For part 3 of the Drift Away With … series, I’m introducing you all to a buddy mine. His name is Ibrahim Kofi Appiah. People are always wondering what kind of career do I need to be in to be able to travel, make money and have fun. Ibrahim is going to give us a little bit of insight into what he does and a lot more detail on his recent Eastern European trip. Let’s get into it!
Q: So, who is Ibrahim Kofi Appiah
A: I’m a sketch artist, musician, basketball player, dancer, model, mentor, world traveler and the list goes on, seriously! In a nutshell, my name is Ibrahim Kofi Appiah and I am a software engineer working for SAP Canada in Vancouver BC.
Q: Travel isn’t for everyone. How important is globetrotting to you?
A: Globetrotting is paramount for me, and it has opened my eyes to the world. It has provided me with experience and important values that I would only have gotten in other places around the world. Living in one place for a long time, after a while you get accustomed to it, and then you start to crave change. One thing that I really enjoy is traveling on my own. It’s challenging at times. It forces you to come out of your comfort zone and appreciate other cultures, especially when you don’t speak the language. But the great thing about it is that you always meet new people along the way, and plans change.
You end up doing things that are completely different from what you had imagined. You grow as a person. I think that traveling is something that everyone should do at least once even if it’s to just to a few other cities. It changes you in some shape or form. Traveling is a drug, the ultimate drug. Once you start traveling you’ll never want to stop. You’ll want to keep traveling until you see the whole world.
Q: Tell me more about what you do for a living. Does it allow you to travel?
A: My day job as a software developer is great. It allows me to work remotely from practically anywhere in the world. Another great thing about working for a huge company is that we have offices practically everywhere in the world. So yea, my job definitely does allow me to travel.
Q: Tell me about your latest trip. Where did you go?
A: My latest trip was a hell of an amazing trip. I did a tour of eastern Europe. I started in Germany and made my way to Montenegro. I went to Berlin, Munich, Walldorf, Heidelberg, Mannheim, Brussels, Amsterdam, Bratislava, Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Dubrovnik, Bar, Budva, Tivad, Podgorica, and Belgrade.
Q: That’s an impressive itinerary! Which 3 cities or countries were your favourite? Why?
A: Even though each city I went to is different and great in its own way, my three favourite places were Budva, Bar, and Berlin. These three cities were the cities where I genuinely had the most fun. Montenegro, is a small country but has a lot to do in that small space: the beach, rocky mountains and more. This country is particularly hard to describe in words you have to see it for yourself. Not to mention, I had the best hosts while I was there, which made the trip 100 times better. Knowing someone who lives there was a big plus for me. As for Berlin, the city is crazy. So much funk and life there. It’s so international, and beautiful. It’s a great place for young people to explore.
Q: That sounds awesome! What was the single most memorable experience on your recent journey?
A: This is really a tough question for me to answer because every moment was memorable for me. I don’t think I could simply pick one most memorable moment. But I think the most touching moment and saddest moment was going to the Holocaust concentration camp “museum”. It wasn’t the most joyful moment but it stuck with me
Q: What was the experience like as a person of colour in predominantly less “colourful” countries? Good or bad.
A: You know what, it can go both ways. It can be good if you make it good. And it can go bad if you make it bad. The experience is definitely one of a kind because there aren’t many black people in the outermost eastern European countries I visited. It’s hard at times, because everyone stares you down like you’re from a different planet. But I went there with a mindset that I didn’t care how or if people were looking at me. My mindset was always the same, I was there to have fun and was not going to let nonsense get to me. I didn’t see it as much of a problem. I talked to any and everyone with a smile on my face.
People were intrigued and wanted to know who I was, and where I’m from, I hope I gave them a good impression of black people. Maybe it’s just my personality, but everyone seems to get along very well with me.
Q: I love the approach. You covered a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time. Do you wish you had taken more time?
A: Definitely, I wish I had more time in each place. I wanted more time to get integrated and learn about the culture and life. However, covering so many places in so little time gave me a feel for each place. Now I know which place I would go back to and where I would avoid. Small touristy towns, I probably wouldn’t revisit for more than a day or so.
Q: If you could only choose 1 more place to go in the world, where would it be?
A: There is so much more that I need to see and one more place is not enough! If I absolutely had to choose, it would be Ghana, where I was born. I left when I was just 3 years old and have never gone back. I have gone around the world but never made my way back to the homeland. It would make sense for me to go home.
Q: How did you prepare for this trip financially?
A: The way I plan a trip financially is I research about the places I want to go and then I budget. I Budget ahead of time, and make sure I allocate enough funds to travel at each destination. I plan my trip in the most cost effective way possible but I always add a few dollars to my budget, because anything can happen. But in my case, I’m a single software engineer, so I don’t have many expenses. It’s a little easier for me to travel on a budge.
Q: Where are you going next?
A: My next trip is going to be Australia, this one should be a good one
Thank you very much man! Always great to learn more about (black) travelers and their adventures! Follow Ibrahim on his travels on Instagram: [at]Ibmappiah
Have you ever been to eastern Europe? What was it like? Leave some thoughtful commentary below. Much love!
Until next time,