I have accepted that “And how do you afford to travel” (accompanied with a suggestive look) is a question I will deal with for a long time to come. Despite tagging my sponsor some time last year and forwarding that blog post as a response to anyone that asks me on Whatsapp, I still get queried. The most recent question came on my Citizen TV live interview last week.

I will therefore let you into the not-so-glamorous side of my life by getting personal about the 10 things I had to say goodbye to.

  1. My own space (also known as rent). While I have very accommodating parents, I understand the value of moving into my own place. My best friend constantly reminds me that having responsibilities (rent and bills) is a key factor in personal growth. However, if I paid rent, I wouldn’t afford half the travels I do now. An alternative for anyone without this luxury is shared accommodation.

    African safari
    My solo trip to Rwanda where I did road trips in the country for a week. (2015)
  2. Luxury travel. You can choose to wait for the time you’ll afford an air ticket and sleep in a fancy hotel, buy expensive drinks and have a full-on party while there, orΒ  decide to hop onto a bus, camp at the back of the hotel and exchange expensive drinks for scenery and communion with nature. Your call.

    Tourist attractions in Kenya
    New years eve 2017.
  3. The party life. I thank God for delivering me from that mentality that a fun weekend is one where I have to go on the rave. Friday night dancing, Saturday hangover-fixing, and poof! Back to work. You’ll be surprised that the money you spend on drinks, Uber and Chicken on the morning after is enough to take you camping in some of the most beautiful places.

    Tourist attractions on the Kenyan Coast.
    Lamu’s Coco Beach (2014). On this night, a group of ‘beach boys’ asked my friends and I if we could hang out after dinner. They came with their drums, showed us to a new beach, and we went with our drinks and excitement. It still remains one of my most memorable nights.
  4. Eating out. Now, let’s get this clear, I’ve never really been a fan of restaurant-sampling. However, I realised that foregoing that 150/= (1.5USD) lunch plate at work for a month already saves me 3000/= a month, which is sufficient for a day trip with the many tour companies out there. So that’s one weekend sorted already. I carry my own lunch to work daily.

    Naivasha Kenya
    This day trip in 2016 cost me about 2700/= (27USD) for transport, a visit to 3 lakes and a sundowner lunch/dinner by one of the lakes.
  5. Shopping sprees. I think my girlfriends and I went for clothes/shoes/make-up shopping every 2 or so weeks while I was in campus and shortly after. Now I just pass those invites because I would rather be wearing my 3 year old jeans by the sea somewhere.

    Mombasa (2014)
  6. Luxury hair/nails etc. My hair and nails are basic. Well kept but basic. I secretly roll my eyes every time someone with a human hair weave/wig and intimidating nail extensions asks me “So who’s really paying for this”? Girl! Bye!
    Lake Victoria
    Lake Victoria from the Kenyan side (2013)

    7. Expensive dates. Girls are good at this. Expensive coffee dates, expensive nights out/dinners. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll do these once in a while, but can we just meet at my house in a middle range restaurant and save that sea food date for the sea-shore?

    Things to do in Zanzibar
    Street cuisine in Zanzibar during Maulidi celebrations (2014)

    8. Pride. I bargain. If there’s anything I have learnt from the corporate world, it’s to ALWAYS SELL YOURSELF!Β  Most people want something back so think about what you can offer and HYPE it. I recently got 27,000/= (270 USD) off a trip by sending just one email to somebody I havn’t even met.
    If you can’t come up with anything, bargain either way. There’s no reason why you should pay the full amount at a hotel/campsite when it’s low season, for instance.

    Outdoor activities in Kenya.
    Hiking the Kijabe circuit (2014)

    9. Weekend activities. I played in an orchestra for about 5 years. I adore choral music (singing and concerts). However, I had to drop something I spent hundreds of hours trying to perfect to allow me to see the world. I’m not super-human and I can only do so much with my time. It took me a whole year to accept this to myself, but I finally let go. I keep my weekends free.

    Classical music in Kenya
    Post-concert picture from my violin days. One of the things I had to give up.

