The Stylish Traveller
Silvia Njoki is a Stylist and Digital Content Creator. She talks to Joe Wahome about traveling with her six year old daughter and how exploring different cultures has shaped her world view.
What inspires you to travel?
I have always been fascinated by differences in culture, food, religion, languages and even physical attributes. As a young girl in primary school, I would exchange photos and letters with pen-pals across the world; it was my way to get a glimpse into their life and vice versa. Curiosity inspires me to travel.
How do you manage to travel regularly with your daughter who’s still in school?
It may seem like a lot because we share a lot of pictures, but our travels together are always during her school holidays. We have a lot of fun exploring together. She has picked up things like photography and has started to be more adventurous with the food she eats, much like myself. She is very open to new experiences.
What are some of your favourite places that you’ve been to?
Jamaica is relaxed, soulful and rich in culture and I love the music there. Bali is absolutely breathtaking; the beaches, forests, rivers and the people are kind and welcoming, not to forget that it has the most amazing vegan and vegetarian restaurants I’ve ever tried. As a fashion lover, London has the best shopping experience from thrift stores to high end designer brands and the nightlife is also great. These three are my favourite places. I am yet to go to a country that offers me a combination of all three, but this may change as there are a few countries still on my bucket list.
Which destinations, then, are currently on your bucket list?
Australia, Egypt and Ethiopia, but also a few Latin American countries like Mexico and Cuba.
How do you choose where you travel?
This may be inspired by pictures I see, stories I come across or meeting people from a country in my day to day life and being inspired by accounts of their homeland. Sometimes my travels are driven by a work related event, and once I’m in that destination, I will grab the opportunity to travel in my free time.
What’s your favourite thing to do in a new town?
I am not too keen on hunting for the top tourist attraction but prefer to meet with the locals and get to know their daily life. I therefore love to spend time in markets and restaurants that serve local food. I definitely want to experience the nightlife and clubbing scene but also like to listen to the local music at other more modest venues.
How do you prepare for a trip?
Once I choose a destination, I do some online research and come up with an itinerary based on reviews and recommendations by other travellers. If possible, I even try to contact one or two people there to have someone to hang out with from the start to show me the local spots. Since one of my primary aims of traveling is to generate photo content for social media, I also search for local photographers to team up with.
What are some things you love to do in Kenya?
My most memorable experiences are always when I go back to my village where aspects of my culture and traditions are still strong. Times are changing fast and it is always refreshing for me to go back home and be reminded of our traditional values.
How has travel impacted you?
Travel has made me a lot more outgoing, broadened my mind and made me more accepting of people’s differences. Solo travel has on the other hand pushed me to great limits and made me more aware of my strengths.