Hola! So it’s Wednesday and as you know, It’s Wanderlust Wednesday in my yard!
Where we feature amazing travel stories and interviews from Urban Nomads on a quest for adventure and going where their wanderlust takes them.
Today’s Urban Nomad feature is by Miss Maya Mshelia; lawyer, marketing executive, explorer and adventurer.
She shares some exciting stories from her trips around the world, her favorite and worst travel experiences and a whole lot more.
Without further ado (and less spoiler alerts) enjoy this fun interview with her below.
What’s your favorite way of documenting you travel?
I absolutely love making videos because they capture the essence of every moment; every smile, laughter, awkward moments. However, I find taking pictures a close second as it’s faster and easier 😉
What’s that one city you can visit over again and never get bored?
That’s easy! New York City…The city that never sleeps! I mean I was at Times Square until 12a.m on one of my visits and didn’t realise it!!! considering my nocturnal nature, the NYC spoke to me *Love struck* The city offers so much to explore and I hope to visit again to experience a few more areas I couldn’t reach on my first visit.
What’s your unconventional bucket list wish?
• Jet Skiing
• Fly in a Hot Balloon (I’d probably be too scared to enjoy it, but yeah!! )
• Learn to speak French fluently (I have put this off for tooooooooo long)
• Learn to play a piano like a pro!
• Get Paid to Travel (eventually…)
What’s your worst travel experience?
Err… I would say I have been lucky so far, I haven’t had any of those lost luggage, cancelled or delayed flight experiences and I really hope I don’t *fingers crossed*. Every other little hiccup has been part of the adventure for me.
What’s your most memorable travel experience and what you did?
I would say… my trip to Rwanda!!My friends and I planned this trip without expecting much other than time away to unwind and disconnect and the questions, raised eyebrows from everyone who heard what the destination was didn’t help much.
We however decided to go with an open mind and I must say we were pleasantly surprised. From the beautiful weather to the unbelievably clean streets of Kigali to the Scenic views of Gisenyi I would say it was a great adventure.
We hiked the streets of Kigali enjoying the views the land of a thousand hills offered, visited the Kigali Mall which surprised us with a somewhat vast collection of beautiful stores that tempted us to go on a shopping spree! We ended the day with a lovely night out at the Radisson Blue Rooftop Salsa Night; sipping on wine, enjoying the views and learning to dance salsa with complete strangers.
A visit to Kigali would be incomplete without a stop at the Kigali Memorial; this visit was quite an emotional one as we were shown a video of the survivors of the genocide who told some pretty sad stories of the genocide and also taken on a tour which showed some pretty graphic pictures of what happened during the genocide as sad as the stories were, it was great to see how much Rwanda has recovered over the years.
We also took a road trip to Gisenyi another town in Rwanda with breath-taking scenery, enjoyed a boat ride to a beautiful Island in Gisenyi and crashed an Island Party with the Locals who were fun and very welcoming!
On the last day of our trip we visited the Local Market to shop for souvenirs for family and friends and we definitely put our great bargaining skills to use here and left feeling proud that we had made our Mama’s proud!
All in all, the trip was full of pleasant surprises and was a great experience which left my friends and I full of smiles, laughter and fond memories to last us a lifetime!
If you were given a return ticket to anywhere in the world where would you go?
That’s a difficult question to answer because I have a few places in mind, Paris (Cliché I know!), Italy and all its wonders! or Bali …it looks like a haven for any explorer. The truth is I’m quite open to exploring any city as I believe there is always something great and unique to experience in every city; nature, architecture, the different cultures and of course the people.
What travel tips can you give new urban nomads?
Have an open mind because sometimes the most unexpected turns lead to the greatest treasures! Take a chance with the unusual places and enjoy every bit of your experience.
What travel quote best describes your wanderlust?
For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.’’ – Robert Louis Stevenson. Perfect explanation for my thirst I’d say.
What’s your take on tourism in Nigeria?
I must say I am excited with the promise of what the future holds for Nigerian tourism, while a lot of people are still skeptical about visiting unfamiliar territories there are an equal number of fearless nomads taking the bull by the horn and unraveling waterfalls, mountains, beaches and all the fun and beauty this country is blessed with.
I have no doubt that in a few years and with the right people in place pushing for better, we will break boundaries and open a world where Nigeria would be one of the top countries visited by explorers looking for to enjoy nature; waterfalls and mountain trails as well as rich historic sites.
Meet The Nomad
I’m a non practicing Lawyer who is currently exploring new grounds in the Hospitality industry as you can tell I absolutely love to travel and see all as much as I can of the world.