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Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com @glographics Instagram Profile

Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com

@glographics

✈ Travel Blogger | Author | Storyteller 🌏 51 Countries πŸ‘» GL0 πŸ“¬ [email protected] πŸ’» New Post | My 10 Biggest Mistakes As A Travel Blogger ‡

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Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com @glographics Instagram Photo / Video — May 23, 2017

Fed a giraffe today! *runs and updates resumΓ©* πŸ™ŒπŸΎπŸ™ƒ

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Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com @glographics Instagram Photo / Video — May 22, 2017

Hakuna Matata from Kenya! Fellow Lion King lovers, I've been dying to use this phrase and now being in a country where they speak Swahili, I can throw it around without sounding stupid. Or maybe I will. Whatevs πŸ™ƒ A few months ago when I set out to explore this continent, I wrote a soul-bearing post that highlighted my desire to explore Africa. I mentioned that I would love to stay in homes rather than hotels for as long as I could. I told my blog readers to let me know if they could host if they lived anywhere in Africa and I'd be honored and humbled to be their guest. There are 54 countries in Africa, and the morning after I published the post, I was invited by at least one family in 40 of those countries. I cried the night those emails came pouring in, because you never know how kind people are until you see how many want to help you any way they could. One of the most eager to help host, was a lovely gal who lives in Hollywood. With Kenyan roots, she said her parents would be the perfect people to host me and show me around Nairobi and the village life (see my IG stories). With me hardly planning anything past 2-3 days for the past 2 months, it was hard to confirm dates ahead of time. Finally, my trip was confirmed late last week and since arriving Friday night, her parents have not only taken me in as their daughter, but they've made sure I'm getting as many authentic experiences as possible. Every conversation, interaction, and occurrence, is a teaching moment and I'm truly humbled to be here. I can't wait to share more photos and stories, from sitting in on a marriage negotiation to having my first nyama choma (roast meat) and several rounds of drinks, which I've learned I can't say 'no' to if I want to be polite 😭 Out of all the African countries, communities, and villages I've visited so far, I'd say Kenya has been the closest to what I feel Nigeria will be like. The anticipation continues. The journey evolves. The story goes on. I am so blessed and my true riches are in relationships not currency. Thanks for reading ❀

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Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com @glographics Instagram Photo / Video — May 20, 2017

Took an extra shower today courtesy of the Victoria Falls πŸ’¦πŸšΏ 'Mosi-oa-tunya' or 'The Smoke That Thunders' is what the locals call this beauty, because the falls are so powerful, it creates this smoke-like mist and cracks like thunderous waves when it falls over the edge. How does anyone come here without posting about the absolute monstrosity and torrential downpour of these falls? It's both euphoric and terrifying in the same breath. There are parts of the path where you're blinded by the water as it smacks you in the face for falling into this tourist trap. JK. Not a trap, so worth it! I did it twice! You can experience it from both the Zambian and Zimbabwean side, and there's something special to see on both. But if you had to pick one, you'll see it straight on from the Zim side. I felt so alive and free trotting through mist from the water and being guided by the screams of people running to dry land πŸ˜‚ There are dry paths, but if you never got wet, did you even Victoria Falls?! πŸ™ƒ During peak flooding season (April/May aka now, lol) the annual water consumption of New York goes over Victoria Falls in just 3 and a half days. The Falls are known as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. They join the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon, the Aurora Borealis, the Paricutin Volcano, the Harbour of Rio de Janeiro and Mount Everest. On the Zimbabwean side of the Falls lies The Victoria Falls Rainforest, the only place on earth where it rains all day, everyday; a direct result of the water vapour rising from the Falls. I know Jesus washed away my sins, but these falls probably collected anything He left behind. πŸ™πŸΎπŸ™ŒπŸΎπŸ˜‚ Zimbabwe, you've been a treat! On to the next - hit up the Snap "GL0" (with a zero) to see where! Hint - πŸ‡°πŸ‡ͺ

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Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com @glographics Instagram Photo / Video — May 19, 2017

