A lot of people have asked, how I have managed to travel...consistently travel throughout the pandemic. Some say it’s been reckless, and some have said they wished they had my kind of patience, and lack of fear.

I say..we’re all going to die one day, and I’d rather die doing the things I love, than be in fear; so it depends on which side of the fence you sit on. I’m more of a ‘curiosity killed the cat’…well, at least the cat was curious enough to go on the adventure.

That’s me, and not everyone agrees.

So..where was I?

Telling you how I managed to travel during the pandemic. Let’s start…

I think it started in January and honestly, I was very sick, having all the symptoms, you would now term ‘covid-19’ ,because I was weak, my lungs felt tired, I was pale -hard to tell because I’m  black but you get the point, I was struggling for my dear life In the midst of what felt like a near death experience , I was moving from the place that I had called home for almost 4 years – San Francisco to a place that I would now make into my home – The city of Angels  – Los Angeles and unfortunately for me –  I was too sick to do anything. I could barely move.

I even had a friend help organise movers to help me unpack.

In January, I was homebound.

February, I was in the middle of negotiating a new job, I was in and out of New York since December and was undecided about this career pivot. I was in New York twice, February and then in March, it dawned on me..

Things started getting intense so I did what I typically would do and called my girlfriends.

“Hey! It seems this pandemic will be around for a while  and I don’t want to be here. Do you guys want to take a trip to Nigeria with me? Ghana or SA?. Where should we go?”

Everyone was looking at flights and prices were crazy. Again, I’m the sort of person who doesn’t wait for anybody. I leave and hope people meet me along the way.

The other reason why  Africa was super appealing was because, for me, one of the things I knew for certain was, even if the world stopped for a day, week or month, Africa still grew its own food. This was my personal justification.

Another thing that I factored in was my mental health. I  believe it’s very important to evaluate where you are mentally, and as much as Los Angeles made me feel like I could do anything, I knew that, in a pandemic, I probably needed more than just beaches (that would probably be closed) and friends (who probably, couldn’t visit me).

I needed the African sun, I needed African food..and a lot more.

I underestimated the length of time I would be away, as I was taking things gradually. All I knew was that I wanted to leave this place now. I went online and booked a flight to leave the next day. Flights were pretty high because people were either rushing to get back to their hometown or rushing to get out of countries.

Well I was rushing to get into a country, so I had to assess my finances, to know how much I could afford, not being in the United States. I had an apartment that I pay for, a car and I had some network to an extent. Again, when it’s a pandemic, you think about no one but you.

What did I need?

I picked up all my passports. Yes, I genuinely didn’t know how long this pandemic would last so I took my Nigerian and British passports. The two things I knew I needed- My Nigerian and British passports. For sure they will take me around the world.. into most of the world. I also had my visa,that was a bonus.

I knew that if things shifted, then I would go back to the United States if things got better, otherwise I would go elsewhere.

I genuinely thought in 3 months, everything would be over..but, where did my passport really take me?

I packed my bags as lightly as possible, and I’ll share in my next blog the essentials. For now, we’re talking about where my passports took me and this is an interesting story, definitely a part of several blogs.

My Nigerian passport..though useful in Africa, was only useful in Nigeria. I used my british passport to get to London in about 24 hours. Sitting in the London Virgin Atlantic lounge by the airport, I bump into my mother. Funny right?. She wanted to be with her Mother in Nigeria, while I just wanted to be in Nigeria and there we cross paths at the airport.

Well, My mother has this notion that I float with the world without anybody knowing and it does bother her… which is fair. At that moment, she hugged me, asked about my welfare, after which we sat to have dinner in the lounge.

We boarded our flights, sitting in different places.

We arrive in Nigeria ,our driver picks us up, drops mumsie off at home and then drops me off at my friends house.

Four weeks later, Nigeria still didn’t feel like it was under lockdown, activities were on, and everything was in full operation. I went to Abuja to consult on a hotel project and kick it with my abuja friends and then headed back 48hrs later.

I planned a trip to Ghana and other African countries. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t the panic that every other person was feeling. It was a different kind of calm..one that I needed, to get through this crazy phase of the pandemic.

Eight weeks went by, and I realized that things were getting real, shutting down slowly; but I also realised that as much as I loved travelling, I also loved being in my house.

Working from home has its blessings, but it also has a curse, the curse of  working too much.

Boredom set in, and I thought about where I could stay long term. Wifi in Nigeria was horrendous, so I started checking what borders were open.

Unfortunately, borders were closed. For a moment, I was scared because I didn’t want to be stuck here anymore. I had eaten everything, over and over. I even had enough time to build a gym in my house. To me, I had done so much and it was time to leave.

I started speaking to people I know and this might be a cheat , but I did manage to get a flight from Lagos to London. Yes, I humbled myself and went back to my hometown, London.

The thing i rarely talk about is, London is a trigger for me. This is because it’s where I grew up and all of my bad memories sit there, so whenever I get to London, I get re-triggered and it’s difficult for me.


I finally got to London and decided to quarantine for 14 days.

