We love our traveling community here at Visiter l’Afrique and love introducing you all to each other even more! Here with us today is Loriade, a young woman with a mission to travel to all 54 countries in Africa before she’s 54! Check out her Instagram HERE and enjoy her pit stop in Niamey, Niger!
So tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Loriade, I am 24 years old and originally from Cameroon and Nigeria although I identify as a “Third Culture Kid.” Passionate about Africa, I left Washington DC for Lagos in late 2016 in search of work experience on the continent I consider my home.
Where are you now?
I am currently in Niamey, Niger. I am working for an NGO as a consultant.
What cool things do you get up to there?
While I spent most of my time at my host’s home or the office of the organization where I was working, I saw a few places in town. I notably had drinks at the bar behind the Piscine Olympique and attended a traditional Nigerien wedding with a coworker and his family in the Terminus neighbourhood. I had lunch at Amandine and La Cabane a couple of times and took a stroll along the river Niger near the restaurant Camp Banda. I checked out La Plage, a popular hangout spot for Niamey’s youth, one evening and watched the sun set from the bridge nearby. I also watched children play soccer on the grounds of the Grand Mosque after getting a private tour on my second to last day.
Why do you travel?
I have traveled for a variety of reasons over the years including family holidays, weddings of friends and acquaintances, and school-related events (I went to Morocco for a choir event in middle school and to China (via Qatar) for a Model United Nations conference in high school). These days I travel primarily for work/ to gain work experience.
I am an international health and development professional who aims to help improve the lives and wellbeing of the most vulnerable and underserved, particularly in Africa. As such, I look for opportunities to contribute to a project or program designed to achieve this objective and I am drawn to opportunities that allow me to work in the country where said initiative is implemented.
That said, I also travel for leisure sometimes and pick my destinations based on what I would like to learn. As a self-proclaimed and proud “lifelong learner,” I am always happy to discover something new whether it is about myself (ex. my ability to assimilate to a new setting) or about the food, culture, history and people of a new city and country. I also try to step out of my comfort zone as much as possible.
How do you get to do it?
Until I started earning enough money to support myself, my parents provided the financial assistance necessary for me to travel both for school-related endeavors and leisure. Thanks to them I visited more than 25 countries in 23 years. I have traveled to seven other countries since I started working as an independent consultant to NGOs and international organizations last year. My employers cover most – if not all – my travel expenses on those trips so I can save most of the money I earn. I set aside about 25% of it (about $4,000) in a savings account to pay for plane tickets, accommodation, transport, etc. when I travel for leisure later this year and next year.
What’s your next destination?
Aside from work trips to Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo and Kigali in Rwanda in June, I will be moving to Dakar, Senegal for a year in August. I plan to travel in Senegal and to neighboring countries and will be sure to tag Visiter L’Afrique on my pictures!