The breeze of change is blowing, gently and warmly; while, gladly, we prepare ourselves to embrace each other once again, to communicate smiles with curved lips as well as creased eyes, and to pause each other’s flow with a shoulder touch, or even an arm pull. The return to soul-seeking, change-making travel is coming, as is the return to sun-bathing, night-clubbing and babe-watching travel…
Perhaps it is time for a change...
We have been blessed with pause for thought, and time to reflect on what kind of traveler we want to be and what kind of traveler we want to host, when freedom to roam is restored. Here is some guidance on what it means to be a Principled Traveler as you go back out into the waiting world:
In a world of difference and division, we in the travel movement always hope that as we live amongst others, even if only briefly, we will learn to seek equality with all that share our Earth. There are some holiday destinations that seem to attract visitors who prefer subservience over sincerity, or those infamous ‘water melon smiles’ over mutual respect and dignity. Much of the Caribbean springs to mind, with their jaw dropping ‘plantation recreations’; as do some Asian destinations, where people are financially disadvantaged, and appear vulnerable or desperate. A Principled Traveler will abhor the unequal relationships we see all too often in these countries, and will choose to find ways to collaborate instead of exploit.
It is a privilege to travel. Not everyone can own a passport, afford a visa, and a ticket, hotel and entertainment expenses. The Principled Traveler will be mindful that although they may have the resources to visit another country, they do not have the right to use their resources to degrade the worth of the people they meet on their travels. Naturally, the Principled Traveler would never engage in ‘sex tourism’ or other forms of ignoble exploitation, but would instead enjoy mutually respectful and positive interactions with the people they meet.
As a host of visitors from around the world, we can now identify our ideal guest. The criteria is not based on nationality, gender, profession or language- it is based on how fairly they treat us! We have experienced the ‘swing ball’ of Airbnb and other booking sites, and now prefer to relate to our guests without the filter, despite gaining Superhost status on these sites. The modern era of ‘online reviews’ for everything from colouring books to plumbing services has given many travelers unfair leverage in the relationship between guest and host. It is sadly all to common for guests to use their advantage with devastating results, just because they can. Many blackmail hosts for discounts, extensions, extra unbooked guests and other undeserved perks, under threat of the dreaded ‘Negative Review’. Now, once we identify the Principled Traveler, the chest of ‘Complimentary perks’ is willingly unlocked! We entice our Principled Travelers to extend their stay, or return to us, with free meals, complimentary massages and unique trips; we also sit with them, sharing experiences, listening to music, watching the world unfold in mutual respect and awe.
A principled traveler will be eager to have different experiences, and to be introduced to new food, new ways of greeting, traditional values, and environments. Curious eyes are not judgmental or superior, and have few preconceptions. How do you enjoy the fresh juice in your glass when you leave the remnants of your last drink at the bottom? A simple analogy, true! One that seeks not to criticize but to encourage travelers to go with an open heart, and a clean glass.
It is easy to judge without understanding, and to criticize in ignorance- which is why the Principled Traveler will always see some value in the culture they meet on their travels, instead of focusing on behaviours or practices that are not similar to their own. It is easy to focus on the untarred roads in a country in Africa, and complain about the power cuts or lizards, while conveniently forgetting the sprawling ‘homeless cities’ and the devastatingly high rates of drug abuse in your own developed nations. Nearly all our houses are made of glass so the Principled Traveler is slow to throw stones.
Our time is precious.
We want to spend it with Principled Travelers!
Thank you for reading😊
We invite you to subscribe to our community newsletter for more, and stay in contact, share your travel plans:- https://www.legassigardens.com/home
Also please subscribe to our Youtube Channel! For tips on Moving to Ghana and Living in Ghana, from our over 25 years of experience:- https://www.youtube.com/c/LegassiGardensTV
Our Instagram is pretty cool too! @legassi_gardens
How to get that ‘travel mojo’ back!
