Have you ever wished to travel round the 36 states of the Federation? If you have, here are some of the important travel lessons to know before setting out.
Yes, I guess. You know I constantly ask myself how many states in the country I have visited/lived in at the different points in my life and it's quite exciting to know that the number is on the increase.
Anyway, visiting the 36 glorious and beautiful states of the federation does sound like so much fun, from visiting different cultural and heritage centres to visiting wildlife and some of the states' royal kingdom and places, trying out new foods and experiencing different cultures. It'll be such a beautiful experience to have.
So, here's the thing. While most of us (adventure lovers) might not be touring the country in a manner we would have loved to because of money challenge (obviously), being a part of a tour wouldn't be a bad idea.
Thanks to Pulse, we can now share in the adventures of a Nigerian traveller.
So, Fuad Lawal, one of the writers at Pulse is currently on a 72 day trip around the country with the aim of visiting every single state in Nigeria while he gets to visit some really cool locations in the states as well as try out some of the local dishes. And yeah, Fuad isn't stingy. He's been sharing his adventures with us, just so we're all a part of it. And trust me, it's been more than fun.
From Ondo to Benin to Warri and Asaba, here are some of the travel lessons we learnt from travelling the country with Fuad and his team.
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So, one very interesting thing about Fuad's trip is that, like every other average Nigerian, Fuad is travelling around the country with public/commercial transport. Shocking, right? But trust me, it's been interesting and here's an advice for us.
Travel Lesson 1: "Always tell the driver where you're going. Remind him as many times as you can. He can't beat you."
"When you get there, make sure you behave as if you are very familiar with the place so that those area boys (agberos) won't cheat you." I'm sure a good number of people are used to this sentence especially when coming to Lagos. But then, being a stranger sometimes gives you an upper hand as people (especially villagers) tend to treat them well.
Travel Lesson 2: "Be courteous. I swear it won't kill you. People respond to courteous strangers more, for the pretty obvious reasons."
Whether you're starting a new business/trade or you're travelling to a new location, getting adequate information about whatever it has never proven to be a bad choice.
Travel Lesson 3: "When visiting a place, make sure you get to find out if there are open days and close days. We visited the palace of the Awujale of Ijebu Land in Ijebu Ode, only to discover that it's not open to visitors on Sundays. And on some Saturdays. But we aren't giving up so easily. We'll be back in the morning."
Contrary to most people's opinion, Nigerians are actually nice people and not every Nigerian you meet out there is Evans (the popular kidnapper).
Travel Lesson 4: "Nigerians are kinder than you think. You just need to try to be optimistic."
"What is inside your boot? What is inside your bag? Where are you going to? Why are you passing this road?"
I'm sure you know where these kind of questions come from, right?
Yes, you're totally correct. The Nigerian police.
The worst mistake a traveller can make is arguing with a police officer. Well, you could do that if that's part of your travel plan or adventure.
Travel Lesson 5: "Never fight or argue with the police. They have all the time in the world. You don't."