Is Ghana Safe For Tourists?

Is Ghana Safe For Travelers? || a tipsy gypsy life #travel #Ghana #Africa…was something I tried to Google before deciding if I was going to make the trip or not. I didn’t know “diddly-squat,” as they say down south, about the country. In fact, I really wasn’t even certain if it was in West Africa or southern Africa elsewhere. There wasn’t much information on the matter and I truly feel it is my obligation to let everyone know the answer to such a pressing question.

Is Ghana safe for tourists?

Yes. Si. Oui. Ja. Can’t think of any other languages so I’ll give a hell yes!

Seriously. You can walk around at 2 a.m. with no streetlights, and not be scared. If you look even remotely distraught, someone will happily figure out how to cure your sadness. Lost? No such thing! Everyone helps each other out.

Ghana has been the only place that I’ve visited and I didn’t feel the need to take a photo of each cab that I hopped into. Any time someone asked for my number, I knew that they wouldn’t harass me. Men don’t whistle at you or try to grab your tush as you walk by.

If you’re uncomfortable with how fast the taxi or tro tro is going just speak up. The nicest aspect was not being made to feel silly when I admitted I was a little scared of going to Ghana all alone.

The Worst Thing That Happened to Me In Ghana Was 100% Preventable…

When I arrived at the airport and tried to go through immigration, the officer realized the address I was given was not a real address. No worries! I have a phone number for the host.

*Le Ring- BEEP BEEP BEEP. WE’RE SORRY, BUT THE PERSON YOU’RE TRYNG-*

I shuffle my papers around with the copy of my yellow fever card (which I did end up having to bribe my way in), address and contact info of my host, and New Lens Travel info, and try to act like I don’t notice how concerned the guard is getting. “One moment, miss.”

*Le Ring- BEEP BEEP BEEP. WE’RE SORRY, BUT THE PERSON YOU’RE TRYNG-*

They knew it was my first time in Ghana and that I was meeting with someone I had met online (yes, really). No worries, I thought, my girl is probably waiting for me outside. 

I let them know that I had someone waiting for me, probably worried since I had gotten held up at the vaccination area for 15 minutes and then another 10 at the immigration place. They happily supplied someone to walk me outside to help me check out where people gather to pick up their visitors. My girl, we shall call her J-Baby, was no where to be found. WEIRD. “She’s got to be here!” I swear.

They shoot each other worried glances.

Don’t forget, I had been traveling for about 30 hours without a shower or so much as a nap. Running into J-Baby’s arms and being whisked to a shower was all I had been fantasizing about for days. But she wasn’t there!

*Shivers nervously as the last passengers in the last flight in for the night waltz past me and lights start turning off*

SHE HAS GOT TO BE HERE! I start twitching. Stinky, sad, and downright HUNGRY, I prayed she would arrive.

20 minutes pass by. Now my concerned immigration crew has grown from one grown-ass man to four grown-ass men and one woman. We continue to search the building while the officers try to look her up on Facebook to contact her.

SHIIIIIT. What if everyone has been right my whole life? What if leaping before I look will ultimately lead to my demise?! What if this was a plot to get me kidnapped at ransomed?!

By now, I’m starting to cry, and whimper, and drop the “f-bomb” enough to make all my angels shake their heads in heaven. Please, I beg. please just let me see her little beautiful face.

Over two hours later, I friggin hate myself for making these wonderful people stay late. I beg to just let me go to a hotel, but they were genuinely concerned for my safety. That amazed me. One last time, I say, we shall check outside.

And of course, there she was, a little frantic because I was surrounded by guards.

What was the issue? She had gotten my flight time wrong. If I had been anywhere else, I would’ve been rejected OR had to deal with sleeping at the airport.


Overall, my biggest advice is to simply trust your gut and listen to the locals. I’ll write soon about my friend getting robbed in Cape Coast and how that was also 100% preventable. 

Remember people, fear is the thief of dreams!

