10 Reasons To Visit Nigeria In Your Lifetime

10 Reasons To Visit Nigeria In Your Lifetime

Nigeria is one of the most underrated places on this planet - yes it's true. It's has the largest population in Africa and many various ways of life. This list contains just few reasons why you should go to Nigeria before you die.

1. Food

This is definitely one of the best things because there are local foods from nearly all the 500+ ethnic groups and everyone prides themselves on being able to cook one thing or the other. Also, Nigerian spices are amazing and second to none.

2. Hospitality

Nigerians are very friendly people. It's weird. We go through a lot being citizens of a developing country, but are still able to care for people outside ourselves and our families.

3. Fashion

Go outside on any given street on any given day and you'll see styles you've never seen before. Seriously. Nigerians are highly creative and it seems I see new outfit styles everyday. Also, the price to get these custom clothes and accessories as a tourist is affordable.

4. Photo opportunities

This list shows cities like Port Harcourt, Uyo, Calabar, and Abuja and their great sights.

5. Weather

One of the best things about Nigeria. I say there are basically two seasons - rainy and hot. No snow, hardly any hail or floods, and most importantly, rarely any natural disasters. Our weather is one of the priceless gifts from God.

6. Accents

Nigerian accents are on another level! There's this myth that there is a "Nigerian accent" but there really isn't. Any accent you hear is caused by either the person's tribe or where they grew up. Be sure to expect different accents from the different tribes and that's exciting.

7. Humor

This is the secret to why Nigerians don't look old. Yes, we sometimes think we're the funniest people on the face on this earth but we know laughter lightens so many burdens. Visit Nigeria because there's always humor to be found in every situation.

8. Markets

These are the main source of obtaining anything. You can get your hair done, nails done, food shopping done, and even get new clothes. Nigerian markets are one of the things I love most about Nigeria because bargaining is possible and saving money whenever it's possible is a major key.

9. Music

Nigerian music is pretty cool too. Its beats are fitting for parties or just general hype music to keep the lively spirit of the nation flowing.

10. Occasions

Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, carnivals, and even burials (of very aged people, of course) can be a lot of fun. Nigerians are so good at planning and executing parties. Such a celebration style is probably why Nigerians are generally happy and optimistic humans.

Cover Image Credit: Vay's Photography

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Step Outside Your Comfort Zone And Try New Things When Abroad

A large part of studying abroad is the choices you make on the trip, even if they seem unfamiliar.

I'm really not the person to talk about trying new things and definitely not someone who should tell you to do it. I hate trying out anything beyond my ordinary from food to regular activities. But the most important thing you need to do when studying abroad is trying new things. You're going to have the chance to be apart of things you've never heard of before. As long as it isn't too far past your comfort zone, you need to take risks when you visit different areas. This past summer I was magically able to push my fear of the unknown behind me and do all kinds of different things and it was the best decision I've ever made. These are the areas you should take risks in and also where you should place boundaries to help amp up your travel experiences.

The first thing we need to talk about is the food. If you are going to a country to learn a language or never plan on picking up some new words, picking items on the menu can be terrifying. You don't really know what your meal will be and often waiters will just pick out what they want to share with you. I only had one English menu the whole month I was gone and no experience reading Arabic or French. It was either french fries or big surprise till I got the hang of the language. Letting people surprise me with food (assuming it wouldn't bug my food allergy) made this trip absolutely amazing. Whether it was vendors giving my strange fruit or a meal where the sides are cooked in the same pot as the main dish, not a day goes by that I don't miss tajine or couscous because of biting into new experiences.

When it comes to food, I say I do eat what people in that region recommend, it is probably amazing. If you don't like it, at least you were able to partake in a part of a different traditional life. Also, consider the region you're in when ordering. Shrimp Alfredo will be amazing on the coast where the shrimp was caught that day. But if you eat it in the desert you might get sick.

The next key area of trying new things when studying abroad is the individual adventures and activities you'll be offered. Cooking classes and mountain hikes are easy to say yes to. Communal bathhouses or spending the night in the desert? A little bit scarier. You have to find out how far past your comfort zone you can go without ruining experiences for yourself. Instead of saying no to something you normally wouldn't do, set boundaries for when you want to take a break or even stop the activity. Communal bathhouses can be very fun and relaxing, but you can make it more familiar by wearing a swimsuit or washing yourself.

Often the people who are guiding you through these experiences have alternate ways of doing them. You don't have to say no to something like surfing, say you need help and most likely someone will take the time to ensure you have fun. My lack of swimming skills pushed me away from the idea of surfing, but the instructors spent 30 minutes showing me how to swim out of waves and it turned into a trip highlight. Basically, you don't have to miss out on something you really want to do. And if you absolutely do not want to try something new, that is totally okay.

Now the most important thing to do when preparing for all these new things is research where you are traveling to. Going to certain places might not be the right experience for you. If you don't like so many new things, traveling to a country that is the total opposite of where you live probably isn't a good idea. Before you apply for a program make sure you are going to feel comfortable during the time you're there. I wanted to feel like I was in a different place and have every moment different from my home life, so I chose a program in the Middle East and North African region.

If you are wanting your experience to match up to what you're familer with but still have a great experience, then look for programs that have points of familiarity so you don't constantly feel like you're doing something new. Studying abroad can be the most incredible experience is you're able to do it. You're going to have to try new things and take risks, get a good idea of those before you leave.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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6 Common Misconceptions People Have About Africa

For the record, English is taught in schools, and it is the official language in most African countries.

First of all, I have to say if you have never been to Africa, you are missing out.

There is a reason why most people believe it is the birthplace of humanity. Everything is distinct from the people to the culture, to the food even the sun seems to shine differently there. Funny thing is a lot of these amazing things are not being shown out there so people develop this preconceived ideas. Here are 10 misconceptions people have about Africa.

1. Africa is a country

Africa is a continent made up of 54 countries and a good number of us from the motherland have not been to all so telling someone from say Nigeria that you just came back from Africa is just so generic, frankly, you did not land on the entire continent

2. We do not speak/understand the English Language

This one deserves a mention because almost every Africa in the diaspora can relate to this. People think it is alright to compliment us on how good our English is, for the record, it is not it's just rude. English is taught in schools and it is the official language in most African countries.

3. There are no actual infrastructures and modern technologies

someone once asked me if we had roads in my home country (Nigeria), Becky if you are reading this we actually do and so does the 53 other countries in the continent, just google it.

4. Africa needs saving

The media has showcased Africa as a continent in need of a savior. No, we are not all starving, we live in regular houses. Africa does not have a monopoly on poverty just like no continent is rich all around.There is a whole different side of Africa you never get to see and should.

5. Africa is just a hot desert

This is another common misconception, Africa might be home to the Sahara desert but there are other parts of the continent that are home to vegetations. The fact is two third of the continent is covered with vegetation

6. Wild animals just roam the streets

Africa might be home to some of the world's famous animals but you will never see them on the streets. They are kept in zoos or wildlife reserves. So, no, You won't pass a giraffe on the way to the mall.

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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