I like going to the station/port/bus park. I like going to the train station early to sit in it and watch the crowd of waiting people grow larger.
I used to say that my favourite part of air travel was sitting in airports.
“Being in the airport is the peak of the travelling experience” I would say because flying made me uncomfortable. I didn't like how ‘ungrounded’ it felt. I am growing to like flying, I just don’t do it with enough frequency to get over the bit that makes me uncomfortable.
Even as a child, I loved travelling. I loved road trips with my mum and sisters. I liked waking up early and getting ready in the silence of Lagos at 4:30 am. I started sitting shotgun very early in life for one simple reason, I did not sleep. My sisters fell asleep the moment we got into the car. My mum fell asleep some hours into it. But most times, it would be me and my dad staring ahead all the way. I don’t know what entertained me about driving by countless trees but I liked it. I would stay awake for the 16 hours it took us to drive to Port Harcourt. By 10 years old, I sat shotgun on every road trip, and my mum and sisters slept at the back.
Sometimes, my father drove us but other times we took public transport(usually when we went to visit my dad). We would get to the park by 6:00 am. Eagle line sometimes, Delta line when my father lived in Warri, one time it was ‘God is Good’ motors. I liked getting to the park and watching the drivers try to somehow fit 3 bags of rice into their boots. They somehow always managed it.
I like travelling.
I like waking up early for an early trip. No matter how late I slept the night before, I have never overslept for a trip. The excitement keeps me awake most nights.
I once got to the airport one and half hours before a 7 am flight only to find out I had messed up the time of the flight and it was actually for 6 am. I did not miss that flight because of how obsessed I am with getting to the airport early.
I like getting to the airport early enough to open my laptop and do some work. I am pretty productive when waiting for a flight — either that or I get absolutely no work done and talk to strangers.
I like travelling by myself.
I like travelling with friends
In the car, I like listening to music
On the plane, I am most likely to listen to podcasts or read a book on my kindle.
On the train, I like to watch movies.
I tend to avoid taking pictures when I travel to a new place. I prefer instead to look for ways to ensure I come away with a story to tell. I like to talk to people. And I like to, somehow, in the brief period I spend in places, search for a way to feel how the people that live there might feel.
But what I get from the places I travel to is another essay.
Today, I just wanted to tell you that I like travelling. Not just the place I am going to but the process of getting there. I love it all.