On one of the afternoons of the first week of November I decided to visit my very pregnant, former high school friend Edna. She was due for delivery any day by the look of her bulging stomach I almost assumed she’d behaving twins. The intention of my visit was to share one last moment with her before she took on the ‘queen mother’ title. Needless to say, our conversations would drift through food, Instagram who and who’s who – and of course, her pregnancy cravings. All this would be great with a glass – perhaps bottle of wine, but strangely every time I go over, the wine has juuuuuust ishad1.
After a plate of ribs and chapatti and leftover cupcakes from her baby shower, I brought up the idea that I wanted to take my first solo vacation. “When would you like to go?” Edna asked. “I don’t know, maybe for my birthday. It’s a few weeks away,” I responded. “Imagine just do it.” Edna said,opening her laptop to heighten my arbitrary thought.
She opened one of the trusted sites, clicked in the dates and there popped a plethora of beach side homes. One villa here, photos? Not so good. Another villa there – scary price and average looking. Then another, and another – and, another until we narrowed down to three that visually and financially excited the idea.
Once I got home, I did the intended and booked two locations for a potential three night stay – the first two at Nyumba ya Afrika on Jacaranda Road in Watamu and the final at Villa Mela on Malindi Road within the vibrant north coast town.
When I say the trip was random, I mean I had not a single coin to spare for my ‘plan’ and was counting on my salary to cater for my spontaneous getaway. More so, I’d never traveled alone. The safari already felt like it would be filled with confusion and distraught.
By the 26th of November, my phone kept blurting reminders that I had a trip coming up. Or perhaps it was a reminder that I needed to inform my parents on my birthday weekend plans. I hadn’t yet booked a bus ticket for the trip,and when I frantically searched online for the buses scheduled to journey south-east, most were full. The last one with empty seats was quickly filling up and my insufficient-funds situation made me resort to taking a loan from a stranger. What matters was, the ticket was secured, and with that, I was a step closer to heading to Kilifi2.
Later that evening I nervously waited on my mother.
“Uh, so I’m travelling to Malindi this Friday,” I informed.
“Mh? And you’re going alone?” she asked.
“You know, maybe I’m old but I’m old enough to know that a girl travelling alone is one of the most absurd things I have ever heard.” – And with that she walked away. She was upset, as she always tends to be when I take a step into the deep end but my intention to communicate, to inform her, was accomplished.
There was no looking back. It was time to tick one more thing off my 2018 ‘things to do’.
1 – finished (in sheng)
2 – Kenya’s 3rd county that sits in the northern-end of the coastal region