In my element, yet out of my comfort zone. Sun-kissed chocolate skin glowing brighter than ever before. I have never felt more proud to be black than now, traveling around Africa amongst my skinfolk. I must've been no older than 8 when I sat in the bathroom in our condo in California, scrubbing the bar of soap viciously over my arm. "This has to work!" I thought to myself. If I just cleaned the black off my skin, I could wake up white like 90% of the people in my elementary school. I wanted so bad to be white as a child. White was all I knew. They were on all the sitcoms, movies, and commercials. What people don't understand is how society subconsciously (and consciously) silenced the voices of minorities when they weren't given everyday roles in shows and movies like they are now. Shows other than COPS 😭 If you ever wondered why the black community throws around sayings like , , or , it's because we've learned to celebrate ourselves, because we know the media won't. By lifting each other up, in all our chocolate glory, we give each other permission to shine. My travels through Africa have not only been a reminder that (another phrase we use to celebrate the different shades that make up the African diaspora), but they've been a humble reminder that God made no mistakes and I'm exactly the color he wanted me to be. And I call that color Chocolate Perfection. See me shine 🍫🌟 (closest emoji illustration I could find, lol)

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Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com @glographics Instagram Photo / Video — May 18, 2017

Every 60 seconds, a minute passes in Africa πŸ™ƒ No flies, skeletal frames, or big bellies to show here - just kids being kids, playing soccer outside and apparently reppin' that Zimbabwe 😭 I went up to the grandma sitting on the corner and introduced myself. The kids ran as fast as they could behind the house πŸ˜‚ She said, "I'm sorry, don't mind them. But when someone we don't know comes around, we have to be aware of their intentions first." I couldn't agree more. Poverty tourism (aka poorism) is exploitive, and it shouldn't be a reason you visit a country. We had a nice chat before the kids started coming out from hiding and introducing themselves one by one. They were all girls and I wondered where the boys were. Then I looked across the street and saw them playing soccer. I asked the grandma if I could go play with them and she said yes. I went over and the boys all started giggling before running away (is this a sign or nah? 😭) I yelled, "Hey! I just want to play!" *more muffled giggles* I laugh and give up. "OK, bye then!" They run back out, "No! Come back! You can play!" Those jokesters. I'm met with the biggest smiles and I crouch down to their level to appear nonthreatening (a tip I learned from Brandon from Humans of New York). I introduce myself to them, shaking their hands one by one, and the giggles continue. Lord if I could just put them in my pocket, they were SO adorable and a bit smitten I think πŸ˜‰ Then one boy points to my camera and I show him some photos I had taken around town. "Of me! Take of me!" "Okay, one at a time then." Ha, who am I kidding. They all jumped in the shot and with the pose you see above. You can't fake this level of cuteness and in these small fleeting moments I'm reminded that the people I'm meeting are making more of an impact on me than I am on them. I rush back across the street to show the grandma and she calls over the neighbors and nearby parents of all the kids. I collect email addresses to send this photo to all of them and though I can only support them so much financially, you can't put a price on the smiles it brought the parents' faces. πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡Ό

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Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com @glographics Instagram Photo / Video — May 17, 2017

In total bliss in Zimbabwe having met so many vibrant souls. Special thanks to for arranging so many fun experiences! Their balcony at the Safari Lodge is unreal (check IG stories for a peek)! Some fun facts on this amazing country: 1. Zimbabwe has an adult literacy rate upwards of 90% - one of the highest in Africa! 2. In 2008, Zimbabwe issued bank notes for 100 Trillion Dollars, but the US Dollar has been the adapted currency here, so you can imagine my surprise seeing those crispy green things again, as it's become pretty foreign to me after so long. 3. A big stomach among men is a sign of wealth and success, as it implies that they can afford to eat meat daily πŸ˜‚ 4. The country has 16 official languages, and I'm learning words in Shona, Tonga, and Ndebele. 5. English is spoken by everyone, but you will find even a "hello" in their native tongue will get you an extra big smile. 6. Their winters are pretty brutal with a whopping near 80Β° F / 25Β° C temperatures πŸ˜‰ 7. Small signs of respect like placing your hand over your heart and removing your cap when you greet an elder is another reminder how much the world could learn from African culture. There's no hurry here and time passes like the wind. I'm enjoying this pace and these people. This is Zimbabwe πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡ΌπŸ™ŒπŸΎ