Why Getting a Dog in College Was a Smart Decision

Want to get a puppy in college? Read why 5 years later I still think it was a great decision to get a dog. || a tipsy gypsy life #advice

Who doesn’t love dogs? Growing up, I begged and begged for a dog of my own. Sure, we had dogs, but we never went looking for them. We found one* running around my family’s business. We loved each other, but I could tell he loved my dad just as much. I wanted my own dog. Not a puppy. A big, slobbery, furry dog was all I wanted. So best believe when I signed my first lease, the first thing I did was adopt a puppy. People who didn’t know me thought it was a terrible idea. People who knew me weren’t surprised at all.

It was hard. He was the biggest rascal puppy I have met to date. He wanted to be around me and my roommate all the time. He’d knock over my wine if I wasn’t playing with him. When I’d bake, he’d sneak onto the stovetop and steal 1 cookie at a time so I wouldn’t notice. One night, after about six months, I went to New Orleans and asked my roommates to keep eye. That MF chewed up my brand new pair of royal blue Jessica Simpson pumps! And yeah, Jessica Simpson pumps were out of budget when I was 19! Part of me believes it’s karma for being a hellion in my youth, but I would not want him any other way.

But… Five years later… He has been there for me. Can’t say I was the best mum. He held his bladder when I was too drunk to take him out. When I was a senior, someone tried to break into my house. Banging and trying to kick it down. Smokey lost his mind and scared them off. He will literally come sprinting from anywhere in the house if I start crying, hop in my lap, and lick until I laugh. He gives me licks after I feed him as a “thank you.” He shivers with joy when I return from a trip. He’s my (really terrible) running partner. He’s my best bud.

*Side Confession- this poor thing (Nesta Mojo) was about 15 lbs underweight, missing skin, and had a serious rope burn around his neck. Apparently when my mom took him to the vet, he had a chip in him, which means he had a home. We kept him. Not sorry at all!* 

It made me develop a backbone.

Imagine this- you are all alone in the world. You are taken from your mom and dad and siblings. You can’t see or smell for a few weeks. And you have to potty outside… Having a living thing depend on you can get intense! But you’re going to have to develop that backbone sooner or later and man, did mine come in STRONG.

They teach you responsibility.

When all my other friends were staying out till 3 or not coming home at all, I had to be a big girl. No matter how tired, happy, or crunk I was, I had to go home.every.single.night. And if you know me at all, this was NOT easy. Not only do they need to go potty, they notice when you’re gone. Don’t be a dick.

You learn how to budget.

Puppies ain’t cheap. We’re talking hundreds of dollars worth of shots in the first few months. Two shots per year until they are 3 or so, then, yearly shots about 100-300 for the rest of their lives. You also have to pay for dog food.

They force you to create a schedule.

If you’re new around here, you might not understand how naturally free-spirited I am. If there are any ENFPs out there, you feel me on this. When they are young, you have to make sure to get them either outside or on the puppy-pad every 3-6 hours.

Keep in mind… 

If you’re thinking about getting a puppy, pay attention to where you plan on living. Many dogs, referred to as “attack breeds” are not allowed on many apartment complexes. Pitbulls, German Shepherds, and Dobermans are almost never allowed. Out in San Diego, I even had issues with Smokey being part bloodhound.

Yes, you can get them registered as your “emotional support animal.” However, in many places, your dog has to pass the Good Canine Citizen Test.  It’s not that easy! 

If you want a puppy, you should NOT get one. If you want a dog, you should. They will live (HOPEFULLY!) 8-16 years. That is a serious commitment. I got Smokey at 19. I will hopefully (but realistically) have him until I am 30. YOU ARE NOT THE SAME PERSON AT 19 AS YOU ARE AT 30. Don’t get a puppy because you want a fluffy toy. Don’t get a puppy because your ex dumped you. Don’t get a puppy because you’re lonely. And please for the love of God, DON’T DO IT FOR THE GRAM

 

Did you have a pet in college? Would you change it if you could?