I mentioned a couple posts ago that we are planning a trip for the end of this year. I am highly anticipating the trip as a whole, but I’m ants-in-my-pants thrilled about 6 of the locations in particular.
The Taylor TRIP 2018/2019 is two-pronged.
The first port of call and one of the big 6 is my childhood home: Kenya
image via The African Agora
I am taking my time, taking care in the shaping of the Kenyan leg of our travel. I need to walk the delicate line of providing a wonderful, yet still authentic experience for both myself and the family.
We are not staying long. For several reasons.
- My emotional wellbeing
Kenya is a beautiful, wild, vibrant land that has seen me through beautiful as well as heart-wrenching times. Over the years when toying with the idea of going back, I wondered if it was better to leave 15 year’s worth of memories of Kenya in that special compartment of my head and heart and not mess with them. I am not sure how I will feel going back, what emotions will be triggered. Part of me has longed for this for many years while part of me has dreaded the moment that it becomes a reality.
One of us always seems to succumb to a prolonged illness when we are overseas and there are plenty of exotic illnesses available in Kenya. I know, I have had my share. We will be taking any risks with mosquitoes or unwashed fruit and vegetables etc.
Also the past 18 months have a steep learning curve in living in the presence of mental illness, where stress can bring on a downward spiral. So for that reason, this will not be a deep, organic, sweaty delve into Kenya for that reason, and that is ok. We will skim the surface like beautiful swans and be the better for having done so.
Travel and accommodation in Kenya is expensive as a tourist, compared to when I was a Kenyan resident, compared to travel in the US. Our budget is limited so we are going to cram in as much as possible in a few days, doing it the cheapest way safely.
We are going to be seeing some of the places that were significant to me as a child/teenager.
We will have a taxi drive us through my childhood home on 2nd avenue in Eastleigh, known as little Mogadishu.
Image by: kingacirfa
I am disappointed that a visit to one of my favourite homes in Wajir, up North near the Somali border is entirely out of the question as it is on the travel warning list.
Image by DUSKO MARTINOVIC
Image by John Letai
I am keen for a visit to Nairobi City Park with the monkeys swinging through its trees. I enjoyed many picnics there with family.
If the paddle boats at Uhuru park are still going, we will have go and maybe I will find the bangle I lost in its waters about 35 years ago.
Image by Living in Nairobi
We will drop in on my 3 schools, Rosslyn Academy, Cavina School and the Rift Valley Academy. Will visit the Kazuri Bead factory and see the Murala Studios where thousands of discarded flip flops are turned into pieces of art.
We are doing a budget 3-day safari to the Mara. It took me days and days of research to find something that was actually affordable and I am still seeking a cheaper option. The aim is for us to be able to see the Big 5: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo! Why the big 5? They used to be the hardest to hunt on foot and they can be some of the most difficult to spot on safari.
Image from somak.com
We will travel on the speed train to Mombasa and spend a couple of days there. We will see the Swahili, Arabic and Portuguese influences on a walk through Mombasa’s Old town.
image by Rachael
image by Rachael
– there will be at least one compulsory meal of injera bu wat; I am already salivating.
image by Julie Halpert
– a roasted meat fest at Carnivore, which is Nairobi’s answer to a Brazilian Churrascaria
Image from Wiztours
-authentic Somali food. So looking forward to eating a Somali meal
-street food! Mandazis, chapattis, nyama choma, roasted maize, cassava chips cooked right in front of your eyes, samosas., chips bhajia (sliced potato coated in a spiced Indian batter and deep fried)
image by Transit Hotels
image by Salt and Saffron
image by Swahili Village
So that is the bare bones of our Kenya itinerary. I am going to need so much advice and prompting from locals so if you have visited or lived there recently, please tell me about anything new that is a must see; the safest means of transport there at the moment; any tips are going to be helpful.
And then we are heading to……
🙂 (tune in next time)