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When you’re bitten by the wanderlust bug

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By Evelyn Masaba

Hello, my name is Cecile and I am addicted to travelling. Well, it does sound silly when you say it out loud, “addicted to travelling”; one might think that you’re just acting like a millennial trying to catch the attention of people who ‘live’ on the internet. But it is as real as it gets.

To be honest, I do not remember exactly when it all started, but I remember all I ever wanted to do was to travel. See the world, be amazed, and come back home to my regular job and life like nothing special happened a week before.

The first trips I ever took were not even out of the country or thousands of miles away from home; it was a week away from the city and its hustle-bustle life. I was forced to take leave or else lose all my vacation days.

Of course, I took it and let me tell you; IT WAS AMAZING! The tranquillity that comes with being around nature is amazing. There was no unnecessary noise anywhere except for the beautiful chirpy sounds of birds and constant whoosh of the trees when the wind blew by. Even the wind was not that dry — hot gust filled with dust and unknown particles but a fresh cool breeze filled with aromas and fragrances from the different homesteads scattered all over the place.

You could think, I was at some resort, yet I was at my grandmother’s house in the village surrounded by trees, farmland, kitchen coops and cattle kraals. That week marked a new step in my life.

After that, whenever I could get a chance to leave the city, even if it was for a weekend, I would do it without thinking twice. My grandmother was happy about the company and taught me so much about the countryside that I had everything on my finger tips.

Yet I kept itching for more. I needed more than I was getting at that time and even if I didn’t know what it was I kept searching for it within every place I went to. The other times when I travelled I would wander off to beach havens hidden within the country. I didn’t know how gorgeous water could look without revellers jumping and playing in it, but I fell in love with that beauty. I needed to see more. What else was my country hiding from me?

Social media is magical. Most people do not notice how deeper it gets because we always keep scratching the surface. I found so many travel groups on several of the sites I frequented and discovered gems within those groups; most of the people on these groups organised trips every one or two months. I was excited about this and decided to join in every excursion they planned.

After several trips, I realised I needed to plan for my salary and only go for trips I could afford since I had been spending a lot more money than expected on travelling compared to everything else in my life. It is during all these trips that I learned how beautiful my country was and how refreshing it was to always go away from the usual and see life from a different angle.

After the group trips, I started hunting for trips headed out of the country, but this meant spending even more money than I usually do. I made a decision to start saving up, stopped spending on unnecessary things and put up a plan that even though sometimes I veered off, helped keep me on track with my expenses.

There was joy and relief in seeing new things and I took it in hungrily, craving for more to be given to me. Within four months, I had been to over five countries such as Samoa, Ireland and Seychelles, among others — countries I hadn’t noticed much unless they popped up on my screen due to something happening there.

I fell in love with these countries and learned a lot from their people. For every country I visited, a fire was lit in my heart to visit even more others and I am still doing just that. It is not easy saving and not jumping for every night out, but it is worth it. Every once in a while, I drag my friends along for some of my travels and they love it too.

I now get very excited when travel packages pop up on my phone screen. I have stories to tell and look forward to discounted packages whenever I can find them. I am wiser now about so many places, yet I know I have so much more to see and learn.

Yes, I am addicted to travelling but this wanderlust has brought so much therapy, joy and adventure in my life and I do not think I will give it up anytime soon.

About The Author

The writer is the public relations manager at Jumia Travel in Uganda. Travel.jumia.com is Africa’s No.1 hotel booking website, allowing you to get the best prices for more than 25,000 hotels in Africa and more than 200,000 hotels around the world.

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