- Imagine all the delicious food you are missing out on! The mouthwatering fresh, exotic fruits- mangoes, jack fruit, coconut, custard apples, honey limes, watermelon- usually straight from the local farm. For your health and general well being, the cleansing and rejuvenating effect of eating tropical fresh fruits cannot be over-stressed. Not to mention all the delicious meals, with flavours and rich seasonings that excite your palette and awaken the senses…
2. Follow the fragrances! Oh the scents of the tropics! Have you ever been woken by the orange jasmine in bloom? It’s silken white blossoms adorn this evergreen tropical plant with an almost nectar like fragrance! If we could eat them we would reach the heavens 🙂 But we cannot. Just breathe in deeply and dream.
3. Listen out for the sounds: in Africa, you are in the heart of the natural kingdom, where man and his environment live still largely in harmony. Where in the world (nowhere) can you get a sense of perfect isolation, more than in a whole entire continent with a smaller population than a whole entire country…Africa has 1.2 billion inhabitants which is less than India (10 x smaller than Africa) with its ‘boasy’ population of 1.3 billion. That leaves a lot of space: land, mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, plains- stretching into the 10,000s KM as far as your eyes can see, and beyond- for you to enjoy if you take the beaten track! Renew your spirit of wonder! It’s time.
4. I just love the flair of the place! Its so cool!
Remember: you’re cool! Africa is where flair and style began. The perfumes, the fabrics, the adornment, the arts, culture and love for beauty and entertainment. It’s redefining itself now, in pockets, then in waves! Accra has felt the tsunami and is birthing a new tribe- Afropolitan, Afrochella, Afropulse, Afrowhateveryoufeellikebaby…the latest flows rhythmically with the neo and into an unfamiliar scene, that everyone wants to be a part of. The happenings are relentless and, most importantly, beautiful.
How can you deprive yourself any longer?
Unleash the wanderlust flow! Get back to Africa!
Visit Cool Ghana and
the Soul of West Africa!
- 1) Ghanaians generally have a relaxed and friendly attitude towards strangers of any background. It’s possible to blend in and feel that you’re just another part of the colourful scene. There’s no pointing, staring, hassling or hustling of visitors to this vibrant country- especially and ironically, in the Capital city of Accra, and major cities of Kumasi or Takoradi. Like in the cosmopolitan cities of London, Toronto or New York, everyone belongs.
- 2) In Ghana, ‘nightlife’ can be created anywhere! It’s non-stop, simple fun, and almost anyone can start a ‘night club’ or local ‘night spot’, for beers, kebabs and that ‘hangout’ energy that some Western night club owners would pay for handsomely, and still struggle to capture. A few plastic tables, chairs, drinks and loud music, very loud- and you’ve got your ambiance: that cool vibe seems to come naturally in Ghana.
- 3) In Ghana the portions are BIG! The love of food will seduce you and lead your midriff astray in no time! No-one nibbles, or pecks at food, unless hospitalized, and generous, hunger busting portions of Jollof, Wakye or Fufu are expected, whether from commercial sellers or in private homes. The invitation: “Yen didi” (Let’s eat) whenever someone sits to eat in your presence is not an idle statement- most portions could very easily be shared by at least 2 people!
- 4) Get ready to ‘rock and roll’ on the roads of Ghana’s towns and cities! Driving in Ghana is an art, a sport, a dance! Every driver executes their work with flair, as they navigate each stage of the performance- joining the chorus of vehicles and expertly circling the human traffic. Your journey, whether by private car, trotro, taxi, Uber, train or even on foot will leave you wanting an encore!
- 5) Ghanaians never seem to say “No!” They always try to be helpful and positive, with a real ‘Can do’ attitude, which often extends to the “I can do” version. This is great! Very reassuring and comforting, and totally cool, as you can then always count on at least one person to help you with EVERYTHING! Transferable skills win the day in Ghana every time, leaving ‘No’ as just another unnecessary barrier to a life long friendship.
- FOR MORE COOL FACTS ABOUT GHANA- WATCH THIS SHORT VIDEO!
