Oh no! I can’t travel for spring break?!

 

This is the first time during one of my spring break holidays that I didn’t travel. Let me clarify that a bit. This is the first spring break holiday as a teacher living overseas that I didn’t travel away from my country of residence.

I didn’t travel for 4 main reasons:

  • Passport issues
  • Alternative plans
  • Rest
  • Money

Let’s get right to it!

Passport Issues

I never thought that I would ever say that I’ve completely filled my passport. I suppose that with all this travel over the past 3 years, it would eventually add up, right? I remember only dreaming about the day it would happen and how it would be a proud moment of fulfillment that I could document in my travel memoirs. No. This was not the case at all. In fact, it left me with sheer embarrassment and frustration. Why? Well hell, I can’t travel because of it and I practically forfeited the cost of the airline ticket. Ouch!

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Watch this video for the more humorous explanation of what really happened with my passport dilemma on my way to Johannesburg. Oh, and a shameless plug here- Make sure to subscribe to my You Tube channel so that you can get frequent updates of my travel experiences as an African American woman living in Uganda.

The most advantageous advice I can give you about your passport pages and visa requirements is this: Do your research. Find out which countries require what types of visas (full page, half page, stamp, etc). Also, if you are an American citizen, make sure you apply for your passport renewal well in advance because extra pages are not granted anymore.  You can make an appointment with the U.S. Embassy. Make your appointment as soon as possible, especially if you’re in Kampala. I couldn’t believe that there weren’t any available appointments for over a month for passport renewals!  If I was able to get in sooner, perhaps my travel plans for spring break may have been different. Things happen for a reason and you live and learn, right.

Although my Johannesburg plans were halted, I managed to make lemonade out of lemons. I met my boyfriend and a few of his friends and stayed in the city for a few days. For a completely last minute and unplanned trip, I managed to see a reasonable amount of the city and experience a traditional Kenyan wedding.

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Visiting Nairobi gave me an entirely different perspective on cities in East Africa as it was refreshing to see a bolder, busier and more innovative approach and perspective. The only thing I will say is that Nairobi is extremely busy! Oh, and the prices are a bit lofty but that’s to be expected in a more modern metropolis. Here is a travel vlog about my experiences in Nairobi. You don’t want to miss this.

Alternative plans 

Since moving overseas 3 years ago, I found that my creativity has sparked some sort of innovative spirit. I found myself indulging more into my creative side. I have the desire to write more, read more, create more and imagine more. I hope in some cases you are like me when it comes to having an innovative spirit and opposite of me when I tell you how much of a procrastinator I am. See, I’ve been sitting on these said projects for quite some time now. If I told you how many unfinished or “not yet started” writing projects I have, you would be appalled…or maybe not. Either way, this break forced me to push myself to just do it. I literally set up shop, went to various café’s and treated myself to lunch and tea while I whisked away hours on my laptop in attempts to make up for lost time.

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Another valuable lesson learned: Prioritize your time. I won’t “spill the beans” just yet but know that I have some projects in the works that I can say I am proud of. So, spending spring break at home allowed me to focus on these endeavors productively. I was able to re-evaluate my stance which allowed me to truly recognize the purpose behind the struggle and rejuvenate my passion for it. YES!

Rest 

As much as I wanted to travel in Uganda since crossing the borders wasn’t possible, I decided that staying home wasn’t half bad. I truly needed to REST!

I had to really look at my Monday-Friday schedule:

Gym- 6:30 am-7:30 an.

Work- 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Home-4:30-until (Some nights, I have class or other errands)

I came to the realization that I’m running, running…and running but not relaxing.  So, during this spring break, I slept in late, went to bed early, lounged around in my pajamas unapologetically and perused the internet listlessly in pursuit of a multitude of quandaries. This unplanned situation was actually perfect for me.

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 Money

Let’s talk about these funds. We both know that saving money is purposeful and necessary. One thing that I haven’t worked on consistently since my voyage overseas is saving money. When you think about it, saving money should be easy, right? I mean the school pays for everything such as your housing, tuition, etc, however, when you underestimate the power of a Ugandan shilling and start eating out at ridiculously high priced restaurants, traveling each and every break and buying handmade jewelry at the local markets, it can be detrimental to your savings plan. Therefore, it’s best to meticulously analyze your spending habits so that you can start saving money by making more meaningful and cost-savvy purchases.

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Now, I’m not saying that traveling is not meaningful. I realize that there is a time and a place for…everything. My travel adventures have been sprinkled with favor and  I have been blessed to have the opportunity to see so many beautiful places in my 3 years abroad. So having the opportunity to reevaluate and re-position myself for greater outcomes was long overdue. Rest allows you to be your best self in so many facets.

As you can see…

I had a non-traditional spring break which turned out to be better than I expected. I personally thought that for each break, I needed travel somewhere. The universe, however, had other plans and will constantly make adjustments for necessary purpose to come into fruition. You never know what blessings are to come of it. It was my time to finally be still, soak up the Ugandan sun, enjoy home life and take it easy.

Until next time, be blessed and highly favored.

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