Again, in some of the other blogs , I’ll talk about my trip to Nigeria and London and details of my experiences there. So I was in London for about 6 weeks and after excessive eating and weight gain, I realised I could no longer be in London.

It was upsetting being in London because I couldn’t see anyone, as I was working East coast hours, US time in London, which is 5 hours behind. Also I woke up 8am daily and wouldn’t finish work until 9 or 10pm, which made it impossible. I did this for 4 months, and not getting much sleep was taking its toll on me.

After leaving London, borders began to re-open and I’m like “ Oh my God! It’s that time again, where is my next location?!”.I looked around, and thought about Germany.

Germany for me has a lot of family ties and I went because…. My sister , niece and brother in-law lived there. I packed my luggage and yes, this was month 4 for me and I’m in my 4th country.

I found out the airports were open and oh!.. Let me take a step back..

Remember when I went to London?.. I actually got stuck, I didn’t fly there.

When I landed from Nigeria, I had a ticket to arrive in the United States. Here I was, again not paying attention to what’s happening in the world and I get to the ticket desk in the London airport..

“Hey! Flight to los Angeles please?”

“Sorry, you can’t go”

“Uh? Excuse me, my passport allows me”

“Unfortunately, Trump has banned all immigrants from going to the the U.S”

“What do you mean immigrants?? I pay taxes in that damn country!”

I was heartbroken…

It took me about 2 – 3 weeks to recover from the rejection. I felt like no one wanted me at this point, but again, I know I’m exaggerating because it’s just a country. I felt like no one wanted me in a country that I pay taxes in, have a house in..you know? Have a car in …I mean..I pay taxes! A whole lot!

Plan B was, to stay in London, and long story short, I spent six weeks in London.

I wanted some family time as I hadn’t seen family since March and it was June. Also, my birthday was fast approaching and i wanted to be with them, so I called my sister..

“ Hey! Need some family time, need to be with my niece”


“Okay, I’ll see you in a couple of days”

“Where are you?”

“In London”


“Yes, I’m in London now, but i’ll be in Germany in a couple of days”

This goes back to the relationship I have with my family. They trust me to always let them know at the last minute, where I am in the world. I’m sure they hate me for it, but they also love me because I’m the youngest girl, so they kinda expect this level of waywardness from me. Lol!

Anyways..where was I?

So, I flew to Germany and got to see my niece. It had been over  a year and half since we last hugged and OMG she could talk.

I nearly cried because it’s just emotional to see kids grow.

“Aunty Tope” she says.

“Oh my God!”

All emotion came loose. We realize how much emotion we have as we travel through this world. I used to think I could manage my emotions, but my niece humbled me.

I spent 2 and a half weeks in Germany and it was enough. I had worked myself to the bone, I’ve had quality time with my family on vacation (genuinely what I wanted). Now I looked at countries that were accepting British, Nigerian, or German nationals. I wanted to see if I would be let in, and also if I could sneak into the United states.

Please don’t judge me. I just assumed Trump forgot to update the list of people that had access and I wanted to try my luck.

So at first, I looked at places that weren’t in the European union, because technically, Trump had banned countries that were not in the European union. I thought about getting to Los Angeles through Turkey and I booked a flight to leave the next day.

Doing such things during the last minute isn’t great financially.

The morning of my flight to Turkey, I got a text that my flight was cancelled.

My heart sank.

I asked myself why I felt such weight on my shoulders.. Wasn’t I supposed to leave? Or should I stay?

I thought to myself “I’ve never really explored Europe” so I started planning a tour to Europe and I thought about going to Greece or Italy. There were so many things on my list, but I just wanted a vacation and I didn’t find Europe to be a destination for me. The next day, I took my niece out to dinner and flower picking.

I booked a flight to Jamaica because I needed relaxation. I had been working 12 – 14 hours for days, mentally I was depleted, and I needed a break.

So, I’m walking to the airport and I think to myself  “I hope this lady at the ticket desk doesn’t question me, I hope she lets me through”.

If you’ve ever seen me travel, you would know I always go with an all black tracksuit, with no makeup on, looking like a 10 year old, but , in this instance, I decided to glam myself up a little bit, I had my makeup, my hair was nicely done, I had my heels on and looked like I was going for a photoshoot.

I got to the check in desk and to my grace, the lady said…

“Omg! You look like a supermodel, you look familiar”

“Oh okay. Of course I look like a supermodel!”

I’m not sure she vetted me properly..she might have.

“Where’s this montego bay place?”


“Great! Enjoy!”

“Thank you!”

As soon as she stamped my passport, I knew I could go through the gates and I would make it to the U.S. The flight was from Munich to Amsterdam with a 3 hour layover from Amsterdam to Atlanta.

I suddenly realized that I didn’t want to go to Jamaica anymore. I wanted to check in my apartment, that I hadn’t been in for months, sleep in my bed and sit on my sofa. I cancelled my flight to Jamaica while I was in Atlanta and I booked a flight back to Los Angeles. That’s how I got back to L.A.

Where did my passport take me?

My passport took me to Nigeria, Ghana, London, Austria, Amsterdam, Atlanta… It took me everywhere I needed to go and finally… It brought me back home… to Los Angeles.

So…where can your passport take you?