Ghana is about to burst through the barrier into the ‘Middle-income lifestyle’ bracket, and share will all the other elite nations of the world culture-reflective leisure activities that all the family can enjoy.
Accra, as the capital city, offers much choice in fun things to do in and around its ever-expanding borders:
7. Visit a church, or even a Mosque. Yes. Friday, Saturday or Sunday, spend the day with a warm, family oriented community. Join in the celebrations or discussions. There’s refreshments for body and soul; and interesting people to meet which could lead to invitations to other gatherings, and an introduction to culture, society and values. The new mosque at Kanda is an experience, so follow protocols and visit. Mega churches, are dotted around: The Fountain Gate Chapel in Pokuase, Action Chapel International on Spintex Road, and any number of smaller churches found around the city, are great places to start.
6. Bojo Beach! Yes, this counts as is just on the outskirts, or even just inside Accra! You should know that Accra is on the coast, but not all beaches are good for a family day out. This is why Bojo beach is so special: it is a few minutes into Aplaku/Kokrobite: you park, then take a ferry boat ride to the little island beach. So cool! Different. When you arrive, it’s well maintained and clean, and they love your feedback, so please speak to the ‘guardians’ and let them know your comments. Lots of activities, or just kick back.
5. Mmofra Place: Love love love this space! So tranquil, a garden, kiddies park, with ecological learning activities, benches, place to picnic and trees to breathe…This is a gem and is perfect for a chilled afternoon.
4. Achimota Mall aka Achimota Retail Centre: not just for shopping…This mall is the most family ‘easy’- its compact, but impactful- with gyms, restaurants, hairdressers, kids play ground, kids hair salon, 7-D cinema, and outdoor music shows during holidays, and some weekends. There’s always something! The kids can wander, shop, eat and watch; and if you hang out long enough, the music will start!
3. Lizzy’s Sports Centre! Great great great for footballing kids, and Swimmers! They have numerous astro-turf pitches, coaches, scouts; and a BIG POOL, for lessons and just splashing. The swimming coaches are excellent, do your research, try a couple, but with the right one you will transform into a dolphin after a session of lessons!
2. LEGON BOTANICAL GARDENS: This is an absolute must! The playground is ‘off the hook’! with trampolines, conopy walks, climbing frames, and more. Plus, it’s a haven for nature-lovers, and the closest we have to a picnic park in Accra. Go there NOW!
1. Your area…Just get up and walk out of your gates…Turn left or right and keep wandering. Explore the area, stray into another area, get lost! Ask a few questions (you know Ghanaians are ultra-hospitable and ready to help), find a spot or little shop to sit and have a drink, or take a coconut by the roadside. Window shop, pick up a few ‘light to carry items’, buy some fresh oranges to suck, try to remember which road you last took…ask more questions, have a local chop bar lunch, sit for a while, watch, breathe life, then keep going… you will retrace your steps eventually, exhilarated and sweaty, smiling at your adventures; or just get an Uber back!
Want to get the best out of your trip to Ghana?
- 1. First thing you can do to get the most out of your experience is to do some research and find out about the country before your journey! Not only by looking on Google and watching YouTube videos, but by speaking to others who have visited.
- 2. Be clear on why you are planning to visit Ghana- just for beach fun, to do heritage research, to look for business opportunities, to meet friends, even to find a spouse? Be honest with yourself.
- 3. Prepare your taste buds so that you can enjoy the traditional meals- by eating natural foods, drinking Cerassie to cleanse your taste buds, and avoiding sugary foods.
- 4. Challenge your ideas about Africa in general, and decide to embrace the culture as you find it, and not to make constant comparisons with Western countries.
- 5. Pack smart! Travel light, with essentials and leave space in your luggage so that you can make the most of the many shopping opportunities.
- 6. Remember: people are generally the same everywhere. So do not have unrealistic expectations of the people.
- 7. Have a budget plan. Take enough cash, activate your cards as backup, but do not spend more than you can afford.
- 8. You cannot see the whole country in one short trip, so make a plan straight away to come back!