Jayraini: Of Wanderlust Buddies and Co-blogging

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Co-blogging requires each party’s skills, creativity and time. Josie Wambui and Wanjay Kariuki run Jayraini, co-blogging about their experiences as they explore Kenya. They talked to Jumia Travel about their travel blogging experience.

When/why did you decide to start a travel blog?

We’ve been best friends for the longest time, and we are both advent lovers of travel. So, we decided to start a blog to document our travels with a mission to change the prevailing narrative that traveling is out-of-reach and costly for Kenyans. We combined our passions; writing, photography, and travel to start our blog, Jayraini.

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What does your blog name, Jayraini, mean?

Jayraini is a word from a local language meaning on the road. It describes us journeying to places, people & self. It’s also a combination of both our names J. We are both Jays (Josie aka J, Wanjay – Jay)

How did you settle for that blog name?

We love connecting with locals during our travels and we wanted a name that would bring that out. Jayraini being a local word, meaning on the road, we thought it’s the perfect name.

How do you choose your next travel destination?

We are ambassadors of an international travel organisation that promotes community empowerment. The team often determines the next travel destination, in collaboration with the Kenyan community organisations partnering with the company. However, in between the visits to the organisations, we also opt to explore certain locations that we believe will provide a great experience to our audience.

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And booking hotels? Do you engage tour operators/hotels or you prefer to get a whole travel package?

We are instant bookers – if that’s a real word! We basically check out hotels and their respective rates online and on arrival, we go hotel hunting and settle for the best. Other times, the booking logistics are catered for by the host and/or discounted for our visit if that was as per our prior agreement.

What one destination was the most memorable for you?

Wanjay: Naivasha. I’m an outdoorsy kinda person and we met up with friends to go camping. We also featured it as the first destination on the blog, so, yeah, it’s a special place.

Josie: Our first visit to Watamu. Let’s just say I have a fixation on the ocean; I find it so powerful and calming at the same time. And being in the serene white beaches of Watamu was just IT for me.

Have you ever disagreed about your travel plans?

Yes. Timing is mostly the problem, as our schedules often collide with our travel plans.

Have you ever disagreed while on safari?

Wanjay: We have…not. Partly because I HATE confrontations, my voice tends to shake involuntarily and it’s not a pretty sight. The other reason, we often compromise and strike a balance that works out for us.

Josie: I wouldn’t want to take her down that shaky-voice-torture road, so no J. Seriously though, compromise and a shared passion for what we do has kept disagreements at bay.

How do you finance your travel plans? Does travel blogging pay in Kenya?

When we started out, we had to finance our travel plans. However, our partner, Visit.org supports us in a way, and we also have a travel fund, where we save up to facilitate our travel expenses.

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What three things can’t you leave home without?

Wanjay:

  1. Phone
  2. Charger
  3. Clothes

In that order.

Josie:

  1. My portable WiFi
  2. Phone
  3. Lip Balm/Moisturizer

Obviously the latter proves I’m the girly one here.

Which one destination in Kenya would you love to explore next?

Wanjay: Lamu. I love the display of culture during the Lamu Festival. The friendly people, a town rich in history, and I wouldn’t mind to hop on a donkey.

Josie: What she said. Lamu is an beautiful & culture-rich island.

How can stakeholders boost domestic tourism?

Stakeholders can create personalised packages to appeal to diverse needs and financial abilities of Kenyans. For instance, if my budget cannot accommodate a hot air balloon tour over the Mara, I still want to be able to access a great package and get value for my money.

Which destination/attraction do you think is the least talked about but the most enchanting in Kenya? The PEOPLE, hands down! We have met awesome people along the way, the warmth and hospitality exhibited by Kenyans to strangers is one of a kind. One of the lessons we have learnt is everyone has a story, and that’s what we aim to bring forth through our blog.

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