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A decade ago at about this time of that year, I packed up and off to the rainbow nation, South Africa. I knew little or nothing about travel or the country, all I knew was how hospitable they can be and how I was left with R600.

Leaving my country, Nigeria at the time was the best thing that happened to me as I was going through a lot after the death of my mum. My job at the time was about to permanent me as a staff. Making a life decision either to live for pension or hustle my way through life was my biggest question at the time.

It paid off leaving the country, an experience money can’t buy.

Most of us believe we have to know people in a particular destination before we either visit or pack and go, shame! You are either poor or you lack adventure if your excuse is not security related.

Many Africans however, have associated the unrest in their various communities to other parts of the world not to mention the wrong information broadcast across social media.

How then, can you travel to destinations you know no one?

Search out your destination

You may never go wrong with google, or the effort to search out the destinations you heard about or want to explore.

One thing I always do is check things up on google, even as little as spelling errors. When it comes to destinations, I explore google and correlate the text to the images on YouTube. This way I’m able to match the information almost correctly.

What do you search for?

For me, I will look at the landscapes, weather, people, political systems, history of the country, the passport strength, food, security, tourist sights, and beaches if there are, not to mention the practice of the people.

Find Reviews

The beauty of traveling is documenting, Americans as well as Australians seem really good at this practice. I have learnt to do the same and much more for African descents. African American experiences are not usually the same experiences as with African descents.

The moment the accent kicks in, boom the passport privilege sets in for African Americans distinguishing them from other blacks.

So, it is often not possible that someone somewhere hasn’t been there to tell their story of the place. Find and search further for reviews of the listed things in our first points, ‘Search’, to help you make a quality decision of a destination.

Visa and Immigrations

Now, this is tricky. First you want to check if your country is allowed in on visa-free or visa-on-arrival or you are required to apply for a visa. It is not enough to conclude just yet, the country might also allow eTA , an electronic application where it takes away the stress of visiting the embassy near you for rigorous visa pursuit,

Take note also of immigration rules of the country. Most countries are not lenient with visitors showing defiance to their immigration rules especially regarding Over-Stay. Countries like Thailand and some South East Asia countries are not known to joke about this.

A country like the United Arab Emirates can jail you for 3 years if drug substances ingested are found in your blood streams. The use of drugs and alcohol is prohibited, and licenses required for alcohol in the UAE. You should check your prescription meds/drugs before taking it in to some countries like the UAE, otherwise may attract a penalty.

Make your bookings

After all is well and done, you may practically make bookings in either hotels, hostels, Airbnb or live with the natives. Maldives is an example of that, where you pay cheaper to stay among the locals.

There might be more to say from booking experts but for me, find what works for you and be ready to make plans to move hotels in case of unforeseen vibes that may displease you.

Enjoy the experience

This is the part where you start documenting through photos, videos and live videos on social networks to inform and educate people about where you are, events in the place at a particular time of the year, and weather.

If you are an African Descent reading this, let’s promote an experience of how African descent are perceived and received in destinations to help inform the continent.