why. I enjoy traveling to exotic places, meeting new people, enjoying their cultures and way of life, tasting different foods etc.
See my post on “what you should not miss when you travel” by following the link below
By traveling, I am gathering exposure and experiences. Money is not meant to be spent on material things alone. Spend your money to gain experiences of life. Every traveler is a storyteller. You can’t have a dull moment with a traveler. When I am old, my grandkids will be thrilled with plenty of my wakawaka stories.
Another reason why I travel is to be a blessing to the less privileged. I head an NGO called Angel Hands. We do outreaches where we basically give to the poor. My Principal partners from outside Nigeria sponsor these projects. When I see the smiles on the faces of those we go and minister to, no amount of money is equivalent to the joy that gives. That’s my gain. Bringing joy and smiles to another’s face.
Angel Hands outreach at Makoko, Lagos.
So if money is not coming from it, how do you finance it.
Big question but very easy to handle. With the support of my wife, I save for it. Just like everyone saves to buy something or achieve a goal. I save. After making sure I have taken care of my obligations, savings is my number one source of funding. Maybe someday I will be privileged to do a collab with National Geographic or some Corporate body out there. But till then, I go out on my own relying on self-funding.
At other times, my children at our Church sponsor me. They know I love to travel. At times they ask me, “Daddy where are you going next time”? I tell them and on their own, they fund it without any pressure from me. At other times, I get invited by Tour groups and I don’t pay. It’s just an honor I am given. And like I said above, my foreign Principals sponsor our Outreaches to the less privileged so that helps me to travel at no cost.
Finally, whenever I am privileged to Preach outside Port Harcourt, once I am done with my Priestly duties, I pick my Camera and go adventuring. For examples, I went to conduct a wedding in Bauchi and I used that opportunity to explore Bauchi and Jos Town before returning back to Port Harcourt.
Tell me more about why you travel.
I travel because I am an outdoors person. I like to walk in the woods and enjoy nature. I enjoy chasing waterfalls and mountaintop views of a city or place. I like hiking. Hearing the sounds of nature for me is a good music. I mean hearing crickets, birds singing, wood snapping, animals one calling to another just name it. It’s enjoyable to me.
I like beaches and hearing the ocean roar etc.
Traveling helps me unwind and takes tension off me. Once I can’t concentrate on my work, I know it’s time to travel. I just need to get away from my daily routine for a few days and I am as good as new.
Besides the long walking, climbing, jumping etc also gives me health benefits. I feel fitter and healthier whenever I return from some places. Like hiking Idanre hills which is about 660 steps up or more. Afizere settlement in Plateau State is 100 steps up and you are rewarded with an awesome view of Jos Town. Waterfall chasing at Olumirin waterfalls which has about six layers will make you put every muscle in you to task.
At Olumirin-Erin Ijesa waterfalls.
Enjoyed Gubi Lake- Bauchi
The hot springs pool at Ikogosi is very good for the skin, curing rashes etc. It’s a heavenly place if you go with your spouse especially swimming in that pool at night with the woods around you and hearing the crickets, frogs etc doing their thing. It’s safe, have no fear. The natural spring Wikki Warm Springs at Yankari in Bauchi is another good one.
“Look whilst making a living, try and make a life too. When you work try and enjoy your life too“-Original quote by Pico Iyer re-written by me
Travelling has made me have new friends outside my usual Church circle. We share ideas and learn from each other.
Hanging out with my new friend – Shegun after our Makoko outreach.
Travelling allows me to enjoy my hobby which of course is Photography especially taking landscape photos.
Landscape photo whilst hiking Kajuru Mountains.
I don’t do much Photography in Port Harcourt because some people still don’t get it. I mean they wonder……..“what is that man doing with a Camera when he is supposed to be a Pastor”. I Hope you understand me.
Traveling helps me to enjoy other people’s culture, dance, way of life etc.
Traditional dance, Cotonou.
Sato drummers by the Egun people of Badagry.
So that is why I travel. The invisible benefits are more rewarding to me than any other thing.
Having answered your questions, it’s my turn to interview you the reader. From the businessman/woman to the homeschooler, to the student. Why do you do what you do?
Do you do it because of your passion and the profit? Do you do what you do for profit alone or passion alone? We are all different. Why do you do what you do?
Let me have your comments in the comments section below.
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Till next around.