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Yagz Journey

It's about everything on the journey to "becoming"

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Travel

Is New York City always a good idea?

So I haven’t done a travel post in a while and I don’t know why! I haven’t travelled as much this year but I have definitely had some exciting travel experiences even in the city I currently call home – one of the leading travel destinations. However, that’s a post for another day, today am here to tell you about my NYC weekend experience some weeks back. I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours in New York city and this time around I got to be a tourist :-). Isn’t that exciting. SO if you are ever in NYC for a couple of days, here are a few tricks that worked for me and just might for you as well

  • Broadway: Being a huge theatre arts lover, there’s no way I would be in NY without getting to see a broadway show. This time around I saw Waitress: the musical. The show was great, good music, colorful props with a unique story line. If you have ever seen the movie, the stage play is so spot on. However, if you are traveling with children, may not be appropriate for that audience. Book your tickets early on http://www.broadway.com with the option to choose your seats. I also learnt of a new option to get ticket deals by visiting the ticket shop in Times Square, for the opportunity to buy tickers at low rates which haven’t been sold yet
  • Accommodation: Booking a place to stay in NYC can sometimes be a hassle especially when you aren’t familiar with the city. One may end up getting a place to stay thats far out from all the attraction sites on your itinerary. I advise you look up your options on google maps by checking the travel time and options to enable make a decision so you don’t spend half your trip commuting. I recommend Air BnB for good deals on places to stay or if you are luck like me, you get to book hotel in Times Square with loyalty points from previous hotel stays
  • Sites to See: the Hop on Hop off buses are a good way to get to see a lot of the city especially the red line which goes downtown. Not all Hop on Hop off buses are value for your money in certain cities but NY’s was definitely worth it. Have a couple of pictures to show for it. You can get the Value tickets that enable you visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Immigration museum as well. I would like highly recommend a visit to the Immigration museum as there’s a lot to learn about the history of the USA and how the role and stories of the immigrants which make up most of its populace. No one is left out in the exhibits, Africans, Europeans, Red Indians. The Empire state building is also a place not to miss, being tallest building NY in the city it provides a a breath taking view of the ‘Concrete jungle’. You can purchase these from any travel website such as expedia.com or from any hotel concierge which was the rout I went as a lot of it was last minute
  • Shopping: If you love to shop as much as I do, you may enjoy a visit to the Woodbury Outlet Mall located upstate of the city. However, there a shuttle tourist buses from the city and back. These buses can be found downtown around the Times Square area. The drive to the outlet is only about an hour from this location.
  • Other sites on my list that I haven’t gotten to see yet are: Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), 9/11 memorial, Comedy Club, Brooklyn Tabernacle Church,

Hope this helps as you plan your next short trip to New York as its always a good idea as you hardly run out of things to do. Please share some of the things that have made your trip to NYC memorable or what you look forward to each time

 

[P.S: been sitting in drafts since December 2016..lol)

Karibu to The Kenya Experience

I had the opportunity to spend 2 days in the homely city of Nairobi a few weeks ago and I fell in love. Despite the fact that I am African and have lived in this beautiful continent most of my life, Nairobi to me seemed to exude all the things that make Africa so great. The air so fresh with  nature all around, the warmth of the people with smiles and an outstretched arm to welcome you at every turn, the creativity born out of a genuine love and contentment with what is within its borders. All I can say is I wish I could have stayed longer but for the days I did get to spend, I would like to share a few things with you.

During my stay, I got to stay at the beautiful Sankara Hotel. One of my favorite things about the hotel were the keep sakes placed in your room for each night spent at the hotel. Each night, you were greeted by a pocket-size soapstone carving of an animal. There are 7 of them in the collection..a different animal and design each day and a card telling you something unique about the animal. However, what I loved the most was the use of Soapstone – a natural resource to make this. In many ways, it felt like I was actually taking home a piece of Kenya with me 🙂

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Soapstone (also known as steatite, or soaprock) is a talc-schist., which is a type of metamorphic rock. It is largely composed of the mineral talc and is thus rich in magnesium.
Soapstones can be used to make many different things and one of my favorite is the bookend, unfortunately I didn’t get to buy one due to my short stay. If you are ever in Kenya, thats a hint to what I would love. To find out how these beautiful objects are made, here’s a video
So if you are avid lover of food like I am, you should pay a visit to the Urban Eatery . Its the one stop shop for most food cravings. It boasts of not 1…not 2 but 6 different restaurants in one. One of the things I love about this is its so cozy, artsy decor and perfect for any time of social gathering with different table settings to go. You wouldn’t believe it had 6 restaurants in it till you looked on the menu. Another restaurant that I would like to visit on my next trip is the Carnivore restaurant, as the name implies its for meat lovers
Urban Eatery Restaurants
  • THE DAILY – ALL DAY DINING, CAFE & BISTRO
  • BAR ASIA – NOODLE BAR, SUSHI, ASIAN
  • FIREPLACE – MEXICAN, MEDITERRANEAN, WORLD
  • HAANDI – INDIAN CASUAL FARE
  • MERCURY – SIGNATURE BAR
  • YOG – NATURAL FROZEN YOGURT

