I am Marion, a Travel and Lifestyle Blogger from Nairobi, Kenya. As you can probably guess, I love traveling and discovering new places. It gives me such a rush to find hidden gems, where most people might not even know they exist!
But more than anything, I love sharing these precious finds with the readers on my blog and with my travelers. I want people to know that there is more to my country Kenya, than what they might have heard or seen on the news.
So far, I have mostly traveled around Kenya, exploring its beautiful offerings. I have also been to Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda; I am most certainly looking forward to exploring the rest of the world, one gorgeous destination at a time!
My first experience with a CityPal traveler was simply amazing! My guest came along with his wife and he was interested in getting a feel of the pulse of Nairobi through a city tour. I was thrilled because it gave me an opportunity to view my home through the eyes of a traveler.
I invited my sister to come with because she loves Nairobi just as much as I do! Together we took them to a Historical building that dates back to the British Colonial Era in Kenya. There, they got to learn more about our Kenyan Culture, our political history as well as see artifacts from all over Africa. The best part was when our guests saw some ancient writings in Arabic which reminded his wife of growing up in Nigeria. She was so thrilled!
I was happy when they requested us to take them to the Mosque in the City Centre for their prayers. As we awaited them outside the mosque, it was nice to see how people from a different part of the world can connect through travel and even religion. Later on, we had lunch together for them to get a sample of Kenyan delicacies. They enjoyed the food pretty well, making our trip a great success.
This experience served as a wonderful introduction for me to what being a CityPal is all about.
Living in Nairobi is a consistent adventure, with some really unique experiences!
My first ‘secret spot’ is not so secret, but it has become my favourite place to hang out with friends as we work out. It’s a ‘park’ called Jaffreys that was donated some years back to the public. They have a running track where people go to walk, jog and exercise in the mornings, evenings, and sometimes during lunch hour.
I like it because we don’t have a similar place in Nairobi, where you can walk or workout for free, without a hassle. It would also be perfect for travelers who want to get in a workout without having to pay a dime!
My second favourite spot in Nairobi is a small café called Geco Café. It is charmingly quaint with a cozy feel, and is an excellent spot to sit and work away for hours while sipping on their Dawa. (Dawa is a local term for the popular concoction of Hot Lemon and Ginger with Honey.) For their décor, they’ve used distinctive materials that remind me of being in the country. Also, they have Jazz Night every Friday, dubbed Sax Appeal, featuring a great Jazz Artist called Tim Riungu. It’s usually a relaxing way to wind down after a crazy week.
Travel is undoubtedly an international affair and I think more travelers are looking for deeper, local experiences in their destinations. In the growing face of Social Media, finding unique, local places that are not cliché or crowded with tourists is even harder.
Also, going to a new city or country can be daunting, especially for solo travelers. You can only read so much about a country, but it is difficult to judge between what percentage of it is true vs hyperbole.
CityPals is an excellent platform, as it provides a link between travelers and locals. You can trust a local to know the best places to visit, to find you good bargains, or to show you what a guidebook cannot. On the other hand, being on the platform assures that both the City Pal and the traveler have a level of safety and security. It allows travelers to connect with locals who are verified, which makes it more comfortable.
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