A Comrade’s Guide to Low-Budget Travelling in Nigeria

travelling

Dear Comrade,

How are you holding up in this Buhari-battered Emilokan economy? I know you’re gearing up for a long-haul journey, and the costs are a thorn in your side. It’s a puzzle that doesn’t quite fit into your current budget, and the constant badgering from friends and family doesn’t help matters. I empathize with your situation. They fail to grasp the reality of your circumstances, but I do. Do they not see that things have taken a sharp turn for the worse? Are they oblivious to the same struggles we all face?

The bills keep pouring in like a relentless storm, while your income trickles in like drops from a malfunctioning faucet. Saving becomes a necessity, a matter of common sense. Having just devoured Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect, you’re determined to multiply every penny saved. With sound investment choices, your million-dollar dreams can come to fruition. They may label you a miser, but I beg to differ.

I wholeheartedly concur with you; you’re not miserly, you’re simply frugal and prudent. Frugality! That’s your hallmark. Isn’t that what endeared Peter Obi to your heart? If only we had more responsible politicians who eschewed profligate spending, wouldn’t our beloved nation be on a better course? Didn’t they also accuse him of stinginess? You’re merely taking a page from his playbook. As I said, I understand your plight. I am you, and you are me. Now that you know I fully comprehend your situation, allow me to ease your burdens. Here are a few words of advice to navigate a long-distance journey on a shoestring budget:

TIME 

I understand your responsible nature, and you’ll likely book your seat a day or more in advance. You’ll insist on knowing the exact departure time to avoid both arriving too early and wasting your precious time or arriving too late and missing your ride. However, I regret to inform you that if you heed the driver’s advice on timing, you’ll often be left disappointed. The truth is, that the driver himself is often clueless about the bus’s readiness. Urging you to arrive early is a ploy.

You’ll wait unnecessarily, and the frustration can be unbearable. Drawing from my own experiences in this struggle, here’s my suggestion: leave your contact with the driver and wait for his call. When he eventually does call, wait an additional two hours before heading to the motor park at your leisure. While there may still be some waiting involved, you’ll have considerably shortened your downtime and can tackle other profitable tasks.

CONVENIENCE 

They say that travelling is a beautiful experience, especially when it’s comfortable. However, I must burst your bubble – comfort is a foreign concept in the world of low-budget travel. Forget about it. Your mission is to reach your destination, plain and simple. You’re not embarking on this journey for leisure; it’s all about getting from point A to point B. So, brace yourself for the driver’s occasional insults and rude complaints. You may have to endure the pungent smell of rotting tomatoes and peppers stashed at the back of the bus.

Remember, most low-budget buses are packed to the brim with unimaginable cargo. Be vigilant and keep your valuables close, especially if you’re travelling with your precious PC. Oh, and be prepared for the overly chatty passenger who has no sense of personal space and enjoys ranting about government corruption, the moral character of Gen Zs and Millennials, the deceit of religious leaders, and various other topics. Don’t be dismayed; even good things have their pros and cons.

UNPREDICTABILITY 

I know you’re a planner, meticulously scheduling your days and weeks. However, it’s time to throw those plans out the window. Low-budget travelling is inherently unpredictable. Things rarely go as expected. You’ve already told your loved ones your expected arrival time, but let me reiterate: nothing is guaranteed, not even your arrival time. Countless factors can disrupt your plans – accidents, sudden vehicle breakdowns (which the driver may conveniently blame on unforeseen circumstances when he knew otherwise), or even a fellow passenger with a voracious appetite who constantly interrupts the journey for restroom breaks. Don’t despair; life itself is unpredictable. In the grand scheme of things, your current inconveniences pale in comparison to the future glory you’re striving for. Stay focused on The Compound Effect and your million-dollar dream.

AUTHORITY/COMMAND

For a smooth journey, you need to understand this crucial point. Did I say smooth? My apologies; there’s nothing smooth about the path you’ve chosen. Nevertheless, knowing this will help alleviate some of the anticipated hardships. All power and authority rest with the driver. His word is law, and his decisions dictate the course of the journey. He determines whether there will be rest stops and when they occur. If he chooses to continue without breaks, everyone must comply. If he decides to linger longer than expected, so be it. I know you’ve paid for your ticket, which might give you a sense of entitlement. But, my friend, the driver is the alpha and omega of this voyage. He can vent and shout without consequence. Be grateful that you’re even allowed in his vehicle; it’s a privilege, not a right. May you cooperate harmoniously with the commander-in-chief of this journey.

In conclusion, my counsel wouldn’t be complete without this piece of advice, which I consider the pinnacle of wisdom: take ransom money with you in case of kidnapping when travelling. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The headlines are awash with stories of unknown gunmen and kidnappers. But why fret? Nothing is truly secure in this country anymore. Even travelling by train or plane is no guarantee of safety. While you may be more susceptible to kidnapping, remember that God looks out for His own. The same God who has watched over me will protect you as well.

After all, you’re not like those woke Gen Zs who’ve drifted toward atheism. A small investment in anointing oil for divine protection before your journey won’t hurt. Wise, right? Sabinus couldn’t have come up with a smarter idea. It will help you save more. As I mentioned earlier, I stand with you and have your back. No need for thanks; that’s what friends are for. May God bless your hustle, your struggle and your travelling. Amen.

Your comrade in this battle,

Midé Gbádégẹṣin

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