I am always an optimistic traveller. This is why against all odds, I harbour three firm beliefs whenever I travel:
1) that one day I'll finally master the art of packing light.
2) that I'll whizz through the airport with the most minimum of fuss.
3) that the person in the seat next to me will be amazingly witty, awe-inspiring and brimming with ideas for bettering the world around them.
Yet, every time I travel, I'm reminded that:
1) the concept of packing 'light' wasn't created with me in mind
2) secretly I don't mind a teeny bit of fuss...
3) sometimes you're stuck on a six hour+ flight with a fretful baby who won't stop crying, so you're left seriously considering if you should pull your hair out, strand by strand, in sheer frustration.
This week, I'm on terra firma in Accra, basking under a Ghanaian sun that is at once comfortingly familiar.
So far, I know I'm home because:
*I wake up to the sound of sheep bleating insistently outside my bedroom window. It means an alarm clock is completely redundant.
*When I fretted that it was 5:20pm and so we were going to be late for a programme that started at 5:30, my cousin waved me off dismissively and said, 'Relax girl, this is Ghana.'
*Yesterday when it started to rain, my first coherent thought was a panicky, 'do I have anything out on the drying line?' And then I snapped out of my relaxed state and zipped around the house frantically closing windows and curtains, because in Ghana, when it rains it pours.
*During said rain, I went from mature adult to hopelessly excited kid on account of the flashes of lightning and the sounds of thunder.
*I find myself listening for the sounds of the morning: tuneless humming from the next door neighbour as she sweeps her compound, a popular song blaring over the loudspeakers of a car which passes on the main road, the birds chirping away cheerfully...
Accra living. I'm going to be on it like wet on water!