Chasing Waterfalls: Unreal Helicopter Ride Over Na Pali Coast, Hawaii (+Video!)

Flying high over the Na Pali Coast in Hawaii! +Videos || #travel #wanderlust #hawaii #napali #traveltips

Hawaii is more than coconuts and pineapples, surfers and hula girls. Although these are aspects are all pretty lovely,  and tasty, these luscious islands have so much more to show and preserve. The area has a longstanding tradition of living off of the land through fishing and hunting wild hogs. People respect mother nature and rejoice in her gifts nearly every day. The ocean is a perfect example, filled with little heads bobbing up and down, getting smaller and smaller out to the endless sea.

I had been to Hawaii in 2012 and absolutely fell in love. The speed limits were 35, macadamia nut pancakes were everywhere, and the people were lovely. Heaven on earth is Kauai, and more specifically, the Na Pali Coast. Maybe you’ve seen, and lusted over, scenery in Lilo and Stitch? Oh yeah, that’s what the movie was designed after.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

The headphones are multipurpose- first and foremost, for aesthetic pleasure. We look pretty badass decked out in our ‘copter gear, yeah? Realistically, we had them on because the helicopter gets QUITE loud. Notice the little headset as well? Press a button and the rest of the crew can hear your, “Ooos” and “Aaahs.”

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The rain started to trickle, then proceeded to come down in rapid ping-ping-pings. Generally, weather issues tend to rattle my senses in flight, but it was so gorgeous I didn’t even care.Okay, maybe I was a little nervous. The massive waterfalls between ethereal clouds was a prime distraction though.

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Any guesses on how large that waterfall is?

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

The canyon was a magnificent pumpkin orange with flecks of brass, that went on for miles. Allegedly, Mark Twain called it the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” but it truly is stunning enough in it’s own terms. Could you imagine having a little home tucked away in these crevices? With all the canyons and waterfalls I almost forgot what we had came for- the Na Pali Coast.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

Y’all remember the Care Bears? Every time I fly through clouds, my heart is filled with mixed feelings. On one hand, I feel bad for cutting through the homes of such lovely little imaginary creatures. The other part of me can’t believe how fun it is! There’s something thrilling about not really being able to see where you’re going.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

The ridges in the cliffs were so striking!

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Emerald green leading into turquoise blue. We could see thousands of trees scattered throughout the island, but the best part was the moment we saw the big ole blue ocean.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

There was one thought that kept rolling through my mind. Our planet is so beautiful and we (okay, fine, I) have to take better care of it. Hate to admit that out of all the consciously proactive behaviors to have, environmentalism is not my strong point. The state I live in now, California, makes very easy while out in about, but honestly my home life is lacking.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

The flight continued further down the Na Pali coast, and we could see people on boats and cars driving below. Crazy to think how isolated of a place Hawaii is. The flight was over 6 hours from San Diego. The closest country to the west is Japan and even that’s at least a nine hour flight. The helicopter wouldn’t even be able to transport us that far!

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

Even crazier to me, Hawaii has only been a state of the U.S. since 1959. Even visiting briefly, you can see that Hawaii doesn’t really adhere to the culture of the mainland. People pluck fruit on the side of the road for breakfast, fish for lunch, and hunt pesky hogs for dinner. Unfortunately, there has been an influx of recent transplants to the area who attempt to illegally block off public beach access. In plenty of countries, it is illegal to block beach/ocean access for food and navigation reasons. Our cab driver, who we spent quite some time with, was stressing how difficult it was becoming to continue their traditional lifestyle of living off the land. To them, it’s disrespectful to mother nature to ignore her gifts.

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After the helicopter ride, my brothers and I went met up our buddy/taxi driver who had invited us out earlier and given us a bomb breakfast spot, called Tip Top. Definitely make a stop and order their macadamia nut pancakes- the tastiest I’ve had thus far!

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Hawaii is one of those places where almost everyone is named XYZ, and our buddy Jon, was not there when we arrived. My family is great, but they go pretty hard. By day 8, I had sworn off hard liquor. But, y’all know I’m weak so long story short, after a dozen or so shots, losing a pool game, and some tears, my night got turned around.

The bar began to close down, kicking the ten or so patrons out into the pouring rain. Plot twist- I like rain when it’s warm outside. It’s like a spa treatment from mother nature. Additionally, we picked up a friend along the way. The best kind of friend. The friend that has a…

PUPPY!

Needless to say, I was a happy girl.

But back to the Na Pali Coast…

Traveling to beautiful places, natural or man-made, always makes me appreciate what I never noticed prior to leaving. Na Pali Coast is a must visit for ANYONE. You know what they say, you only conserve what you love, and you only love what you know.

