Boarding Pass – Wandie Kabule
Wandie Kabule is a travel blogger and producer living in Los Angeles. Originally from Zambia, many of Wandie’s travels take us to Africa today (I love how she’s taking African dance classes in L.A. in order to prepare for her upcoming trip to Mali and Senegal!). Wandie is also currently producing a feature film called Negative Space, which you can check out here and is working to raise funding on Kickstarter. Thanks, Wandie and best of luck with the film and travels!
last trip taken:
Finland, Morocco, and Tunisia. I visited Helsinki with my mother. We went to the circus, explored the city, ate in lovely cafes, and couchsurfed with a lovely Finnish woman who introduced me to purple porridge and little Finnish candies. After that, my mother and I went off to Tunisia to spend time with a family friend. From there, I took a trip alone to the Sahara desert for a few days, and that was incredible. I then went off to Morocco for some more alone time. I spent a lot of time eating tagine, practicing French, and hiking. I really hope the next trip can top that!
next trip on deck:
Mali & Senegal. I’m going on a solo trip to explore two African countries that I haven’t yet been to. I’m going to take some dance and drum lessons as well as French lessons. This is one trip I’m extremely excited for!
one place you would go back to again and again:
Cape Town, South Africa; Cadaques, Spain; & Essaouira, Morocco. These are my three favorite beach cities, by far. So relaxed, with the best food you could imagine!
place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
Zambia. I’m Zambian, so I do feel obligated to suggest it. However, it truly is one of the most beautiful countries that I have ever had the pleasure to visit. The people are incredibly friendly and hospitable, and there is so much to do and see (including, but not limited to, The Victoria Falls).
preferred method of transportation:
The metro. Los Angeles has a very miniature metro system, unfortunately. So, I spend a lot of time in the car. When I travel, I love being able to use the underground. London is great for that!
place you’ve never been but dying to go:
Portugal. I’m hoping that, next year, I can revisit Spain and take a detour to Portugal. I’m completely fascinated by it. I also want to travel to South America in the next couple of years.
place you’d never go back:
Johannesburg, South Africa. It just happens to be one of my least favorite areas. I have family there so I will always try to go there to visit them, but beyond that… I love Cape Town and some of the other areas in South Africa. In Soweto, there is a restaurant called Wandie’s!
most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
Traveling through Spain by myself for a month was incredible. I didn’t speak a word of Spanish, and I couchsurfed the entire time!
how do you prepare for a trip?
I do lots of research online! Since I am usually alone while traveling, I like to make sure that I am prepared. I use tripadvisor, Frommers, and the New York Times Travel section for information. I use 43places and flickr for visual inspiration. I also send emails to potential people that I can meet or stay with in whichever city that I am visiting. I find that to be the most helpful.
how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
Lots of photos and scribbling down names of restaurants and shops in a notebook (or, on the back of receipts!).
what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
Food! I usually find the market right away to get fruits and veggies. Not only is this the most economical, but it also provides lots of beautiful photographs and experiences.
on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
Usually 100-200 a day.
what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
For photos, I use a Sony DSLR-A200 and a Polaroid camera. To jot down notes and directions, I use simple Rhodia and Moleskine notebooks. I usually leave the rest of the gadgets at home for safer traveling.
what do you do after a trip?
After a trip, I start organizing my photos and notes. Then, I spend an inappropriate amount of time sleeping and recovering to avoid going through everything. Eventually I post on my travel blog and flickr. But, not before picking some kind of Facebook profile picture that can generate a lot of “Likes” (kidding. Sort of).
how long after a trip does this happen?
I update the blog over the course of a few months. Part of this is due to laziness, and another part is a way for me to keep my travel memories alive for as long as possible. I always get excited when I revisit photos months (or even years) after a trip. There’s something about looking at them after time has passed that usually inspires me to post them to the blog.
favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
Textiles, bowls, and weird trinkets. I grew up loving beautiful patterns and textiles, and I try to pick some up when I travel. My favorites are from India, Zambia, and Morocco.
why is travel such a huge part of your life?
I’ve always traveled a lot, since I was a child. I really love the escape and the excitement. I especially enjoy traveling alone as a way to meet people. When you travel by yourself, you are forced to strike up conversations and meet new people.
BOARDING PASS is a weekly column exploring the creative ways people travel.