For this week’s Stamped, Timi Ajiboye, a London-based Nigerian developer, walks us through his week-long trip to Seychelles for a friend’s birthday. He talks about loving the trip even though he still had to work, and why he needs to go back.
This is his story as told to Daniel Orubo, Content Lead at Backdrop.
I didn’t get to do a lot of travelling when I was younger. I remember visiting Dubai and London with my family when I was between the ages of 13 and 15, but that was about it. The first place I got to visit by myself as an adult was Ghana, and the first place out of Africa was America. I mostly stayed in San Francisco during that trip, but I got to visit other cities like New York and Miami.
I liked San Francisco, but I really loved New York. The city truly doesn’t sleep, unlike London. I could work all day, wake up by 3 AM and still find something fun and unconventional to do. A friend took me to a rooftop restaurant in the middle of the night and everywhere was still popping. It’s a crazy city, but it’s not as crazy as Lagos; to be fair, nowhere is as crazy as Lagos.
My favourite way to travel is solo or with one friend. I generally prefer to experience a new place by myself and then come back later with friends or a partner. I don’t enjoy obvious tourist-y things, so I tend to find group trips to be restrictive. That being said, they can also be fun if done with the right group — people who are fine with doing their own thing and letting you do yours. One of my favourite holidays was a week-long group trip to Seychelles for a friend’s birthday earlier this year.
For her birthday in 2020, we went on a group trip to Barbados, which I loved. But this was on another level because Seychelles is absolutely beautiful. I actually don’t understand how a place can look like that. I also loved that I didn’t need to get a visa, which is rare for places that are very nice. I wasn’t completely off work during the trip, which sucked, but I still had a great time. I plan on going back with zero work and just chilling. Everything about Seychelles literally begs you to relax, from the amazing beaches to the impossibly blue sky.
My friends and I stayed at this resort hotel called Mango House, and it was the best. They have a bunch of infinity pools overlooking the beach, a few nice restaurants and gorgeous rooms. When we arrived, we were greeted with a welcome tray filled with sweets, fruits and champagne in each room. They had the same setup when we were leaving too.
For this trip, we did most things together, which usually involved playing in the water or going out to eat. I thought the food was really nice, especially in the hotel restaurants, but I’m not exactly someone with discerning tastes when it comes to food, so maybe don’t take my word for it. We did drink a lot, though. They have this Takamaka Rum that is like the country’s mascot, so we got a lot of it for free.
We also did a bit of exploration. We went on a helicopter ride, which showed us the country in all its beauty. Then we went on a boat trip and were shown a former prison, where our guide swore that the prisoners would occasionally swim to the mainland, have a little fun and then swim back; it sounds far-fetched, but I believe it. We also got to see all the beautiful, expensive-looking houses overlooking the water. Honestly, I need to get my own holiday house in Seychelles.
For our friend’s birthday, the entire point of the trip, we went to dinner at one of the restaurants in the hotel, sang her happy birthday and went around the table telling her why we love her. It was a simple night, but it matched the vibe of the entire trip. While we did go to a club one night, most of what we did in Seychelles was very chill. I really wish I left work at home and got to do more of that, but I know I’ll still get another chance. I could even make it a baecation; it’s a very, very romantic place. If you meet someone and take them there, you people will swear you’re in love.
Another thing I’d like to do when I return is find out about the party scene; we didn’t get to have that on the trip because COVID restrictions were just letting up. I just kept wondering, where are all the rich people with those expensive houses turning up? They should let me in, please. But before I get the chance to visit Seychelles again, I’d like to cross France, Italy or Turkey off my list.