Honestly, there is nothing fairly like traveling, getting to see a new place for the first time, or returning to a favourite one after a while. People of all ages, from around the world, many times go to foreign places for different reasons; mostly, for work, family, and leisure. Whether you travel by plane, train, ship or by automobile, traveling is generally an enjoyable experience, at least for the people who can financially afford a comfortable and safe method of traveling. But it has more benefits than satisfying one’s need to make money, like, for example, to see loved ones and enjoy oneself on vacation. There are other benefits of traveling worth mentioning and trying out, but that will be a story for another day.
Today, we are taking a look into the travel experience of a young Nigerian businessman, Nafiu Bala Rabiu, owner of one of the top ten BUA Cement Distribution Companies in Nigeria, Balnara Universal Ltd, General Manager, Cement Distribution operations, PIYO GLOBAL Ltd and Executive Director, Ramu Unique Resources.
“People always ask how traveling the world has changed me. And if I look back at who I was before I began traveling and compare that to which I am now, I would have to say that traveling has made me a much better and better-rounded person. I’m way exposed now than I was some few years back when I first left to explore the world.” Those are the words of Rabiu as captured during an interview in his office.
Good morning sir. Can we meet you?a
Good morning, my name is Nafiu Bala Rabiu, Managing Director, Balnara Universal Ltd, General Manager, Cement Distribution operations, PIYO GLOBAL Ltd, and Executive Director, Ramu Unique Resources.
Sir, what’s your favourite place to travel so far?
Tough one! But it has to be Miami and Maldives because as a single guy, I will say Miami anywhere and anytime, but now as a married man it has to be Maldives. It’s Heaven on earth. I have never been to a place as beautiful as Maldives. I was there for my honeymoon. As for
Miami it’s like a calmer version of Ibiza with beautiful summer weather throughout the year, I guess that’s why they call it the sunshine state.
What place is top of your bucket list?
South America, definitely. I fell in love with that part of the world after watching Narcos (Laughs) funny right? On a serious note, it looks beautiful and maybe because I have never been there, but I will like to see what it looks like some day.
What can’t you travel without?
My Phone mostly because of work and communication with my family and in this era of the new media I believe you can virtually do everything with your phone.
What has been the most interesting item of food you’ve tasted away from home?
This might be strange for some people, but my answer here is octopus. You need to taste it but make sure it is prepared by a professional chef or someone who knows how to prepare it well. The taste is not really bad as I initially thought it would be, but it was great, actually.
Among the countries you’ve visited, which country has the friendliest people?
Kenya! It has to be Kenya, the people there are so friendly, gentle and welcoming and they are always ready to help tourists. Maybe because that’s their major source of income as a country and they are used to having different people from different places around the world.
What’s the longest you’ve been away from home and your business?
90 days. This is a funny one because I remember I was heartbroken and my mother saw how devastated I was and she knew how much I love traveling, so she advised that I should travel. My first stop was Saudi Arabia then I ended up traveling to 5 countries and 20 cities. It was indeed a wild one but it was actually worth it because that actually helped me to get over my heartbreak (laughs).
What destination have you found to be overrated?
Seychelles. They were prejudicial and inconsiderate during my visit to the country. They gave me permission to travel only for them to revoke the visa while I was already in the plane and on my way to the country. All thanks the Qatar Airways and their staff; they helped me fight for my right while I was there. I ended up having the option to buy a new ticket to go back or stay in Seychelles for 10 days in quarantine, then go on with my tourism activities. I ended up staying for 24 hours and leaving the next day when I realized the country is not even as beautiful as what they depicted to us online, so my advice is, try to avoid Seychelles at all cost.
Which country has the best weather?
I can’t say a country, but Miami. Because other parts of the United States have a cold weather, but Miami is always warm. The coldest Miami gets is 19 degrees and that’s in December, and at night.
How many countries have you visited?
I’ve visited twenty countries so far. Notwithstanding, I’ll still visit more countries Insha Allah.
What’s your best vacation memory?
My best vacation memory so far is Dubai. In Dubai, I went on a yacht cruise with my mother, two of my brothers, three sisters and some of my little nephews and nieces. It was truly a fun family time. No much business.
What’s your worst vacation memory?
London to Dubai. I Left London for Dubai to attend to an emergency business meeting, I didn’t plan for it and I was having the best time of my life in London. Only for me to come to Dubai and find out they denied my transit visa. I was depressed for like a week because it led to me losing a lot of money.
What countries would you like to visit next?
For now, I think Bali, Indonesia.
How has travelling been beneficial to your business?
People always ask how traveling the world has changed me. And if I look back at who I was before I began traveling and compare that to which I am now, I would have to say that traveling has made me a much better and better-rounded person. I’m way exposed now than I was some few years back when I first left to explore the world. In the aspect of my business, that exposure I’ve gained from traveling has been helping me to make informed decisions about my business. It is only when you travel that you will get to see how big the world is and how little you know before traveling. So much to learn in different people’s culture and way of life and you get to realize every part of the world has truly a different way of life.
Of all countries you have visited, which is the farthest from your home country?
United States of America and if my calculations are right it’s the farthest from my home country
What is your conclusion about your travel experience?
To conclude, traveling is the perfect stress remedy for a person of any age. On the one hand, it helps people to form a better understanding of themselves, their beliefs, and their lives. On the other hand, it also provides people with a better understanding of the world they live in, even if it’s beyond their immediate environment.
Moreover, I believe it may even help a person to feel connected to the many people living in the world.