Meet: Zainob Fashola

Name & Age? Zainob Fashola 30 

Where's home? Lagos, Nigeria...sometimes

What was/is your last/current trip?Was, 9 days in the east of Uganda

What got you started? Grew up traveling for the summer to New York or London as a kid, decided to travel my own path as soon as I could after university.

How do you pay the way? I run a beauty company when my head is not in the clouds. The income helps.

What's always on your packing list? Moisturizer, dry skin problems

What’s the last thing that blew your mind? White water rafter in Jinja, Uganda with Adrift Adventures. Never experiences rafting that awesome and insane. Will do it again.

By land, by sea, or by air? That's a hard one...I'm a hasty person, by air
 
Hotel or hostel? Camp or Couchsurf? 
When solo, Hostel and couchsurfing

What's your travel pet peeve? Traveling people that can not make up their minds on an activity. Just do it, if it sucks, then you've got a story and adventure out of it.

How do people react to you as a solo female traveler? I get reactions more so as a Nigerian solo female traveler because many of the countries I've traveled to are not really visited by Africans. It is even more funny when other solo female travelers are surprised to see me on similar journeys. Heh. The last one I can recall is staying in an old Japanese couple's home and their sheer delight at meeting their first African person. 95% of the reactions have been really warm.

What scares you? Getting stuck in a box. It's hard to explain, but I hate failing, I have failed in the past and I have learned from them, but getting stuck in a situation I can not get out of scares the bejeezus out of me.

How do you overcome fear / anxiety / doubt? I take a deep breathe and think on solutions or think up back up plans if things fall apart. I tend to think on my feet pretty quickly, so that's helped a lot in random situations.

Worst memory: Sigh, this makes still makes me angry to think about. I flew with Ethiopia Airways for a birthday trip to China about four years ago. My connecting flight was delayed due to bad weather and I missed my flight back home. Despite purchasing the ticket on Ethiopia's website, they refused to fly me until I paid a rebooking fee and a slew of other fees. At this point, my Nigerian card decided not to work at the ATM, so I was stuck sleeping on the airport bench with my luggages. It took two nights of discomfort on the bench and lack of resolution from the airline till my card decided to spit out some cash at the ATM for the ridiculous fees. Note to self and to anyone reading this, never fly Ethiopian Airways. Worst customer service ever.

One unforgettable memory: My last day in Hanoi in a hotel room with some of the best friends I made while traveling, Chris Brown's 'Yeah, Yeah, Yeah' was our theme song for our travel through South East Asia. Just as we were about to hug each other and part ways, the song came on the tv and all 6 adults started jumping around and singing very loudly. Last year, one of them got married in Ireland, we relived the moment on the dance floor.

Bravest memory: Camping out without tents after seeing the mess some dingos made with our sleeping bags. I was so freaked out by the idea of some dingo coming by to chew my head off whilst sleeping, but I my body was bone tired. So, I slept with the bag fully zipped close, that it required a pen to pry the zipper apart. Good times, hehe.

Culture shock moment: Spending some time in the Northern Territory of Australia and seeing some Aboriginals hanging out in the wilderness with no cares despite the flies swarming them. The first thing I purchased in that area was a bottle of deets and a head net to wear over my hat for extra protection from the flies. I don't know how they do it, mind over matter maybe?

Best reason to talk to strangers: "Hi I am Zee from Nigeria, where are you from?" is a phrase I have perfected in my years of traveling. Gotta make new friends when traveling, and no amount of researched information about a location can compete with what a local knows. I also find that it is more special when I make new friends to experience a local with. The thing about traveling with friends is that sometimes, I just want to be solo. With traveling solo, I like the freedom of making a friend when I want the company and going off on my own when I feel like it.

How are you different while traveling? I find that I am more open to experiences that I would usually say no to back at home. Because I rarely visit the same place multiple times, I try to make the best time of it, so every experience is cherished and every opportunity is latched on to more so than my norm.

Is it harder to leave or to stay put? Harder to leave. I find that home can be anywhere for me as long as I have all I need around me. Give me a place with unlimited outdoor adventures to get up to and you will find me digging in my feet when it is time to leave. Same goes for spending some time at a luxurious spa retreat, my mind starts trying to plot ways to extend the trip even when my bank account is screaming no!

Three things you've learned on the road: Stay sharp, be friendly, and always pack smart

What keeps you going? The thirst for growth. I run a beauty company and I find that my mind works better when I come back from an adventure. I learn more, it helps me grow, and the more I grow, the more I want to learn.

What's next?  Explore more of Africa. As a Nigerian, I feel the need to learn more about my culture, explore more of Nigeria and as many parts of Africa as possible. I have not seen enough of my backyard and it is time to do more of that.

What would you be doing if you’d never left home? I don't know...I would only drive myself nuts trying to think of what ifs. I live in the now.

What advice do you have for wanna-be Wild Hearts? Stay true to yourself, do what makes your heart beat and make sure to stay vigilant and safe whilst traveling.

Last question: What would make you stop traveling? Death

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