Updated: Apr 26
Peace beautiful people! My name is Maikailuh and I am a lover of all things travel. I have been known to book an impromptu trip or move away at a moment's notice. No matter where I go, though, or how long I stay away, I always wish I could bring all of the people I know and love. This blog is my attempt to invite my community along on this very personal journey of self-exploration and growth.
I can think of no better a place to commence this journey than with the story of how it all began for me: at the intersection of escapism and embrace.
Growing up, I moved a lot. I never found it too difficult to adjust or make friends, and eventually, seeking something new became second nature to me, so it was no different when at 17 I moved a couple of hours away for University. Mid-August, 2016. On move-in day my mom drove us up and got me all unpacked. While most students were heading off to get dinner with their families, I was shooing mine away, eager to make friends and start a new chapter.
I initially hung out with my roommate and her new friends from our hall, though overtime we realized we were not going to be the most compatible of friends. Even still, we all hung out occasionally, so it came as a shock to me when I received a shocking Snap from a close friend of mine early into the second semester. Three boys from my hall, and one that often hung around there, recorded themselves reciting racial slurs and threats.
Months of protests and appeals later, little had happened to the boys in the video, or the hundreds of other students in my hall who did all they could to make me uncomfortable, unsupported, and unsafe. Suddenly I was searching for an escape from the predominately white institution where I had naïvely thought I belonged. My search for something new led me to the study abroad office, and before I knew it, I was applying to a one-year program at the University of Ghana, scourging YouTube for tips and to-do list items, and packing to leave. My sophomore year flew by, and my summer was marked by anticipation and angst.
August 7, 2018 I set off on an 18 hour journey that would change me forever. A sort of birthing place. It was not my physical birthplace, but my spiritual -- and my mental. From the time I landed in Accra, Ghana to when I left 10 short months later, I felt at home. I felt held, in a way that I'd never known. Incubated in the Afrikan sun, blanketed by raw shea butter and Pure Water sachets. For the first time I felt the love of a land that had birthed me -- both in the wombs of my greatest and grandest mothers, where I have existed all along, and in the soul that exists deep within me. My time on the continent, mostly Ghana, taught me that I was trying to unlock the keys to my liberation by way of the classroom, but the instruction I needed would not come from a seat at a table I had to fight to obtain -- and maintain -- it'd be found in the joys, hardships, blessings and lessons of my own rematriation -- a return to my mother's land. I halfway doubted my ability to move away from everyone and everything I knew for almost a year. My first trip to Ghana gave me some of the best friends I have ever had, some of the best food, and a new found love for and belief in myself. Before embarking on the journey, I did not know what true liberation was, but now, nearly four years later, I am determined make constant efforts at mental and physical freedom, not only for me, but for my community. Thank you Mama Ghana.
I am a lover of travel for many reasons, and I hope to share some of those reasons with you all over time. I am truly honored to have you join me on this journey.