6 Memorable Travel Firsts

You know those memories that stick with you? The ones where you don’t need photos to recall the moments because they were so profound? Sometimes, of course, memories fade, but some seem like they’ll last forever – like these events that make up my memorable travel firsts.


Amsterdam, Fall 2001 -The first time I was stranded at an airport. This is the only “bad” memory here. I have bad in quotes because I don’t think I could fully comprehend the happenings at the time. It was during the September 11 attacks as my family and I were trying to make our way to Miami. No thanks to the horrific events, we were stuck at Schipol airport for 4 nights and 5 days before being allowed to board a plane to the U.S. During this time, the airport was packed with bodies, families just like us sleeping on the floor since hotels were full. I remember celebrating my 8th birthday and being given a cupcake from one of the Red Cross workers and a shirt from my grandma. All I wanted during those 4 long days was to leave the airport, and I’m grateful we were able to make it out safely. May the souls of those dearly departed rest in perfect peace.

Ghana, Summer 2004 – The first time I chickened out on a canopy walk. It was at Kakum National Park and the bridge was incredibly shaky. It felt like there was a high chance of falling so I sat with my crying 3-year-old brother while the rest of my family did the walk. Till today, I regret that decision. I want to make up for it by visiting the canopy walk at Lekki Conservation Center which I hear is now the longest one in Africa. I would tell you all to hold me to it, but you can’t. Haha. So, just take my word for it.

VSCO Cam-1.jpgDubai, Summer 2009 – The first time I visited a desert. We went on the desert safari tour. A driver takes you out to ride the sand dunes in a 4-wheel SUV and it feels like you’re riding a roller coaster. It was such a thrill that we were quite pleased to do it again in 2010. If you visit Dubai, the safari -in my opinion- is a must-do. Dubai was also the first place I tried my hand at skiing at the mall’s indoor ski resort. I’m bad at it, I don’t think I want to do it again.

The Dominican Republic, Summer 2013 – The first time I… well the first time I did quite a number of things. The first time I visited the Caribbean. The first time I snorkeled, the first time I surfed, (I was bad at this too, see a post about it here), the first place I jumped off a cliff, went white water rafting and the first place I fell in love with Latin music, and appropriately, learned to dance the Bachata, Merengue, and Salsa! So, if you want to go dancing sometime…

IMG_0433.JPGEcuador, Summer 2017 – Another place of many firsts…but the most memorable one has to be climbing to the top of a 10,000ft mountain. I still cannot believe I did this. My children and their children will hear of this for years to come. Haha! Yes, I did it in almost twice the time it should have taken, but the point is that I got to the top and for this, I am incredibly proud.

And finally, 

San Francisco, Summer 2017 – The first time I traveled solo. To be honest, I don’t know how it took me so long to travel on my own. I had planned a number of solo trips in my head that just weren’t executed. San Francisco, I planned spontaneously. It wasn’t completely solo because I stayed with my cousin who lives there, but since she works, I spent most of my days alone. My verdict – It was liberating to have the freedom to wander as much or as little as I wanted. I also made a few acquaintances along the way. I’m fully embracing solo travel and definitely looking forward to taking more trips like this one.

VSCO Cam-1-1.jpg

Stories + photos from my trip to San Francisco are coming to the blog soon!

What are some memorable travel firsts for you? Leave me a comment to let me know!

As always, 

thank you for reading. 

Photos shot and edited on iPhone 6 & 6S+

same footprints, different sands 



  1. Zinny says:

    I enjoyed reading this recap. It’s beautiful. I have traveled solo just once and I remember feeling so scared, but it all went well and I wouldn’t mind doing it again.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tiesé says:

      Thank you so much!!! Yes, I think there’s something about having someone else with you on a trip that just makes you feel safer. It’s easy to be scared especially if it’s a completely new place/country but I’m glad it went well for you! Here’s to more great solo trips!


  2. Ufuoma says:

    Airport for 4 days? That’s horrendous! Glad you all made it out safely. I will be so cranky.
    Love this post. Travel can be so memorable and it’s always fun to look back every now and then.

    PS: The Dominican Republic is so gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tiesé says:

      Girl, as a kid I couldn’t really process it all but even then I knew I was sick and tired of being at the airport. Yes, thankful it all went well in the end. Thank you so much!!!

      Ah yes! One of the most beautiful countries I’ve visited to date! I actually want to go back.


  3. Amarachi says:

    Oh man, that first one was truly terrible. Apart from spending 4 whole days in an airport (I can’t even imagine this), the events of that caused the delay was really sad and heartbreaking…

    Don’t want to scare you about the Canopy walkway in the sense but Kakum is better than LCC if you’re scared of heights/walking on a wobbly bridge. In Kakum, you have a bypass, so you don’t have to walk the entire thing. No bypass in LCC 😀

    Memorable travel firsts for me would be
    1. Paris 2013 – First time I travelled internationally
    2. Europe 2015 – First time I travelled solo. This was the trip that started this phase of my life. It was everything!
    3. India 2016 – First wildlife safari trip
    4. Idanre 2016 – First Nigerian group tour with Unravelling Nigeria. This trip pioneered several opportunities and new found friendships
    5. November 2016 – First time couchsurfing – and lucky enough to surf with a wonderful host…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tiesé says:

      It was crazy. As a kid it was definitely a lot to take in. Thankful for safety. LOL. really? Hmm, I might reconsider oh! Maybe I’ll try Kakum again.

      And omg, such great travel firsts!! Been meaning to do a Euro trip but my bank account keeps saying no. lol.

      I keep hearing great things about couch-surfing but I feel like I would be too nervous to try!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Koko says:

    This piece got me feeling nostalgic. It’s weird that the memories I remember vividly are those I experienced fully. No phones, no cameras, no creative worries. It was just me & that moment. Thank you Tiese for this article.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tiesé says:

      That’s usually the case for me too. It’s definitely needed sometimes! Thank you for reading. 😊😊😊


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