It’s been quite a while since I checked in, school is wrapping up this week, for a couple weeks at least. I use the Timehop app to see how life has progressed and this week has been extra special. Two years ago, I flew to Nairobi, Kenya, Africa to visit a friend and help him settle into a new life, in a new country. It was a shifting point in my life, an absolutely eye-opening experience. This trip solidified my decision to pursue International Business as one of my majors.
One of the first things I learned in Nairobi was that there is absolutely no point in being in a hurry. People park three deep and drive 6 across on 3-lane roads. It’s faster to walk somewhere then to drive, unless you can take the highway the entire way, but patience ends up being the most important.
The second thing I learned was that simplicity is sometimes perfection. Kenyans don’t take their drinks very cold, unless it’s a Tusker, a favorite beer in Nairobi. Instead of dining out at the fanciest of places, I found that some of my favorite and most memorable meals cost less than $2 US, like the Chicken Sandwich and Krest (pictured) that I had from a local corner store/bakery, or the stew and Krest from the Baptist Church down the street.
That isn’t to say that the fancier restaurants were off the list for the week, there was an awesome place just down the road from where I was staying that had amazing food. I tried not to repeat myself too much, but the Samosas were to die for, so I had them as an appetizer a few times that week.
I didn’t go on any tour guided safaris. Instead I opted to have my driver for the week take me to Nairobi National Park with Josh and we took his little car that was barely meant to drive on flat terrain, and took it off-road through the park. The views were amazing, and we were able to drive so close to the animals, they were just as curious about us as we were amazed by them.
One of the biggest things I learned while on this trip was that nothing lasts forever. I learned this while flying home, and I learned this a few months later when the Westgate Mall was attacked by terrorists. I spent a lot of time at that mall, grocery shopping, dining, relaxing, and just roaming the stores, but a few months after my trip, the mall was no longer standing. Nothing lasts forever.
I remember this trip like it was yesterday, and yes two years isn’t that long ago, so remembering such a trip shouldn’t be surprising. But it changed my mindset. Until I went on this trip, my international travel included Toronto and Blind River, Ontario, Canada. After this trip, I had been in Europe (Zurich & Brussels) on layovers and Africa where everything was different, but surprisingly familiar.
I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to take this trip, and as I plan for my next big trip in 2016, I get the same rush of excitement as I imagine flying to Germany, trying to decide where I want to go in the country and what I want to do. My check-ins may not be weekly, but I hope that you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy sharing them. This summer will be so busy with amusement parks, store openings for work, and food (lots of food!) I am bound to have some stories that I can’t wait to share.