I am Kenya (just in case you didn’t know). My name is not just “A” name. It has helped shape my worldview and inspired me to step outside the box, to be brave and to be courageous. As a young adult my name provided me with a sense of identity. You couldn’t tell me my ancestors didn’t come from Africa! Only the Africans would dare tell me I wasn’t African or Black. It took a lot not to say, “I am Black dammit, do you need a history lesson on the slave trade.” Sorry, I digress…..
This summer I visited my tenth African country. My first international experience was spent in Ghana where I studied abroad at the University of Ghana in 1997. While I wasn’t looking, the travel bug took a bite and made an imprint in my soul; I haven’t stopped traveling since, two decades and 31 countries later.
Study Abroad, Ghana – 1997
That semester abroad laid the foundation for me to have an international career and opened the door for many international opportunities. Like most travel junkies I keep track of the number countries I visit and have a short list of travel goals, adventures and must sees. I have been blessed to travel for school, research, and work. This past September I visited my tenth country in Africa, Sudan. It was a short work trip, but a memorable one. When you travel for work you take any opportunity you can to gain a better sense of the culture, people, music and the food. In three hours I was able to drink the best coffee I have EVER had in my life, partake of traditional Sudanese cuisine and most importantly set eyes on where the Blue Nile, White Nile and Nile River meet. Magical!
I never take for granted that I have been blessed with opportunities to meet and break-bread with extraordinary people from all over, to have touched the soil of many lands, and to have danced to the music of and with the locals. It’s been a remarkable journey. I share my travel adventures so that my nieces, nephews, cousins and Black children know that international travel is for us too!
So, as I ended my visit in Sudan, my tenth country in Africa, I walked through the dark entry way of Terminal 2 at the Khartoum International Airport to catch a flight to my namesake, Kenya #travelgoals. I finally made it to my namesake and had the most amazingly beautiful experience…. stay tuned. I love me some Africa…..
Photography: Sudan photos taken by K. Casey