Meet Anne Wanjiku, a Kenyan travel enthusiast. She also happens to be a friend from back in 2015 when we did not have passports. We could only talk on whatsapp about our dreams to travel. Fast Forward to 2018, and Shishi has been through 19 countries. She has gone from no passport to 19 countries since 2016.
Here’s a little bit of her travel story…
Why do you Travel?
I travel because it makes me feel alive, grateful and content. It humbles me and makes me realize that I am a small part in this very big, big, world and for that reason I better make it count. Seeing how beautiful our world is and that it was given to us freely has made me more grateful for life. Travel teaches me to live my life to the fullest rather than exist because you meet people from all walks of life. People with very little and they are content, people with everything and they are still searching for something. I am more conscious about things and how I choose to live my life now.
How do you fund your Travels?
I am a yoga instructor and I teach group and private classes. I also have a side hustle whereby I do a lot of online writing : research papers, articles, academic papers, all of it you name it as long as I get money.
Advice to Africans who want to start traveling?
Just do it! Sometimes we overthink things to the point where we find ourselves giving up our dreams and in this case, our travel dreams. I always wanted to travel but I had too many excuses, the main one being money. My first trip out of the country was to Uganda and it cost me 1000 ksh to get to Jinja the source of River Nile and the accommodation was only 700 ksh!. Since then I have not looked back. My point is Travelling is not as expensive as people make it to be. If you are determined do your research and your world will open up to all the possibilities available.
How many countries so far? Favourite city?
19 countries and counting. Barcelona is my favourite.
Do you Travel alone?
No. I always travel with my Fiancé and have only done one Solo trip which was awesome even though I had to ask strangers to take pictures of me.
How do you decide where to travel next?
The cost of travelling there and the Visa Requirements. Having a kenyan passport means that sometimes am going to go through a lot of scrutiny and face rejection when applying for Visas. It can be very frustrating and financially draining because most of the times you have to take out a non-refundable travel insurance which still doesn’t guarantee you a Visa.
The cost of traveling also plays a very huge role, I might not need a visa to visit some places but the cost can be overwhelming and I would rather not go there.
What’s your favourite African country?
MALAWI! I looove Malawi and its very dear to me. Malawi has a very beautiful unspoilt landscape and the people are super nice.
Lake Malawi is so gorgeous, it’s absolutely out of this world. It’s also a bonus that its cheap to travel around Malawi and I did not even need a Visa!
Can you tell how much I love Malawi?. Yep Malawi is my favourite African country.
Your top travel tip?
Trust your instincts always and be open minded. Travelling removes you from the familiar and places you in a situation where you have to trust people you barely know. It can be very scary especially if you are travelling alone. I have learnt to always trust my instincts about people and the vibe they give off.
Travel also requires you to be open minded as you get exposed to different cultures and ways of life that you are not accustomed to. Also travel plans sometimes do not always end up going how you envisioned them. Sometimes you have to improvise and do something you had probably not thought about. Be open minded.
What’s Favourite place in Kenya?
Definitely Kilifi. I had a chance to visit last year and I absolutely fell in love with Kilifi. It is very quiet, whitesands beaches and in a perfect world I would love to own a beach property there.
Where are you going next?
Want to catch up with Shishi’s travels for inspiration?
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