Top 5 trips of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close I’m remembering and reflecting on a lot of things, and thought I should share with you my top trips of the year.

This year alone I visited 30 different major cities by car, train, bus or plane. (Note: This number includes stopovers and layovers). I had a good time in most cities where I stayed a considerable amount of time, but I share below my Top Five Trips of 2017.


Top 5 trips of 2017

5. Niamey, Niger

I traveled to Niamey for a job in March. There, I visited the mosque that the Libyan government offered Niger and went to the National Museum as well as popular hangout spots among other activities.

As I previously explained, I changed my base from Washington, DC to Lagos in 2016 because I wanted more experience in Africa. I welcomed the opportunity to discover a new country when I was offered the role in Niger. It was exciting to travel for work (because I would never refuse a chance to learn something, develop new skills, get paid and travel :)).

Top reason why I would return

I wouldn’t necessarily return to Niamey but I would love to visit other parts of Niger to meet people from the different ethnic groups that makeup the Nigerien population, and learn about their history and culture.

Top reason why I would hesitate to return

Niger is not a tourist-friendly destination. Little is done to grow/ improve the tourism industry in the country – which is understandable considering Niger’s economic, security and political situation.

4. Monaco and Geneva, Switzerland (tied)

I went to Monaco and Geneva for work in May and early June. They are both beautiful cities to visit. Both have rich culture to experience, interesting history to learn, architecture to view, and art to appreciate among other things.

I like the fact that I can visit equally beautiful neighboring cities. I went to Saleve in France’s Haute Savoie region while I was in Geneva, for instance, but I could have gone to Annecy or Montreux. If I go back to Monaco I’ll visit Nice and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. If it is a relatively long trip, I’ll find some time to check out Saint Tropez and Cannes as well.

I include both cities on my list because I did not expect to visit them this year – or in the near future – although I wanted to do so at some point in my life. The trip to Geneva in particular is a favorite for professional reasons.

Top reason why I would return

(Understandably I think) My tourist game in Geneva especially was weak…

Top reason why I would hesitate to return

Everything – food, transport, drinks, etc. – is quite expensive in Geneva and Monaco in my opinion.

3. Saly and Mbour, Senegal

I went to Saly and Mbour (among other stops) in October. Read this post to find out why it was a memorable trip.

Top reason why I would return

I’m sure I’ll meet more lovely people.

Top reason why I would hesitate to return

There is more to see in Senegal than beaches and picturesque spots, and I want to discover different parts of the country.

2. Kigali, Rwanda

I went to Kigali to attend the Africa Health Forum in June. Although short, I managed to do quite a few things on this trip. Besides visits to the Inema Art Center and Niyo Arts Gallery, I attended a Spoken Word Rwanda event at Choma’d and an exhibition on Black music at Kigali Public Library. I also appreciate the opportunity to learn something I had not realized until I arrived in Kigali: Rwandans mostly speak English, not French.

Top reason why I would return

Besides the fact that Kigali is the cleanest and most orderly city I’ve visited in Africa so far, I’d go back there in a heartbeat if I could stay at the Radisson hotel again. The staff and service provided, food, decor, amenities and environment exceeded all expectations I have for 5* hotels in Africa.

Top reason why I would hesitate to return

I cannot afford the room rates at the Radisson lol.

1. Riviera Maya (Akumal, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum), Mexico

My family and I spent some time in Mexico in August. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort in Playacar, the exclusive part of Playa del Carmen. We also went to Akumal, Cancun, and Tulum.

Besides the fact that Mexico is a “Naija Passport Friendly”* country, the Riviera is a great destination for everyone. Solo travelers, couples, friends, families with young kids, families with teenagers and older people all have a great time there. From getting on a jet ski and visiting a cenote for the first time to tasting authentic tequila and eating to my heart’s content every day, the holiday in Mexico was what I needed when I needed it. I will cherish it forever especially because I was with loved ones. It was also an affordable trip despite the fact that I planned it at the last minute.

*Travelers who have a valid US tourist visa do not need to get a Mexican visa to visit Mexico.

Top reason why I would return

I would like to check out (one of) the X parks – Xcaret, Xplor, Xel-Ha, etc.

Top reason why I would hesitate to return

Although I prefer warm to cool weather, like great deals and enjoy living my best life on a beach, it is probably best to visit Mexico when it is not as hot and humid as it was in August. That said, July and August are usually when I can take a vacation long enough to travel to the other side of the world…



Where did you go in 2017? What was your favorite trip? Why did you pick this destination/ those destinations?


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  1. Tiese Etim-Inyang
    30 December 2017 / 2:02 pm

    Love how you’ve written this both with reasons to return and vice versa! I’ve visted Riviera Maya and enjoyed it thoroughly, I didn’t want to leave. The fact that we stayed at an all-inclusive resort might have had a huge role to play there haha.

    Getting paid to travel & work is the goal for me honestly & seeing how you do + document parts of it is inspiring. Top 5 for me this year would be Montreal, New Orleans, San Francisco, Canoa (Ecuador) & Cartagena. Cheers to 2018 in advance & all of its travel memories !!

    • Oluwakemi Loriade
      1 January 2018 / 3:34 pm

      I’m sureeee! All-inclusive resorts are some of the best things on Earth and we need them all over the world to be honest! Have you been elsewhere that has great resorts with similar deals?

      I read a few posts on your blog and follow you on Instagram, and I’m inspired by your ability to truly immerse yourself in the places you visit and share compelling stories and beautiful photos. Your top five is a very diverse and interesting list, and it’s even more exciting to me because I haven’t been to any of those destinations! Which one is your #1 trip of the year?

      Wishing you a great year as well and thank you for stopping by, reading, sharing your thoughts and these well wishes! x

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