Hi Michael! Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m just a regular 24 year old young guy. I’m a free spirit, I like to chill, and I try to stay positive no matter what. I like to interact with people, go to new places, and see new things. New things excite me–I don’t like to be too comfortable.
We decided to feature you because we noticed that you travel a lot and we’re also jealous of your travel pictures on your Instagram page. Why do you enjoy traveling?
Traveling and seeing new places are habits I picked up from my mother. She’s always loved experiences, and when my siblings and I were younger she would always take us to the beach or to the national park. There’s so much to see in the world, so I just picked up her love of travel. When she stopped taking us out because we became too old and had our own plans I basically just picked it up and started to do my own thing. It doesn’t matter who I travel with–my brother, my friends, my girlfriend, or even alone. I’m the fun one! So as long as I go, then it’ll be good!
What do you think about Ghana’s potential as a travel and tourism destination?
I’ve seen more of Ghana than of anywhere else in the world. It’s just easier.
There are so many hidden gems in this country, but at the end of the day it’s a matter of preference and of how open you are. There are so many beautiful places that aren’t as developed as a Royal Senchi or an Elmina Beach Hotel. There are so many beautiful natural places that have really bad accommodation. I can’t blame them, because they are trying to make the most of their environment if they don’t have the money to build a place.
Ghana has so many good places to see, but we need to advertise them more and promote them more through pictures, social media, etc to make the interest in tourism skyrocket. We are in a good place but we just have to maximize it.
Why do you think many Ghanaians don’t travel inside Ghana?
Someone might want to go somewhere but first, they don’t know how to get there. With our transport system, if you don’t have a car it’s very difficult if you don’t know what bus to take, etc. Secondly, the places are not usually very well advertised so you may not even know about them. Once we make places readily available and accessible then Ghanaians will want to travel inside the country and see all these places. People not traveling within Ghana isn’t really about finances; they can afford it. But they either don’t know about the places or they don’t know how to get there. I think it comes down to a lack of knowledge and lack of ease of access.
How do you find the time to travel since you work full-time?
I started working full-time in June, but before then I mostly travelled on weekends or during school vacations. But now that I work it’s pretty much the same–I go on the weekends or I go when I have free time during work. Sometimes we have to go out on the field, and if I’m able to do my work before the deadline, then I have a few extra days to travel. So i plan ahead and fit traveling into my schedule.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to travel but doesn’t know where to start?
Save; you’ll need money! Traveling in Ghana isn’t very cheap. You can do it on a cheaper budget but it depends on the experience you want. So you need to budget and you need to save.
Be inquisitive. If you really want to travel, you need to ask. The information isn’t out there so you need to ask people. I’ve found out about places by talking to random people. Sometimes I’ll meet someone at a bar and ask them where they like to travel to, where they have been.
Be open. There are some places that are not very hospitable, and your first impression might not be very welcoming. But if you stay, you might end up having the time of your life. Just be open and don’t try and compare places within Ghana with places outside Ghana. If you’re traveling inside Ghana you should have a Ghanaian experience; don’t go there expecting an American experience. If you go somewhere and the shower is just water and a bucket you should be willing to acknowledge and accept that for what it is and enjoy it.
For example, my siblings once went to a local gem in Anomabo with my mum. My mum always takes us to the random offbeat places. We stayed in an actual mud hut, but the beach was SO nice. There were a lot of mosquitos and in the beginning we were all uncomfortable, but my mum gave us vim, so we went to swim, came back, had great food, got comfortable, and it ended up being a very good weekend. It’s a different memory than from the other places I’ve been. I don’t want the same experiences from all the places I go to, and I don’t want to have the same story all the time. This was something else, something different. It was a really great experience.
I want different experiences from different places. You shouldn’t always go to where mosquitos will bite you, and you shouldn’t always go to the Royal Senchis, but there should be a balance so that you can really experience the benefits of a place like Senchi.
Any final thoughts?
It’s amazing to travel, and there’s nothing like having an authentic travel experience. Going somewhere and having everything work out is amazing because it’s a lasting memory. If you go somewhere and have a genuine time with people, or alone, the memory lasts forever. We should invest more into travel, cherish it more, and appreciate it more. If you have $300 you should travel—you don’t need to buy a Ferragamo belt! If you have any quality time, invest it in travel. It’s the best way to live!
By Guest Hacker Michael Ofosuhene