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Travel

Why I Travel Solo When the Spirit Moves Me

Wanjiku Mburu who finds solace in solitude
Wanjiku Mburu who finds solace in solitude. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Humans have been taught that fun, safety, and even value is linked to our interaction with others and so it is rare to seek growth in solitude.

However, that is not the case for Wanjiku Mburu who finds solace in solitude. The famed actor uses her solo travels as an opportune moment to unpack her feelings and re-examine her busy life.

“Truthfully, I cannot pinpoint where the travel antidote came from. But I am a creative and so I need to experience different cultures, foods, and people to be able to fully tap into talent,” she says.

Wanjiku thinks of herself as a tomboy and good boots, shorts and vests are her basic essential travel kits.

In her car, she has a tent, pillow, blankets and mattress that she says she can take off and drive to different destinations across the country for some peace and quiet, without having to spend a lot of money.

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“I find it liberating to be able to be okay with being by myself. I can take a drive to Kajiado to see the stars bursting across the skyline like fireworks and breathe the fresh air I yearn for when in the city,” she says.

Deep-sea diving

Wanjiku who has her plate full most of the time either acting in the Machachari series, a few plays or preparing for the next big role for a movie says her life gets crowded most of the time and so the only way to unwind is to be alone.

“Whenever I leave the house I leave ‘Shiku’ {her stage name} at home and I take up a new name and a different character with every role I play and so I find it important to reclaim myself with a solo trip,” she says.

Her favourite trips are those she takes underwater and she lights up as she talks of her most recent deep-sea diving adventure in Zanzibar.

Wanjiku Mburu

Wanjiku Mburu. PHOTO | COURTESY

“I find so much peace underwater because it is a whole other world done there without the traffic, the noise, the people and everything else,” she says.

“I went to Nungwi beach in Zanzibar and the white coral sand is the most beautiful thing I have seen because it glows. The beach is untroubled making perfect for all kinds of underwater activities,” she says. It is in this northernmost tip of Zanzibar island that she hopes to come back and do some snorkelling into the reef rich waters.

Wanjiku laughs when I ask whether it takes a bottomless bank account to travel and be up and about the country.

“Local tourism is so inexpensive you do not need to plan and have a whole budget for it, all you have to do is fuel a car and go. I have some hacks like carrying my own food and drinks instead of buying the expensive ones on certain tourist destinations,” says Wanjiku.

She adds that the idea that travelling is expensive is something that is in the mindset.

Wanjiku Mburu

Wanjiku Mburu. PHOTO | COURTESY

“People automatically think of Mombasa or Amboseli when they think of local tourism yet you can go to see the hot springs in Magadi for Sh500,” she says.

Wanjiku says she takes after her father who left home as a teenager to not only travel but also get his education and so she plans her next big adventure with the man she takes after.

“I want to travel from Nairobi to South Africa by road with my dad because he has had his adventure travelling all the way to Denmark this trip down south could be something else for the two of us,” she says.

The travel will enable them to have their own itinerary and make it possible to do things at their own pace she says.

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