Have you ever visit Kauai? Did you love Lilo & Stitch?

Sharing is Caring: How I Always Plan The (Almost) Perfect Trip

Planning The Perfect Trip #explore #travel

Plotting short-term, last-minute trips can seem unattainable for some budgets, but I swear to you, it can be done.

 

Plenty of bloggers focus on the budget aspect, but this post will be about the tools I personally use to save money without adding stress.

 

If you haven’t signed up for reward miles on at least three airlines you use frequently, you’re basically throwing away free vacations! Southwest Airlines is one of my favorite rewards programs, and I’ve used miles for roundtrip from Florida to Colorado and Florida to Hawaii. Alaska Airlines is another generous rewards program. Programs that are popular internationally are American Airlines, British Airways, and Delta. Why not sign up for each airline when you purchase a ticket?

 

No idea where to begin? Meet The Points Guy. This site has all the rewards points resources you could ever need. Complete beginners can begin here and sign up for every major loyalty program. Perfect site for finding info about free flights!

 

Picking A Destination

Pinterest

Unless it’s for an academic paper, Pinterest is the first resource I use for pretty much everything. Planning a trip usually involves searches like “colorful” +”beach” under the travel category. Once I find a destination,  Don’t forget to actually click on the pins to get the most info! This is also the perfect way to find new travel blogs (remember those experts I mentioned?) to follow.

Pinterest Burano Travel Planning Arsenal #travel

Visit Expert Pages

Y’all know those blogs where you know exactly what the blogger knows well? Let them lead the way! A few of my favorite expert bloggers are:

Heart My Backpack Sylvia has an excellent collection of information on what she now claims as her home country, Norway.

Alex In Wanderland Alex has multiple intensive posts on the land of smiles (and elephants) Thailand.

Travel Alphas Maddie and Mauricio seem to get all around the world, but I never skip visiting their site before planning anything Europe-related. 

Travel Planning Arsenal Visit Expert Pages #traveltips

 

Getting There

Before you leave…Male sure to get some form of travel insurance. It can be quite cheap if you already have health insurance. Kayak, Booking.com and other booking companies often offer the option of insurance which includes everything from health issues to emergency evacuation. 

Rome2Rio 

Everytime I visit a country, I like to see what my day trip options are. Ideally, visiting more than one country on a trip. For example, I’ll be spending 9 days in Belize, and am planning on trying to stop by Guatemala. This is how my love and I got from Italy to Croatia, one of our favorite destinations. Instead of flying, we took a train from Naples to Bari. Then we hopped on an overnight ferry and sailed away. The ferry is massive, and some people brought cars! We lucked out and got a room to ourselves and a shared bathroom, which I saw not one soul during our overnight trip. Highly recommend bringing snacks if you’re a picky eater, I vaguely remember eating a burger and french fries. It was one of the most unique travel experiences I’ve had thus far.

Rome2Rio Travel Planning Arsenal #travel #explore

Google Flights

Unlike 3rd party sites, Google Flights gives you real-time ticket prices. It never hurts to clear your cookies, but google flights has yet to price-gouged me. Not only does Google Flights help you out financially, other useful options include ‘exploring’ multiple destinations, ‘discovering’ destinations, and receiving alerts for pre-planned flights.

Travel Planning Arsenal Google Flights #travel

 

Seat Guru

Have you ever received the only no-view window seat in the plane? Or chosen emergency aisle only to discover the seats do not recline ? I have, and it sucks. Flights longer than 2 hours must be checked on Seatguru. Don’t be afraid! A few considerations are proximity to restrooms and galleys, exit rows, and leg room size. For example, on long flights, I love to chat with the flight attendants in the galley. Always have a hilarious story or two.

 

 

Travel Planning Arsenal Seat Guru #traveltips

 

Airbnb

I absolutely adore a nice hotel, but nothing beats an amazing apartment at city center. Europe has a particular abundance of flats for rent, many with balconies and private outdoor space. If you are absolutely not going to clean on your trip, you might want to consider a private room in a hostel or boutique hotel.

Travel Planning Arsenal Airbnb #traveltips #explore

HostelWorld

HostelWorld’s filter features are quite brilliant. My favorite one being the “Private Room” options. Particularly in Europe and parts of South America, private rooms in hostels are a much cheaper (and often nicer) option. If you have any issues like wanting A/C or a specific neighborhood, you can figure it all out before you book on HostelWorld.

