Update

I’m back in Uganda. Actually I’ve been back since the end of March, in time for the Easter holiday, and I’ve just been posting all the travel tales I had written up but failed to post in time. Technically this post is about 2 weeks late! Posting blog updates in real time is harder than it initially seems, but like all things, it’s a work in progress! So consider this a an update post, and I’ll give this real-time blogging another shot…

I miss Europe, but at the same time I’m glad to be back in the sun! Although I’m back to my 9 to 5 daily routine and don’t have as much time to wander about, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been up to anything these past two weeks! 1st thing I did when I returned home was enter the ‘Biggest Baddest Bucketlist’ travel competition, although my entry was really late, it was worth a shot, because dreams are worth chasing! You can check out my video entry here…

I got an email yesterday announcing the top 10 finalists, my name unfortunately wasn’t among them. I thought I gave it a pretty good shot, considering I filmed, edited and submitted the whole thing in 48 hours (to the deadline)! Plus I had fun making the video. I’ve also now got a few new places to put on my bucket list after watching other people’s video and spending two weeks fantasizing about how I would spend 6 months in 6 countries!

After a pretty intense 48 hours trying the meet the BBB Competition deadline, I was totally looking forward to attending my first Blankets and Wine event in Kampala. These monthly events have become the epitome of East African chilling! If you happen to visit East Africa, it’s worth planning your visit to include this picnic style outdoor music event. Its family friendly, loads of fun, and has a great “hakuna matata” vibe about it that’s so distinctly East African! There’s no better way to spend a sunny Ugandan day than being outdoors, sipping on wine, seated in the grass on Maasai Shuka’s under the beautiful African sky, with line up of talented live afro-fusion musicians.

Even the rain clouds didn't stop us from having a great time
Even the rain clouds didn’t stop us from having a great time

I also attend my 1st TED talk event in Kampala, and a free screening at The Hub on the typography documentary Helvetica. I also happened to go watch a movie in Uganda’s 1st 3D cinema, the ticket came with free popcorn and a drink, not bad! But my highlight last weekend definitely was the Lantern Meet of Poets recital, an ever growing group of poets who never disappoint when it comes to showcasing some of Uganda’s most original, thoughtful and heartfelt poetry.

Engaging speakers and captive audience at TEDxKampala
Engaging speakers and captive audience at TEDxKampala

My latest adventure is planned for this weekend. After spending a month convincing Europeans why they should come to Uganda, especially to track the Mountain Gorillas, I ended up convincing myself to go Gorilla Tracking! With a promotion going on for April and May, I was able to get a permit for half the usual price! If you’re in Uganda, now is definitely the time to go up to see the Gorillas!

My first Gorilla permit !
My first Gorilla permit !

I will be visiting the Oruzogo gorilla family that consists of 16 members including 1 silverback  at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, so watch out for a post on this soon. Fingers crossed I manage to get some amazing photographs of these amazing creatures! Sometimes we get too comfortable in our own countries, put our feet up, hang up our adventure shoes and stop exploring…It usually tends to get boring, fast. Blessed to be living in a country that was voted the number 1 travel destination in 2012 by lonely planet, there is so much to explore in my own back yard. My home town is literally 68 Km from the only area on the planet where the Gorillas still roam free!

This is why I’ve chosen to live like a tourist in my own country, its just more fun that way! They say change is constant, so even if you have lived in a place all your life, there’s always something new to experience, even if its in form of a new perspective. Try taking someone around for a day for instance, they will show you a place you thought you knew so well through new eyes. It could (possibly) change…everything!

Personally, I’ve come to realize that I haven’t really lived in my own country, experienced it in all its glory, the good, bad and ugly! Having spent 3 years away, there’s a lot of new things to do and new places to explore. I may not have the comfort of hanging out with my old friends (studying in international schools and in universities away from home can do that to you) but I’m determined to make new friends along the way. After all it’s those journeys and adventures you take by yourself that make a badass explorer out of you!

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