Team RE is continuing to talk about travel and share their must-have products while on the road. This week, Rosemina talks about why she dreams of visiting Kenya and how she stays efficient while traveling.
1. You have four days and $2,500 for a long-weekend trip with a significant other, family member or best friend. Who do you take, were do you go, and what do you do?
If I was taking someone with me, I'd probably head south and spend the four days on a tropical beach, probably at an all-inclusive resort. With that kind of budget, we'd be able to stay at a pretty awesome place, and it's always nice to just have everything taken care of you for a few days. Four days is the perfect amount of time for me to spend on the beach before I start getting bored.
If $2,500 was my budget for a solo trip for four days, I would head to London. Even though I'd be spending a lot of time in the air, it would totally be worth it! I'd visit a couple of old friends and just hang out in the city that I absolutely adore.
2. Tell us about a travel experience that affected your perspectives on work and/or life.
In 2011, I took off to Costa Rica by myself for 10 days, and it was the most glorious 10 days of my life. I got to experience nature, animals, and meet interesting people.
Costa Rica taught me the importance of the balance between city/human consumption and the preservation of nature and animals. It gave me an experience I had always yearned for -- to be immersed in the rain forest and truly understand and witness firsthand the symbiotic relationships of every organism that lives there. I saw sloths in their natural habitats, sat in natural hot springs, saw a volcano in real life, and even hung out with a wild boar.
On top of all that, I got to meet people from all over the world. I chatted with a man from Italy who has travelled the whole world, spent a day with two older women from Columbia who didn't speak any English, and bonded with a Jamaican tour guide over my love for animals.
3. What are your most efficient habits regarding travel?
To be totally honest, I'm not a very efficient traveller. I way overpack because I simply can't do without that extra pair of shoes or all those hair products.
However, I am getting better. I've learned a few packing techniques, like rolling my clothes to fit more in less space, and laying certain clothes flat to stop them from wrinkling.
I've also got my security checks down to a T. I get stopped for random security checks almost every time I travel, so I try to make the process as seamless as possible. I don't wear too many layers (maybe a shirt and a hoodie/cardigan) and I wear shoes that easily slip on and off (unless I am travelling to a place that requires boots). I keep all my gadgets together in my carry-on so I can get them in and out of my bag without any rummaging or disorganizing my bag in the process.
4. If you could instantly transport yourself anywhere, where would you go and why?
Kenya. While I am of South Asian decent, my family (parents, grandparents and great grandparents) are all Kenyan, mostly from Nairobi and Mombasa. I would love to see where my parents grew up, and see the stores, Mosques and schools that they always talk about. I want to see where my family is from, learn about the Hakuna Matata lifestyle, and truly get to know my culture and roots.
In addition to that, I want to visit Maasai Mara. I would love to take a volunteer trip to help build schools for the Maasai children, and somehow find a way to support the local businesses of Maasai women. Then I would want to venture off into Mara and witness animals in their natural habitats. I'd love to see a baby elephant playing with it's mother, hear hyenas laughing, and watch the King of the Jungle lead his pride to their next hunt.
5. What's your favorite way to stay active while traveling for work or leisure?
When I'm in a new place, I love to just walk, wander and allow myself to get lost. When I was in Amsterdam, I spent two full days just walking around the city. I think the best way to experience a new city is to just wander, and that ensures you're getting a bit of exercise while you're at it.
If I'm visiting a place in which wandering off alone isn't really an option, I try to do a couple of excursions that that are more adventurous and active, whether that includes hiking or climbing a waterfall. It always makes for a great story.