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Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com @glographics Instagram Photo / Video — May 16, 2017

Yebooo from Country - Zimbabwe! I couldn't have picked a better destination to ring in this milestone! This country's best asset, are its people. Just look at those cheery faces! I'm always weary of taking photos with locals, as I don't need to exotify my photo or use them as props. I set up my tripod and let them know that I wanted to take a photo with their gorgeous chitenga cloths and patterns. "You don't have to be in the photo," I suggest to the leading lady, Nozwelo, hoping she doesn't feel exploited. I set up the scene with my tripod, back turned, only to look up and find all the nearby women place themselves in the photo anyway. I loved it! Zimbabweans are proud people. And it's not because of their situation, but in spite of it, that I urge you to visit. Thanks to Victor who connected me to his sister and the rest of his family who took me under their wings and showed me around. Seriously getting the ultimate VIP treatment and I'm loving everyone I'm meeting along the way. Between the elephant traffic jam we drove into and the snacking monkeys (see IG stories for more), I'm pretty sure life is complete. As I prepared to eat sadza my first night (also known as fufu or pap in other parts of Africa), two members of the family kneeled to me, one with a kettle and the other with a bowl. I wasn't sure what was going on, until they motioned that I put my hands in the bowl, and then one began pouring some lukewarm water over it, to rinse my hands off before we had our meal. Such a simple gesture, but I watched as they went around in a circle and did the same to each person one by one. Now tell me how that isn't the definition of civilized? I see so many stereotypes being debunked on my day-to-day travels, and know that you guys are only seeing a fraction of what I'm experiencing. But if there's one thing to take away from this, understand that Zimbabwe doesn't need to be saved. It needs to be experienced and understood. From YOUR firsthand perspective. Stop listening to the media and create your own. That's how we begin to change the narrative. That's how we grow. That's how we learn. This is Zimbabwe πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡Όβ€

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Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com @glographics Instagram Photo / Video — May 15, 2017

The past 48 hours have been filled with more laughs, love, and liquor than I could handle. My new friends and I stayed out until 4AM dancing, living, and loving life. I can't emphasize enough how beautiful this journey back to the Motherland has been. Though I encourage EVERYONE to visit the Motherland, I especially hope and wish every Black American invests in a trip "back home" to discover their roots, contextualize their existence, and discover this dynamic diaspora. To be surrounded by people who look and dance like me constantly, satisfies an appetite I didn't know I had. Consider it a personal investment, because it's so powerful to see the beauty of people who look like you, but grew up with such contrasting experiences. There's often a disconnect between Africans and Black Americans because of the lack of knowledge we have for the other. Zambia has been a beautiful and necessary surprise. I'm off to country , and I'm now entering countries outside of my T-Mobile coverage, so expect less snaps/instastories, and even slower than usual email/message responses. The immersion continues β€πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡²

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Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com @glographics Instagram Photo / Video — May 14, 2017

