One of the most famous sites in Ghana is the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in downtown Accra. Our group went there one sunny afternoon to see the memorial dedicated to Ghana’s first prime minister. It’s a beautiful structure with a museum located next to it.
After the magical whirlwind of my first day in Ghana, I slept like a rock. The hotel was pretty nice, which is something I am asked about quite frequently when people hear I went to Africa. “Did you have to sleep in a shack?!” “Isn’t it dangerous there?” “Did you get ebola?” No, no, and no. These are slightly paraphrased versions of questions I was actually asked. Not all of Africa is what you see in the media.
I couldn’t believe it. After a sleepless, restless nine-hour flight, I had landed in the beautiful country of Ghana. My travel dreams were becoming a reality! “Akwaaba,” read a sign above the airport. That means “welcome” in Twi, a language spoken by nearly seven million people in Ghana.
Everything was magical in my eyes. It was Africa! A new experience! I couldn’t wait to get started! However, my true first impression of Ghana made me nervous that this was not going to be a friendly place. Going through immigration and customs was intimidating, to say the least.
Other than the previously mentioned Mexican day-trip, Ghana was my first time out of the country. Yes, I count Mexico as my first time outside the United States because it was definitely a new experience. But I didn’t even need a passport! I didn’t have to go through immigration and customs, I didn’t have to have any bags x-rayed…it was simpler and much less of what I am now experiencing in my travels.
So how did I get to go to Africa for $800? It was indeed that affordable, and it was really just a chance encounter that I even heard about the trip.