Travel Planning Arsenal Hostelworld #travel #explore


Kayak

If nothing sticks out to me, I’ll venture over to Kayak to scope out the best hotels. Don’t forget to clear your history/cookies if you do more than one or two searches. One of my favorite features of Kayak is the map view. If I’m traveling to a new city, I’ll do a little neighborhood research to see which one has late night dining, pharmacy, public transport, and any other aspect I find necessary to happiness. Then, I visit Kayak to see if any accommodation is near my goal neighborhood.

How To Plan The Perfect Trip #explore #travel

 

 

Vayable

This website is interesting because it connects you with locals in designated cities to have adventures. You select where you plan on going, and find an itinerary. A few interesting ones are a 3-hour graffiti tour in San Francisco and visiting a Paris flea market. Personally think it’s amazing because it supports local economies at the most basic level.

How To Plan The Perfect Trip #explore #travel

Bandsintown

Is the perfect website for any stage in your travel planning. Simply put in your tentative dates and location, and you have a list of all the upcoming music shows. Type A personality? Look up any potential venues on Instagram and judge away.

Travel Planning Arsenal Bandsintown #travel #explore

Road Trippers

Is a surprisingly helpful site when planning trips in the USA! Unfortunately, the site seems to only feature North America. Luckily, North America is HUGE and contains plenty of interesting stops. The site has excellent quirky stops and city guides. We’re talking everything from Seattle grunge to “ghost-tours” quirky. My favorite? The Michigan Fall Leaves guide. So pretty! You can also choose a beginning and final destination and select points of interest, like shown below.

 

Travel Planning Arsenal Roadtrippers #travel #explore

 

 

And that’s how we do it! Are there any other secret travel websites I should know about? Has anyone used a travel agent for planning a trip?

Laughing to Keep From Crying: Kakum National Park in Ghana

Visiting Kakum National Park #travel #explore #africa

 

Okay, I’m being slightly hyperbolic here. I was totally fine swinging 100 feet up in the air. Not to mention, we were slipping all over the place thanks to the rain that had been steadily drizzling for a few hours. I peaked down to the distant land below and gulped. Kakum National Park was a first-time thrill for me. The bridge starts swaying. I clutched my go-pro arm and attempted to twist my head just enough to see the group behind me.  But there was no turning back… How did I get myself into this predicament?

 

Visiting Kakum National Park in Ghana #travel #explore #africa

We arrived at Kakum National Park by hopping on a tro-tro in Accra, and driving a little under two hours to Cape Coast! Then, we hopped on another tro-tro and headed straight for Kakum National Park. The streets were lined with goats of all sizes, as we quickly turned from semi-paved roads to full on swerving-left-and-right-and-more-left to avoid the massive potholes in the roads. Nevermind, our driver chuckled, and picked the speed up to 100 km/hr. As the person sitting next to the massive open window, I had to laugh to keep from thinking of popping out of the window and rolling down the hills. But don’t worry. I’m typing you today, so clearly, I’ve survived.

We came screeching along with a couple other dozen, maybe fifty people trickled up the entrance. Be warned, foreigners have a little bigger of a fee. Personally, I think that’s how it should be in every country- your right to your own national parks. But I did overhear other visitors complaining, so you’ve been forewarned. The park itself cost a mere 2 cedis to enter, but what you want is the canopy walk! It’s only an additional 50 cedis (little over 10 USD) for an exhilarating adventure.

Visiting Kakum National Park in Ghana #travel #explore #africa

Most of us hadn’t eaten all day, other than some amazing road-side plantains, and by the time we arrived it was nearing 3:00 in the afternoon. At the same time, it was starting to drizzle. Probably not safe to do the canopy walk while it’s wet and on an empty stomach. Simply unsafe, to me. *Rubs empty belly* Just to our luck, there was a perfect little open-air restaurant INSIDE of the national park. And they sold CLUB BEER. I sat my happy little ass down and order my favorite Ghanian dish- Goat Lite Soup and rice. Disclaimer- do not order the pizza! All my pals tried to get pizza and it was quite similar to the elementary public school plastic excuse for dining. Save yourself and order something local!

If you can manage, you should try to get there early to avoid the last minute rush. To make it easier, I let the pushers push up ahead, and our group hung out by the back. That way, we didn’t have to feel rushed. Once you get going, you can’t really turn back. This proved to be a little intense for some people, children and grown-ass men included. There were tears. Prayers. Cries and whimpers.

Visiting Kakum National Park in Ghana #travel #explore #africa

But it was absolutely beautiful!

The air was refreshing, the trees were a million shades of emerald and green. Birds fluttered about, singing to each other. Did you know there are over 250 species of bird in Kakum? I didn’t either until I visited. Honestly, the rain made it a little more surreal. The canopy was just long enough to enjoy it, without feeling like you need to do it again.