    10. The need for company. If you want to go for something, go for it. You can’t always wait for people to join you in what you love to do for you to do it. This applies to everything really. You’ll find that once you start, you’ll meet people that are more suited to your path than if you just sat there and did ‘ordinary’ with the crowd.

    Things to do in Kenya
    How about you just go and hang out with whoever you meet there? They’ll let you into their manyattas, give you some traditional brew and lots of stories. Maasai Mara (2015)

    Shall I then see you up and go?

    CONTACT: akenyannomad@gmail.com


  1. Am on this path too and the same questions keep coming.

    Hope to bump into you soon on one of the safaris πŸ˜€



  2. Nice piece here,Keep it up!!!@simmzkarani .Five signs your a travel Addict.
    1.You are not afraid of getting lost.
    2.Everywhere feels like home.
    3.You can’t wait for your next trip.
    4.Nothing excites you more than traveling.
    5.You are a travel blogger or spend countless of hours reading travel blogs.


    1. I think in travel as soon you wear the suit of travel just get ready to wave good bye to many friends and be even more to say halo and welcome to new friends, I have lost almost 60% of my friends


  3. What you just discussed is what I did 7 years ago and today I can say with pride I have set foot in most corners of Kenya (it was dream to set my footprints on each corner of Kenya and am glad today I just go back to where I have been before) and am yet to stop thanks to the above you said in your write up that I begun to practice years ago and am proud, I hope someone else can follow that


  4. I’m inspired. I always wanted to travel. I haven’t hit a damn point in my bucket list. I want to hike Mt. Fuji; have hiked half of the Aberdare Ranges, and not even ventured to the foot of Mt. Kenya. Though I live in the USA, I love my country of birth and would like to first take of Kenya. I love people more than the landscape. The best ugali I ever ate was prepared by a Nandi woman in her impecably clean grass-thatched, two-roomed house. The baby in her hands sipped busaa before my dad was served. I was 12. I wondered why I didn’t get a sip. The baby is considered an angel and the tiny sip she was given was to bless it. I was no longer an angel and therefore couldn’t bless the tipple. We need to travel.


    1. Glad you’re inspired Macharia. Also, you’re funny. There’re no 12 year old angels. Once you hit 3, you’ve crossed over. I wish you luck in the pursuit of your bucket list items.


  5. This is such an encouragement. Recently my friend and I decided on travelling while still young and broke. We started off with the coast and it was so much fun!! This piece is definitely guiding us to keep up on the same. Thank you


  6. Well written piece!
    Could have been writing the story of my life… Hope to bump into you somewhere on this planet.
    Wish you well in your future travels…


  7. I enjoyed your article for several reasons:
    1) I have visited several of the places you described in your article (Lamu Island, Mombasa, Zanzibar, Rwanda) so it was reminding me of some beautiful memories;
    2) There’s pride in exploring your surroundings;
    3) You have reminded me that I need to get back on the road.
    Greetings from a Jamaican residing in Canada:)


  8. I’ve always looked for your blog in vain, today finally i got it. It’s so beautiful… Sometimes back i wanted to blog on safaris but due to the demanding nature of my part time schooling schedule I’ve been blogging on random topics i enjoy. You’ve inspired me to begin my stories on travel once again…can’t get enough of the awesome shots..am a photography enthusiast…


  9. This is super inspiring! Gives me psyche for any dreams I’ve been shelving for too long, travel included. Keep on πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


  10. I get asked the same questions each time – where do you work, what do you do, they must be paying you well…. but your ten point and especially Points 1, 3, 8, and 10 are very critical to master for everyone and anyone interested in seeing the world.
    Awesome article


    1. Thanks Kavutha. It really makes me cringe every time someone asks me that. Also I’ve gotten this question from people earning even twice as much as I do, the irony. Glad you enjoyed the read and hope to meet you on our ravels some day


  11. I came here from Just Rioba’s blog and I have to say – thank you for your honesty (and humor). This post hits home on so many levels… Best wishes and safe travels to you!


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