So yours sincerely returned to Nigeria a few days ago.
Thankfully, I had a smooth journey, there were no flight delays or cancellations.
I transversed the Atlantic Ocean, from the Caribbean to the United Kingdom and finally Africa. The entire journey took approximately 16 hours, minus the stop overs.
So here is a mini breakdown of my trip and the things I enjoyed about it:
1. SVG TO LONDON
I left SVG on Monday afternoon amidst hugs and some reserved tears, for St. Lucia on the LIAT airline. It was my first time in St. Lucia and though I didn’t get off the plane, I could see that it would be a cool place to visit. A few more passengers came on board and we left for Barbados. The entire journey from St. Vincent to Barbados was about 1 hr 15 minutes. Barbados is a MUST for anyone considering a vacation in the Caribbean. Thankfully, the immigration process was smooth. I’ve learnt not to take it personal when the Barbados Immigration officials ask random, annoying questions about why I’m visiting and when I’m supposed to leave. I had the experience the last two times I was in Barbados.
I was able to use the bathroom and have a light snack before boarding the British Airways to the UK. I don’t know why, but food is always tastier while I’m in transit. As a rule I eat more and try out new food. I don’t understand why LIAT airline doesn’t serve complimentary meals. There should be a law that all airlines have to serve meals no matter the duration of the flight.
The flight to the UK was about 8 hours, but it was the most enjoyable because I had enough to eat and entertain myself with. I also watched ANGRY BIRDS Movie and THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, and slept for the rest of the trip.
2. LONDON TO CASABLANCA
On arrival at the GATWICK Airport, I passed through immigration with ease and then found my way to the train station.
With two luggages and a hand bag, it was tough navigating the several stairs I encountered. But God was faithful to bring a couple of sweet gentlemen my way at intervals. Londoners are too kind. Don’t you agree?
“Can I help you with that?”
“Yes please, thank you so much”
“Do you need help?”
“Yes, I’ll appreciate it.”
Oh my, I was too pleased to hand over my luggage every time. I actually took on the role of a Princess in distress…hahaha.
I took the train from Gatwick to Victoria Park, then to South Kensington, from where I got on the Piccadilly line and we went from station to station, until I finally got down at the Terminal 4 of Heathrow Airport.
I was able to have a typical English breakfast at an airport cafe, then walked around for some window (more than actual) shopping. I almost embarrassed myself while asking about some wristwatches, I didn’t realize the prices were all in 4 digits. When I discovered my error, I quietly left the store for another.
By evening, I was on board the Royal Air Maroc in a flight to Casablanca, Morocco. It was a less fun (no TV for entertainment) trip but I absolutely enjoyed the meals served. For a 3-hour trip, we had more than enough to eat and drink. Eating and Sleeping were my favorite activities, since I didn’t download any novels to read. Candy crush disappointedly refused to open as well. There was a bit of people-watching on my part too, and for the first time I discovered Non-Nigerian Pidgin speakers.
3. CASABLANCA TO NIGERIA
I didn’t realize until my flight that English wasn’t an official language in the country, I heard more of Arabic and French. I was able to buy a few more items at the Airport and the currency in use was Euros. I later learnt their official currency is Moroccan Dirham (MAD). I was quite exhausted walking around the shops. My flight to Nigeria was around midnight and it took us 4 hours to get to Lagos. There was more eating and sleeping during the flight. Since Nigeria is a hour ahead of Morocco, we arrived about 5 a.m. (Nigerian Time).
I was surprised that the MURITALA MOHAMMED INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Lagos, was more sophisticated than the last time I visited (in 2014), and there was even air conditioning in the arrival lounge. So I was welcomed in the typical Nigerian way, and it was only in Nigeria that the Green Passport was classified as a priority.
“Do you have the Nigerian Passport?”
“Go that way”
After passing through the immigration, there were porters all over asking if I needed help with my luggages, taxi service, or calls. I was also approached to change foreign currency. It was good to be home. There were several eateries, stands for Network providers and some business centers. I didn’t see much of souvenir shops though. A porter allowed me to call my mum and led me to an eatery where I bought a snack and bottle of water, I couldn’t get access to wifi and was really exhausted because I had to wait for about 5 hours before I was eventually picked up, thanks to Lagos traffic et al.
Now that I’m home I would like to write about 7 common myths about staying abroad. It promises to be enlightening. Stay tuned.