 

Visiting Kakum National Park in Ghana #travel #explore #africa

 

After the canopy, you can walk through the park and explore the different species. Most animals will be hiding by noon, so get in early if you want to see any elephants!

There is even an option to SPEND THE NIGHT on the canopy walk! Bring a mosquito net and proper shoes though, you have to be there early for this option.

Visiting Kakum National Park in Ghana #travel #explore #africa

Overall, Kakum National Park was a great day trip and I highly recommend it. Nothing is better than fresh air and friends! Have you ever heard of the park or been on a canopy walk?

18 Ways To Stay Safe While Traveling (And Still Have a Kick-Ass Time!)

How To Stay Safe While Traveling and Still Have a Kick-Ass Time #travel #explore #wanderlust

“Aren’t you scared?”

How many times have you been asked that same question about your travels? I know some people get annoyed when their parents or loved ones try to deter them from exploring out of fear. Maybe they aren’t worried. The truth is, I can get quite scared when I travel, which is one of the reasons I do it. One way I avoid soul-crushing anxiety is by keeping myself prepared for the worst and being (slightly) vigilant. I’ve written briefly about the time these tour guides were trying to separate my friend and I in Thailand. Not saying I’m perfect, but I’ve definitely picked up a thing or two. As we say at my Alma Mater, “It ain’t my first rodeo.” Okay, they might say that elsewhere, but I can only speak to what I know.

The point is…

Over 98% of my travels have been perfectly safe, and plenty of explorers never have a bad experience. 

But there are some tips and tricks to the trade! This isn’t going a post regarding potential scams around the world, but rather specific concepts that come in handy when you’re alone or in an unfamiliar area. Having a wild trip doesn’t mean you have to get hurt or in trouble. Don’t get anything stolen, don’t end up in a hospital, and don’t get arrested. 

In Ghana, a group of us (five North Americans under 30) were hanging out in Cape Coast a little late at night. It was the night before President Mahama was to speak in the city, and the drumming ban was lifted. Down the street, people were partying like crazy and we wanted to join! Before we even got within 50 feet of the festivities, multiple children told us we should leave before we get robbed. Having lived in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, I knew better than to be hanging around in an area after I’m told not to. My best buddy on the trip, K, has also lived outside of D.C., and gave me the look. So, after collecting the valuables from one of our group mates, we started walking back to the hotel.

The difference between 7 p.m. in Cape Coast and 10:30 p.m. is vastly differently. People were smoking the ganja everywhere and believe me, I would’ve gladly joined if I hadn’t already been warned that pretty much only the legitimate gangstas smoke weed in parts of Ghana. Gun-toting, people snatching gangstas. And college kids at the University of Ghana.  And as soon as we pass the group, for the first time in my travels, someone grabbed my arm hard. I ripped my arm away and screamed, “NO TOUCHING! ANY OF YOU!” like a crazy lady. And continued to walk down the middle of the road. Because that’s how you keep people from f’king with you when y’all don’t have cash for a cab and have a mile until the hotel.

Within 15 minutes of us getting to the hotel, our group came back. They had been robbed.

Before You Arrive

Map Out the Embassy

Even if you aren’t visiting a capital city, you should consider finding the address of the embassy as well as the phone number. If your passport gets stolen and you don’t speak the local language, having the embassy number will be a major time-saver.

How To Safe While Traveling = Map Out Embassy

Read The News

With the internet giving us everything we need to know at the touch of a fingertip, it’s easy to stay up to date on local politics. Some things to be wary of are: protests, elections, important speakers, royalty’s birthdays, national holidays. You can still enjoy these aspects of travel, but from a well-informed distance.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Read The News #wanderlust #explore #tips

Get the Recommended Medicines

Getting yellowfever is no joke, not to mention they usually won’t even let you inside certain countries without the vaccine. Malaria medication is recommended to start prior to a trip and waiting to contract the disease will really give you something to bitch about.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Get Vaccinations

International Health Insurance

Just do it. My last policy was about $16.00 for a month of travel. Especially if you’re heading to a part of the world you’ve never been before, health insurance is a necessity. Something as simple as brushing your teeth with tainted water can put you in a hospital. Going somewhere with limited healthcare? Be sure to sign up for a contract that allows air-evacuation.

