See, for those of us who grew in villages, read remote village in Taita Taveta, we had pictures in our heads of how cities looked like. I had been to Mombasa many times but Nairobi for me, until I first got there, was a flawless city with no trees, no dust, no animals, not even grass on the pavements. I imagined that every place would be cemented and painted and my fellow Kenyans who lived there would be living in this ideal world where everyone takes care of the other and no one steals from anyone and everyone works hard to earn their money.
I first went to Nairobi for a wedding when I was in lower class. I then learnt that unlike what I previously thought, there were trees and birds. And dust. I mean, all these make up the environment. And unlike some few years ago where we saw Nairobi’s former governor, Mr Kidero, grow grass in one night when Obama was coming, the Nairobi I saw was a normal town. Only with taller buildings, a lot of people and sometimes some spoken words I could not understand. I could now relate, albeit narrowly, why my teacher had told us that what we had back home was a town and this here – Nairobi, was a city.
What that experience did was reveal to me that there is life outside the village. My parents tried their best to expose us to that life perhaps because they did not experience much of it when growing up. Which is what I think all parents strive to have – the ability to offer your children a better life than you had, in whichever pace life grants you.
I visited the city a few more times before I got enrolled to the University. Which wasn’t in Nairobi really – the outskirts of Nairobi. One hour away from Nairobi, and into Thika town.
Among many firsts that I experienced in Thika, moving there in itself was a first. It was the first time I was going to live alone, the first time I was entrusted fully with my own freedom. The irony about freedom is when you are given all of it, it scares you. But I think I did a good job with it except learn Kikuyu. What a waste! I know, I know, I’m sorry.
Travelling for me is a thrill. Right from the moment I book a travelling ticket, to packing my clothes, to finally getting to my destination. The whole process excites me. I’ve also noticed that travelling opens up your mind to different cultures, perceptions and basically the experience never leaves you the same person.
Well, I am introducing this category, to anyone who would like to share their travelling stories. Simply send us a message and share with us the details of your story and why it is memorable to you. Also, tell us, the readers, how we can get to get to that destination and how much it will cost us. Especially, Kenyan destinations.
I will be sharing mine from time to time.
Meanwhile, let’s keep travelling.