Finally the time had come. My travel to Ghana should begin. Months I had imagined how it would feel to live for a longer time abroad. Months I had racked my brain in which country I could travel to and how I would manage it best. What would I do with my apartment and my furniture and how would I make ends meet? Which travel preparations would I have to meet? And suddenly the day of departure arrived, the day that would change everything.
But let me beginn a little earlier. I was almost born with the desire to travel. When I was four, my parents started traveling with me and later with my sister too. Every year our little family went twice on vacation. In winter to the mountains and during the summer to the sea. At first we traveled mostly to European countries, but later more and more faraway countries had been on our list. One of the most extraordinary travels, that I can still remember very well today, took place in 2003. Armed with light baggage we started. The only thing we knew for sure was that we will travel to Thailand and stay in a hotel we booked for the first two or three days. Additionally we had a rough plan of our travel route. We kept everything else open to stay flexibel. Without a detailed clear plan we had been a little bit worried first. But today I can say this was one of my best trips. I would not hesitate to have an individual travel again. More about this adventure at another time. So far the reasons for my desire to travel.
Currently I am sitting in the living room of a Ghanaian friend, where I decided to write my first travel report. Where? Exactly, in Accra the capital of GHANA. What leads that guy to Ghana (Africa), might someone ask now. What in the world has impelled him to travel to West Africa. Especially where Ghana is not known as a tourist destination. However this African country certainly has the potential to:
- A rich cultural history,
- numerous secluded dream beaches,
- beautiful landscapes,
- great peaceful people and
- a lot to discover.
Exactly this combination make this country for me so incredibly interesting.
The sleeping potential of Ghana wants to be discovered …
However, this is not the original reason why I ended up here of all places. Rather it was a combination of different things. Circumstances had my life shaken up a bit. So I was searching for my life, and perhaps also for love. Those reasons combined with the characteristics of Ghana sent me on this travel. More details behind the scene will come later. At this point, by the way, a big thank you to my lovely family at home (parents and sister) and my dear friends. Just like my parents, my friends always supported and encouraged me to this travel.
On the day of departure my parents drove me to the airport in Frankfurt. Two friends already waited on me there to also say “Goodbye”. Quick and painless, I then said goodbye to all of them, checked my suitcase in, to finally get on the plane. Up to this point the Spanish airline “Vueling” was completely unknown to me. Seat 16c stood on my yellow gray Vueling ticket. Meanwhile Accra is regularly served by many airlines. There are cheap flights from Frankfurt to Accra starting already from 400 euros. Cheapest flights can be found at skyscanner.de. Always with a stopover on the base airport of the airline. Anyone looking for a direct flight will be disappointed. Right now there seems to be no flights without stopover from Germany to Ghana. That would safe you the long waiting time for the stopover at the base airport. For me personally I see the waiting time as a part of my travel. Therefore it was not a loss but a gain. Since Vueling is based in Barcelona, my stopover was in Spain. So there I was, sitting alone, in the plane at the seat number 16c. I was somehow excited. To distract myself a bit, I decided to do some muscle exercises while seated. For this reason I tightened each muscle group and relaxed it again. It didn’t cross my mind that this could possibly look a bit strange to outsiders. A young woman on the neighboring seat grabbed me gently on my right shoulder and shook me slightly. Whether everything was okay with me, she asked. Embarrassing, I thought, and assured her that I am in the best physical and especially mental health. Then the plane took off with its full power.
Later in Barcelona, I saw the young lady disappearing in the crowd in front of me. Now it was time to bridge about 5 hours of waiting time. As mentioned earlier, I had seen the waiting time as part of my travel. That means I have used the time to relax a bit, read a bit and to take a closer look at Barcelona Airport. I also love to watch people. Especially at airports there are enough of them, very interesting, from different countries and with different backgrounds.
Four hours had now passed and I went slowly towards the gate. Actually, I did not expect to encounter a familiar face. But as they say in Germany everything has a purpose in life and you always meet twice (or maybe three times ?!) in life. As chance would have it suddenly Jana, the nice lady from the first flight, stood in front of me. She told me about her au pair stay in Ghana a few years ago. There she met her current Ghanaian friend. Since then, the two are a couple. A long-distance relationship. Personally, I made rather bad experiences with that kind of relationship. But with her, it seems to work well. Since then she flies several times a year to Ghana, like today.
As we stood in a line for boarding, they called my name. “Senor Diaz, Senor Diaz por favor”. First, I felt not addressed until I finally realized that I was meant. Somewhat perplexed, I went to the counter. The lady smiled friendly toward me and hold something dark red into my face. Oh what was this doing here – my passport. Apparently I had lost it somewhere in the waiting area. Fortunately one of the Ghanaian passengers had found it and delivered it at the counter before boarding. What a luck again. This could have lead into a big mess. A trip to Africa without a passport? Inconceivably!
The flight to Accra was not very spectacular. Vueling made its favorable price all the glory. You should not expect too much from the service or better not expect anything. The chairs are uncomfortable. Food in the form of small snacks are available only for cash. The same with the drinks. Even on the long haul neither snacks nor beverages are included in the price. MY TIP before dying of thirst: Tap water is free. This will of course not actively be offered. Had I not seen it with one of my neighbors, I would probably dried out before arriving in Ghana. Fortunately Vueling waived on the annoying advertising and lottery of the competitors from Ireland. The entertainment of Vueling was as rich as the food. There were no monitors or radio programs. But the poor service compensate due to the low price. A snack is expensive, but does not cost the world. So even with a snack the flight stays affordable and convenient. Only the lack of consumer electronics protracted the flight time somehow. But I had a lovely flight company with Jana. She shared her baguette with me and as a thank you I bought the two of us some alcoholic mixed drinks. Since we both were quite talkative, the time passed fast, even without consumer electronics. And then, finally we saw them … THE LIGHTS OF ACCRA.
My Ghana travel has begun …
Ben Diaz – travelcap.de