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Another amazing experience I had was  a visit to the Nairobi National Park. This was particularly exciting as my friends and I were looking forward to seeing the lions based on all the tales we had heard prior to our trip about lions running loose on the streets. This tale was born out of an incident earlier this year of lions escaping. However, the lions were returned unharmed and with no harm to humans as well. The Safari tour can last a whole day based on the immensely huge expanse of land with various animals all guarding their territory. Sadly, we got there too late in the day to see the lions but we definitely got to see many more animals we were often accustomed to seeing in books.
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All I can say is Kenya is fun, relaxing and homely and would love to visit again given the opportunity. Please share your experience if you have visited Nairobi or another city in Kenya. Also taking recommendations for other travel destinations

Asante Sana Kenya 
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Airplane Etiquette: 5 tips to not creeping out a fellow passenger

I have been privileged to be able to use an “Aeroplane” as a means of transport for the past 12 years and in those years, I guess I have been fortunate to have some very pleasant and mannered individuals as seat partners. Don’t get me wrong, I probably had one or two interesting interactions in those times but nothing beats my most recent experience. I guess this is something suffered by most air plane passengers due to the lack of knowledge of Airplane Etiquette, so doing a service by sharing the little I know from my experiences;

Do not volunteer too much unsolicited information to a fellow passenger.

Do not share a passengers tray table, we all have individual ones for a reason

Do not interrupt a passenger’s viewing time to tell them how exciting your own movie is and how they should switch to that

Do not offer to tuck in a fellow passengers, that’s considered creepy considering the circumstances of having a complete stranger offer to do that.

Do not offer your used pillow to a fellow passenger

I guess at the end of the day, no one is exactly thrilled to be trapped in a confined space for an extended period of time so always try to look out for your seat partner by maintaining good manners

The Garden City chronicles 

Port Harcourt, Rivers state aka The Garden city has been home to me over the last 6months and in that time, I have learnt some lessons that I would like to share with you. If you ever decide to visit or make this place home, here are a few things I would like you to know.

  • You never negotiate with market sellers, how dare you?! 😱 It is a taboo in this land; if you choose to defy this rule, prepare to receive a backlash either  in a rude or polite manner, spoken or silent. This is particularly interesting as it is practically a benefit of being Nigerian- the freedom to negotiate
  • It is your responsibility to provide change to transporters. The audacity to enter any means of transportation in the city, particularly the shared taxis or Kekes without your exact fare change could result in you being dropped off at any location the drivers deems fit.😄
  • Almost everywhere within PH can be connected via The Keke Transport line. It may take about a chain of multiple Kekes but if it is within the city you shall get there. However this excludes the Government Residential Areas in the City(GRA)😏
  • You rest on Saturdays and do not expect to find most businesses open before 9:00a.m. Being a Lagos girl at heart, I am used to the hustling nature of Lagosians. Businesses run on an 12 hour cycle or how long it takes to satisfy customers. Most businesses shut down at 6:00 pm here but that’s one of the perks or running your own business 😉
  • The Customer is not king, and so shouldn’t be treated as such. I love excellent service and I believe what you cannot achieve in excellent product you make up for in service. You got to have one or the other. 
  • Finally, there is no right of way when it comes to driving in PH. You can be hit by another road user who feels entitled and wouldn’t offer an apology when he is wrong. There are no traffic laws everyone just moves. However, I believe that the right thing should be done always even if you are considered the weirdo 
  • The city is blessed with exotic fruits however do not expect the sellers to Know the names of all they sell. That adds to the mystery

  

  

Disclaimer: there are always exceptions to every rule

Please share some of the things that have stood out for you in cities you have visited! 

Bow Tie Pasta 

Seems like I got bitten by the pasta bug during my trip to Florence, Italy, which I just saw its a beautiful place. So many sites to see with a rich culture and a great love of food. If anyone reading is ever in Florence, do make it a point of duty to visit the following sites or try the following activities

  • Segway Tour of the City Centre
  • Vespa tour of the Wine area
  • The sites of the City Centre such as the Cathedral,
  • The Vantage point of the city where the Michel Angelo statue is
  • Will keep updating the posts as I remember the names

First week back, I was in the mood for Pasta almost everyday and decided to go the route of the bow tie pasta. All that was needed for the recipe are: Tomato Sauce, Pasta, Choped Vegetables of choice, Spices, Minced meat. Simple.

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Bring the pasta to a boil and rinse with cold water and keep aside


The sauce prepared two days before was included in the pot. Add about a tbsp of olive or sunflower oil, add onions and sliced green peppers, then mixed meat and season with coriander, thyme and lil salt and stir fry. Pour in your Tomato sauce and bring to a boil

Add in your pasta to the sauce and stir together and leave to sinmer till your pasta is tender enough to serve

  
Prego!

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