I love travelling! It’s the adventure, which to me is stepping into the unknown and opening myself up to meeting new people, and experiencing new things. It’s an amazing privilege to be able to travel freely and easily between countries. This is something I do not take for granted. As someone who has held a Zimbabwean passport, fondly known as a Green Mamba (also the name of a very dangerous snake), for many years and had to apply for a VISA for every country I visited, I love having a British passport! It’s like having a Fast Track pass at a theme park. You don’t stand in queues for hours and plan things months in advance, you just get up and go, whilst the Green Mambas are still waiting…still hoping…
Travelling abroad while living in Zimbabwe is very expensive and not something most people are able to do. The average Zimbabwean would have to work for about 10 years, saving every single cent, to afford a plane ticket to the UK- but wait – the average Zimbo doesn’t even have a job! In a country where about 90% (yes, 90%!) of people are unemployed, travelling is a dream. Read more on Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate here.
I did however, have many a travel adventure whilst based in Zimbabwe. Young, naïve, with a little money spare from my $10 million a month job at Beverley Building Society, and a boss who encouraged me to ‘live’ while I was young; I did just that! Now don’t get too excited about the $10 million monthly salary. When a loaf of bread costs $120 thousand (the same value as our 3-bedroom house about 7 years earlier) that is not a great deal of money.
Nonetheless, I made it happen by hitch-hiking (very normal in Zimbabwe), catching what we call chicken-buses (for the sole reason that your chances of sitting next to someone sitting with a chicken on their laps, were very high), Emergency Taxis, which we call E.T.s. There is nothing emergency about these taxis by the way, as you’ll gather from some of my stories. I also travelled a lot by train as my dad worked for the N.R.Z. (National Railways of Zimbabwe).
Stay tuned for some funny stories about my African, European and American adventures.
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