No Maps Here: the irony of my chosen blog name

Let me start off by explaining the thought behind my blog name.

On the one hand, “Maps for Breakfast” symbolises my daily planning of activities whilst travelling, and the organisation of days out nearer home. On the other hand, the name represents moments I find myself daydreaming, consulting the world map on my bedroom wall in London and imagining what it would be like to visit particular countries. To summarise, “Maps for Breakfast” is me Google mapping everything, it’s me flicking through all the travel guides in a bookshop, and it’s me planning the ultimate round-the-world trip just because I’m bored.

So here I am in Abidjan, and as is usual on arrival in a new city, I am itching to explore. This, however, is not quite as straightforward as it has been for me in other cities worldwide.

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Welcome to Africa!

I’m not going to lie, these last few days have easily been the hardest of my life. Culture shock has hit me left, right and centre, and it’s been exhausting to say the least. I’ve had many a message asking “Kay, how is it???” and my reply has simply been “crazy”, struggling to find more words to describe my first experiences in Abidjan. Well, today is the day. Here are some words (more to follow in subsequent posts, I don’t want to inundate you all at once!).

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The Ivory Coast: an introduction to my latest adventure

“Why the Ivory Coast?” I hear you ask.

I am off to work in Abidjan (the capital city) through a youth organisation called AIESEC, who organise internships for students and graduates worldwide. After an initial interview, applicants interested in the scheme are placed on an online portal with thousands of opportunities at their fingertips. Naturally, I had a lot of fun browsing through these and readily submitted applications for opportunities across India and South East Asia. A couple weeks later I logged back into the portal and this particular opportunity in the Ivory Coast was at the top of my home page.

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10 Thoughts Everyone Has Before A Big Trip

The run-up to a big trip can be stressful. My desk has been covered in post-it notes for the past four months, and I have slowly and successfully been ticking off all the major tasks: 7 vaccinations, 2 insurance policies, 1 visa, plenty of malaria tablets and a one-way ticket to the Ivory Coast. Now with less than 48 hours to go until the grand departure, this is pretty much where my mind is at:

  1. This is never all going to fit in my bag/backpack/suitcase *sits on bag in hope it will shut*
  2. I have a funny feeling I’ve forgotten to pack something important
  3. *checks passport is packed for the fifteenth time*
  4. I hate goodbyes
  6. What if I don’t make any friends
  7. Can’t wait to make loads of friends, meet loads of new and interesting people, learn about different cultures, grow as a person (no pun intended), and have once-in-a-lifetime-amazing experiences…
  8. I hope the food there is good
  9. I hope the food there is cheap
  10. Oh sh*t did I pack my iPhone charger?