Sorry First Class, The Safest Seats Are In The Back

The chances of your plane going down are slim to none, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take extra precaution for that slim chance! Luckily, most airlines let you choose your seat before you arrive at the airport. Check out seat guru to ensure your seat isn’t too far from an exit window.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Sit In The Back #explore #tips

During Your Travels

Sit By a Window On Public Transport

Not only will you be able to take in the views, you’ll be more mobile than if you were squished in-between people. Being able to remove yourself from a tro-tro/tuk-tuk accident is a matter of life or death. Not having any luck finding one? Feign like you have motion sickness that will only be cured by watching out the window (LOL- I hate myself a little for this advice, but sheet we all gotta do what we all gotta do) and surely someone will remove themselves for you.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Sit By A Window On Public Transportation #tips

Keep Important Info Available

Your phone WILL eventually die. Even with those little battery packs, I’ve gotten stuck for 6-12 hours without my phone + notes +emails + maps. Write down on paper, yes REAL authentic paper, the address of your hotel and the number to get directions.

Stay Safe While Traveling - Write Important Info Down

Let Your People Know Exactly Where You Are

This is a pain in the ass, I know. But sending updates, multiple times a day, will be essentially to getting you safe if anything bad happens. And with all the options we have- call, Facetime, email, whatsapp, etc., there’s no excuse! Not only major destinations, but any national parks or day trips. Be sure to give clear, specific details and names of any person that joins you during your travels.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Keep In Touch #traveltips

Take Photos of Your Cab Drivers Info

Unfortunately, there have been incidents of fake taxis kidnapping or assaulting innocent passengers. Let ’em know you aren’t playing games by snapping a photo of what they are legally required to display. Anytime someone gets flustered, get a new ride. There are always plenty around.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Taxi Rules #explore #tips

Don’t Split Up!

LADIES- we all have urges that might feel uncontrollable, especially while on a grand adventure, but don’t leave your friends for the D! Showing up at an unknown location for a temporary romp is not only a serious safety hazard, but you could get lost trying to get back. If he/she wants you that bad, they can find a nice private hostel room near by (sorry mum).

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Stay Together

Listen to the Locals

If you are told that you are probably going to get robbed, you should leave. If you “have a feeling” you aren’t welcome there, you should leave. Your life is not worth a few Instagram pics to prove you did something wild!

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Listen to The Locals #explore #tips

“Lock” Your Door With A Door Stop Or A Chair

fF you aren’t expecting anyone during the night, take a little extra precaution and pack a door stop. Already traveling? Grab a chair (usually will have one in your hotel room and if in hostel, check the lobby) and nuzzle it under the door handle.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Lock Your Door

Walk Where You Will Be Seen By Most At Night

Realistically, if someone is planning on doing something sketchy, they will have seen you WAY before you see them. Hiding on the side-walk right next to alleyways is just silly. Walk in the middle of the road (until a car comes!) and assert your dominance.

how to stay safe while traveling - walk where you will be seen #travel #explore

Stagger-Walk in Groups

If it’s you and two friends walking down a dark street at night, consider staggering a few feet away from each other. No one needs to know who is on your side and who isn’t. Avoid huddling up and appearing small. When worse comes to worst, at least one of you will be able to scramble away to get help or swoop in to save the day.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Stagger Walk In Groups #travel #tips

If It’s About To Go Down…

Consider Your Defenses

Unless you’ve been trained to specifically defend yourself, chances are a man twice your size will probably be able to over-take you. Nail scissors are small but helpful in bus situations. My favorite weapon? My Go-Pro stick with Go-Pro attached. I’ll whack a mofo if I have to.
How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Consider Your Defenses #traveltips #explore

Act Batshit Crazy

No joke. Just start screaming and thrashing about. Not many people feel like dealing with a mentally unstable person, let alone one who seems to be expressing their illness. Throw in a little spittle at the mouth, just in case. I’ve used this while walking home alone in major U.S. cities and I have (yet) to be messed with.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Act Crazy #travel #explore

Play Possum

Okay just to verify, playing dead with bears only works in certain situations, like a mother protecting her young. I’m referring to dealing with an active shooter situation. Not a fan of sensationalizing tragedies so I won’t point to any specific events, but playing dead in a violent situation like a mass shooting isn’t a bad idea. While the first movement is ideally physically removing yourself, it’s always necessary to have a back-up plan in you get trapped.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Play Possum #traveltips #explore

Trust Your Instincts

There’s a good chance if you’re a traveler and you’re in a violent situation, you won’t be speaking the language of the perpetrator(s). Any time a group starts to gather, be aware of the aura of attitude. Just because you don’t understand what’s being said doesn’t mean you can’t figure out what’s going on. That physically draining gnawing at the gut you get? Listen to it.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Trust Your Instincts #travel #explore

Overall, use that lovely little brain you have and enjoy yourself. Hope this helps!

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!