Traveling can be daunting and stressful but it can also be made fun as well as educative. Traveling, local or beyond the boarders of Ghana is fun, no matter how you view it. By traveling, you can see, learn, explore and relax.
However, these things don’t just happen because you have embarked on a journey. To make the best out of your travels, you must be intentional about what you wish to achieve.
Traveling and working across Ghana have opened me up to the Country in so many ways. This opportunity has given me a new perspective of the Ghana we have and that perspective is that there is a whole lot of beautiful things beyond Accra . To be frank, seeing Ghana the more keeps making me a proud Ghanaian.
Ghana is bigger than Accra, so to really know Ghana, one must see and experience Ghana beyond Accra. For people WHO are looking forward to exploring Ghana, they must look at travelling beyond Accra because Ghana is bigger than Accra.
How can one make his or her Ghana beyond Accra trips memorable? Let me share with you 7 practical tips that will help anyone enjoy their travels across Ghana.
1. Leave your perception behind.
Once you intend to take trip to another part of the country try and leave the perception about the people and places you are going to visit behind. Keep an open mind because the perception you carry can hinder you from enjoying your experiences as you journey across Ghana. Forget about your perception about customer care as you travel around. The customer experience outside Accra is different. If you stay in low budget hotels, reduce your expectations of being served as the customer is the king mantra. What you will give you as service is what the workers have. Again it is increasingly becoming clear to me that, customer service experience is influenced by the culture of the people and largely this is contributing to the different levels of customer service across the regions of Ghana. Hey but don’t worry because for the classic hotels, you will get to be treated as a king or queen to make you feel good on your trips.
2. Drop your taste
Yes, you will have to drop the taste of foods that you know behind if you want to enjoy other places and the food available. The food culture is so different and there is every likelihood that you will not find in some of the location food tasting like your home or local foods. Be willing to explore new ways of eating and enjoying food in your trip. If you fail to adjust your taste buds on your trips you may not have much experience and you will miss out on some adventure.
I tell people that, food is part of the experience so enjoy thy experience. One thing I try to do when I travel around is that I don’t carry food even when I am to travel beyond the borders of Ghana. When you go on the trip, taste the akyeke, TZ, fried yam, akple, Aboloo, Akomfem (Guinea fowl), etc.
The truth is that the taste of grilled Guinea fowl in Accra is very different from that prepaid in Zebilla. Ga kenkey in Accra is not the same as GA kenkey in Kumasi. Fanti Kenkey from Cape Coast is not the same as Fanti Kenkey in Tamale. Stop tasting foods by using the tastes you already have as a standard. There is more to explore with foods so try and enjoy the food as you move.
3. Have a conversation
Don’t be on a Ghana Beyond Accra trip and keep to yourself in your hotels or behind your windscreens acting like a VVIP. Pick up healthy conversations with hotel workers or people who you buy from, taxi drivers and you can better have a good understanding of the area you may find yourself. You can ask about security and safety issues or best foods or pub (joints) or any relevant information to enable you make very informed decision.
4. See the city in the evening
No matter what you do during the day like attending to business meetings, shopping, visiting museums, tourist sites, etc, you have not seen much if you don’t take time to see how the city ‘appears’ or ‘looks’ like in the evenings. I will agree with the thought that, the beauty of a city is seen and experienced in the evenings. Well, I just think it is so because most people are less serious about life after a long difficult day.
At least, spend some time out and enjoy the city in the evening. There are many ‘joints’ that can fit your status and style if you ask around well. Most of the hotels have nice places to hang out in safety.
The little drawback about evening life in most parts of Ghana even including Accra is that most parts of Ghana are not like some parts of Eastern Africa where evening life can be felt from Sunday to Sunday.
Largely in Ghana, evening life picks up from Thursdays with much fun on Fridays and Saturdays and then it slows down on Sundays. This is something my Ugandan and Zambian friends have found boring about nightlife in Ghana. So if you are travelling only for fun or tourism try and schedule it around the weekends because that will help you feel a vibrant nightlife in the city if only you enjoy nightlife.
5. Learn a local word and use it
Language is a powerful relationship builder. Don’t travel around without trying to pick or learn a word or two in the local dialect. Be careful to learn the right or appropriate words and use them to connect with the locals. Language gets you to receive a little more hospitality than sticking to only your own or known language.
5. Visit the local market
No matter how you travel, rich or budgeted, the local markets have something to offer you. Don’t limit your experiences to the high street restaurants or shopping malls. Pick up simple local foods from the local markets and enjoy. Shop in the local markets for some local items that can serve as memorable items for your travels because every trip or journey is so different. Keep a great memory of your travels with the things you buy on your trips. Anyway, my best picks on my travels are books for my girls and I make sure I write in them where those books were purchased.
6. Keep your camera close
Thankfully, because of technology, we don’t need to carry huge cameras on us as we travel. Sometimes, I travel with my Canon EOS 100D camera but the phone is a best substitute so whichever way, carry a camera.
However, ensure you follow the public rule for photography. If the inscription boldly prohibits photography, just obey it. The worst experience on a trip is to find yourself on the bad side of the law.
Try and just avoid anything controversial on your travels. You have an ultimate aim to positively enjoy your time on your trip so just do it and make sure you focus your camera on safe objects and click as much you find beautiful scenes.
You owe yourself a memorable trip on every travel you embark on so fix yourself a positive memory on your next Ghana Beyond Accra trip.
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