‘Travelling turns you to a storyteller’ – Berry Dakara chats about her travel experiences

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Jumia Travel recently interviewed Berry Dakara, a Nigerian who loves travelling and documenting it on her personal blog – BerryDakara.com

Let us start with a formal introduction. Who is Berry Dakara?
Thank you so much for the opportunity. I’m really happy and honored to answer your questions. Let’s see… my name is Berry Dakara. It’s a nickname I got from two of my real names, but it’s taken on a life of its own. I think more people actually call me Berry than my real names. I started blogging in 2012 and recently crossed over 1 million views on my personal blog. I am married to one of the best cake designers in the world – look him up @cakesiena on Instagram. I’m a Christian, and I enjoy food, travel, and watching TV a little too much.

Berry at Inagbe Grand Resorts

How many countries have you visited and can you mention 10 countries on your travel bucket list you are yet to explore?

The first two countries I visited as an infant, but I’ll count them too. I’ve been to Spain, Italy, France, Holland, England/Scotland, America, Canada, Benin Republic, UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and Jamaica. On my Travel Bucket List are – Greece, New Zealand, Ghana, Ireland, Maldives, Cuba. Not up to 10, but these are the countries I’m interested in visiting.

How and when did you develop an interest for traveling?
My dad likes to say that we get our “wandering spirit” from our mum. She enjoys traveling a lot, and we started family vacations pretty early in life. Some of my most memorable times have been the family vacations we’ve gone on  – we’ve done the regular road trips in Nigeria (once drove from Port Harcourt to Jos), gone by train from Holland to France, a ski trip in the Appalachian mountains, and so much more. One of my “prerequisites” before I got married, was I wanted someone who was excited about traveling and enjoying new places like me.

What thrills you the most about traveling?
The most thrilling part of traveling for me is seeing the sights, and taking photographs. It helps remind us of the good times we had, and I love sharing all the places we’ve been to. Before I started blogging, I used to share all the photos on Facebook. I think I have about 50+ albums there!

berry dakara visits Ibadan

Would you describe yourself as an ecotourist or a luxury traveller?
I’m definitely more inclined towards luxury travel than ecotourism. I do care about the environment a lot, but that’s not what motivates my travel choices. I’m usually looking for nice hotels with good food first, and then trying to enjoy the culture and scenery around me.

How do you plan your travel destinations?
Because our family likes to travel, we usually plan our trips about a year in advance. We went to England and Scotland this year, and we started the travel arrangements late last year. Someone comes up with an idea and we all just follow along. We have actually planned out the next 2 to 4 years of our vacations.

Share your most memorable funny travel moments.
Our ski vacation was quite funny, seeing as none of us had ever skied or gone snowboarding before. I chose skiing over snowboarding because I thought I’d have better balance, except that on the way down the kiddie slope, I screamed the whole way and tumbled to a crash. And it was caught on video!

Berry at Agodi Gardens

What has your travel experience in Nigeria been like?
I’ve really enjoyed most of my trips within Nigeria. Most of them were road trips, with my family and after I got married, with my husband. My husband LOVES driving, and a few times we had to deliver cakes halfway across the country – these always turned out to be more fun than originally expected. I really believe that Nigeria isn’t fully realizing her tourism potential – although the new crop of Nigerian Travel bloggers are changing the game. There’s so much to see, eat and do across different parts of Nigeria and I wish I had more time to explore before I left.

What are the top 5 destinations in Nigeria you would gladly recommend to an international friend?
Lagos, no doubt!!! And Abuja. These are for obvious reasons. But if they aren’t afraid to go to Rivers State, I would invite them to my dad’s village in Ogoniland – we have a beautiful white sand beach that’s great for parties, and eating the best seafood! I’ve never been to Kajuru Castle in Kaduna, but it seems like an awesome destination. I’d leave the 5th option to chance.

Berry Dakara and her husband

Who is your best travel buddy or do you prefer to travel solo?
I prefer to travel in groups – either with my hubby/family, or my friends. Too often because I’m usually the one taking the photographs, I don’t appear in a lot of them. So I definitely need someone there who will be behind the lens!

While visiting a new destination what two things do love to explore first?
The first thing I want to explore are the sights. I usually get a list of the top attractions online, and try to tick off as much as I can. The second thing would be the scenery or maybe food. I used to have this ritual where I would try to visit a local market to buy jewelry made in that country. I’m not sure why I stopped 🙁

A tour of Ibadan - Berry Dakara

 

What is your travel mantra?
“Traveling – It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller!” Honestly, my dream is to be a travel writer – dear God, please send someone or company who will pay me to travel!!!

How do you afford to travel? Are you a rich kid?
BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA @ rich kid. I wish! Like my dad says, when you plan ahead, it’s a lot easier to travel. You have more time to save up for the trip, and it’s easier to find great deals when you book ahead.

Any tip for traveller on a slim a budget?
Exactly what I said above – plan in advance! Or you can look up travel agencies that do group tours/bookings. If you don’t mind sharing a room, that can be economical for you. But the first point is that you must plan ahead.

What are the top 5 things on your travel checklist?
1. Phone/Charger/Adapters (I have a set that comes with adapters for every region in the world) 2. Camera/Memory Card 3. Passport and travel documents 4. Appropriate clothing 5. Medicine/Toiletries.

freedom falls

Do you have any safety tips for travellers?
Let someone know where you are at all times. Research your destination’s security situation and be alert. If you’re traveling alone, you might want to have some pepper spray on hand, in case you’re attacked.

Most practical piece of advice for those planning to travel?
My advice for travel is to do your research beforehand. It helps in so many ways, from getting better/cheaper deals, to knowing the travel requirements for your trip. When my husband and I went to Dubai, we went on a whim and were surprised at how hot it was – if we had planned ahead and I had done my research, we probably would have gone during the cooler months, not when it was 40+ degrees daily!

ONE MORE THING – Cruises are a great way to travel! You get to see two or more countries, your feeding and accommodation are included in the fees, and they’re just FUN!!!

Thanks to Berry for granting the interview.

Image Source: Images have been shared by Berry for publishing with the interview

2 Comments

  1. Nelson

    January 3, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Interesting blog !! Have a travel prospect for you. How do we meet? send me our email pls

    • Feyisayo

      March 16, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      Hello Nelson,

      Kindly email – [email protected]

      Thank you.

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