Life is simple here in Zambia. I buy my 30 cent coke and chat with a woman who ends our conversation with "Happy Mother's Day, seestah!" I thank her while laughing silently at the assumption, and then knock on wood that it doesn't manifest into my reality any time soon. They have a thing called a "Zongo" which is like a meeting place. It's a hut-styled roundtable bench where you can go to discuss issues with someone, or simply just meditate. If you have a problem with someone on the street and try to confront them about it, they might tell you to meet in the Zongo, and you both can go discuss it there. People are so calm and civilized here, it's ironic how the colonization of many African nations flipped that narrative and made them out to be barbarians, when it's in fact, those who exploit the natives of a land that are more deserving of such a label. Though Zambia will hardly get any press, I wanted to share some quick facts to literally and figuratively put it on the map. 1. Located in Southeast Africa, it borders Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, DR Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique. 2. It got its independence in 1964 and was formerly known as Northern Rhodesia. 3. The name Zambia comes from the Zambezi River, the 4th largest river in the world stretching from countries in central Africa to the Indian Ocean. 4. English is the official language here, but there are over 73 indigenous languages spoken. 5. Slightly larger than Texas and with a population of 17 million, their country's slogan "One Zambia, One Nation" strives to remind people that no matter your ethnic background, if you live in Zambia, then you are indeed, Zambian. And by uniting people in common beliefs, actions, and values, you create a foundation of togetherness, and an overall communal peace because of it. This is Zambia. πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡²πŸ™πŸΎβ€

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Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com @glographics Instagram Photo / Video — May 12, 2017

Made it to country and found my homeboy Obama! πŸ˜‰ Wow, Zambia! What a beautiful and warm welcome I was given from landing in customs to arriving at my dope Staying in this cute hut, outdoor shower and all, reminds me how simple life can and should be. This might be the cutest AirBnb I've ever stayed in. I purposely chose to stay near a rural area the first couple nights, because I knew I would get a glimpse of my Nigerian heritage through their similar Zambian culture. I see the mothers carrying their small children on their backs and wrapped around their waist like my mom did with my five siblings and I growing up. A little boy yanks my arm and says "Auntie, auntie!" ('un-tee' not 'on-tee'). Which is another thing very common in African culture. If a boy or girl calls to an elder they don't know, they refer to them as auntie or uncle. Growing up in California with so many "aunties" it took a while before I realized they weren't really related to my parents 😭, but as a child you called them that out of respect anyway. First impressions so far: 1. Zambians are such calm and chill people. As a local put it best, they're simple, and they make the most with what they have. 2. The language barrier while traveling is always a concern for westerners, but everyone born in the 80's and up got a free education here. So they're all very fluent in English, but you'll come to find this us common in most African nations due to colonization. 3. I walked to town with just my camera in tow looking to meet some new faces and new places. I was met with curious and fascinated stares, and it was only a matter of time before someone said, "EH SEESTAH, YAH NOT ZAMBIAN, I KNOW! WHERE FROM?" I cracked up. Was it my fedora? My shades? My Serena Williams-esque perfection? Kidding. Kinda. We chatted about cultural differences and went for a drink to learn each other's stories. It's these chance encounters that remind me how exciting life can be when you put yourself out there to meet incredible souls, and let the universe do the rest of the work and meet you halfway. Beautiful Zambia. Here's to dignifying your story, because Lord knows the media won't. πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡²β€

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Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com @glographics Instagram Photo / Video — May 11, 2017

Colorful, captivating, charismatic Cape Town. C is for the colors that drape the walls of Bo Kaap. A is for the accent from my favorite Xhosa and Zulu people. P is for the people who took me in like family. E is for the energy and vibrance of their culture. T is for the times I stuffed my face in weekend braais. O is for the outfits when paired with African prints. W is for the wine still in my system from Stellenbosch. N is for the next time I'll be visiting the city. I came for a week, yet stayed for a month. A true testament to the warmth, community, and culture of this city. I thought I overstayed my welcome, but in reality, they've overwelcomed my stay. Thank you, Cape Town. See you again soon. πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡¦β€πŸ™πŸΎ

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Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com @glographics Instagram Photo / Video — May 10, 2017

How is it possible that knew what I wanted before I even asked? Robes and puppies? Say no more! This boutique lodge in the heart of Cape Town is fancy enough to feel like a hotel, but comfortable enough to feel like home. I'm down to my last few hours in Cape Town and I couldn't have picked a better place to spend it. The creative community here is unparalleled and I'm so blessed to have met, mingled, and matched with the exact kind of energy that keeps my spirit alive. More cuddles with Coco, then back to the grind.

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