BEYOND BOUNDARIES WITH THERESA POWELL
I never imagined this woman from humble beginnings, born of Jamaican immigrants from a small West Indian community in the South West of England, would become completely obsessed and enamored with travel!
Visiting countries that many have never heard of, dared to go or even thought possible. Countries where being black meant locals approached me with a sincere sense of curiosity that emulated love and kindness, leaving me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. By contrast, I’ve also visited countries where the looks and stares made me wonder whether the locals thought I was a new species visiting earth from outer space! Despite those few and far between experiences, the passion I have for travel is real.
I remember as a child being drawn to one of the only travel shows on British TV. I would live vicariously through the presenter, imagining myself visiting places no one I knew had ever travelled to. I know now that those childhood memories would be the catalyst for a life of wanderlust.
My wanderlust fully ignited when I arrived in Abu Dhabi in 2012. I not only had the disposable income with a tax-free salary, but this incredible hub that allows me to spend weekends in places like India, Oman and Jordan.
Some 7 years later, I’ve travelled to 61 countries across the globe. From Ethiopia to South Sudan, Djibouti to Benin, Tanzania to Togo, Uzbekistan to Tajikistan, Myanmar to Cambodia, Philippines to Pakistan, Bhutan to Nepal and Iraq to Saudi Arabia to name just a few.
A risk taker with a sense of adventure, I’m drawn to places off the beaten track where I have had some truly unique experiences that include climbing 2500 ft (partially barefoot), to see a sacred 6th century Ethiopian rock church perched high on the side of a cliff; hiking to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan; camping near the Sudanese forgotten pyramids of Meroe; dancing with the girls of the Daasanech tribe and bonding with the Mursi tribes famous for their lip and earlobe plates in the Omo Valley.
When I travel, I feel alive and am seduced by the breathtaking scenery, the grit and authenticity of a place. I long to experience the ruggedness, particularly coming from Abu Dhabi, a stone’s throw away from Dubai where everything is perfectly pristine and orderly, yet sometimes often soulless. I’ve met fascinating people and have had the absolute privilege of eating some of the most delectable dishes I have ever come across. Tasting food with flavours that make my taste buds explode! A big part of my travel experience is to break bread with the locals. This too allowing for a genuine up close and personal encounter. I can recall the time I made bread with a local Pakistani baker in Lahore, and the time I was invited to eat dal bhat with a local Nepalese family. Such incredible and humbling experiences that in some way shape or form has changed the way I look at life.
For me, travel has become life-affirming and transformational. It’s where I go and what I do to nourish my soul. It’s inspirational and aspirational escapism; a time for self-discovery. I’ve recognized over the years that travel, particularly solo-travel, has become a time for spiritual growth, hence the reason why I find solo-travel the most gratifying travel experience! My inaugural solo-trip was to Egypt in 2005 and was a step into the unknown that required courage and confidence. I relished in the freedom to make my own decisions and create my own story, instinctively pausing and wondering aimlessly down pathways, across bridges and through bustling markets. Travelling alone gives me a real sense of empowerment that makes me feel unstoppable.
Nonetheless, stepping out to embark on your first solo travel adventure can be daunting. While some first timers may opt to stay in their comfort zone and visit more familiar destinations, others may throw caution to the wind and simply go for it. Landing somewhere between the two of these spectrums gives you a chance to push yourself out of your comfort zone, indulge in the local cuisine, immerse yourself in nature, join tours, strike up random conversations, visit a local market and pamper yourself at a spa. With that in mind I’ve listed three countries new solo travellers should consider visiting.
This has to be one of the friendliest countries I have visited to date.The Cambodian people are so warm, friendly and welcoming.To get that adrenaline rush on your travels, try your hand at zip lining over the Cambodian jungle for an exhilarating ride in nature.I also definitely recommend that you hire a or a bike and soak in the ancient temples and sites. The Angkor Wat sunrise is a must and is truly spectacular.
Ghana where one can learn about West African heritage, religion, art, food and culture.This country holds a special place in my heart. I travelled to Ghana to embark on an atonement pilgrimage to reclaim my ancestral heritage; and I am proud to call myself Akua Boahemaa. My travels to the Asante region where my African name was gifted back to me was heartfelt.Grab yourself a local guide and venture past Accra to the Asante region and Cape Coast for a spiritual journey like no other.
Thailand is a place to recharge your mind, body and soul. From stunning beaches to meditation retreats and jungle treks.So many islands to choose from all with their own special charm.Rent a moped, take in the sights and sounds and lose yourself.Don’t forget to throw in a day or two to experience the diversity of Bangkok; it’s a must if you visit Thailand.
So, there it is; through Travelicious, Beyond Boundaries, I want to continue to share my passion for travel and inspire others to expose themselves to new places, new cultures, and new experiences. Travel can be life changing if you allow yourself to be fully immersed and present. A big beautiful world awaits an opportunity to help you grow, connect and live!
Welcome to Travelicious, Beyond Boundaries….
My name is Theresa Powell (aka Akua Boahemaa), a 40-something black female of Jamaican parentage with an addiction to travel!I’m a curious soul, seeking out travel experiences that take me off the beaten track to unique places across the globe.
My passion for travel ignited when I moved from the UK to the United Arab Emirates in 2012. Living in this great hub allows for weekends where I can visit temples in India, climb mountains in Oman or simply hike in Tajikistan.
I love authentic up close and personal travel experiences where I am stripped of the usual luxuries.So far, I’ve travelled to 61 countries and have no plans to stop any time soon!
Want to know where I’m heading next? Follow me on Instagram @travelicious2020.