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Travel Tales: Traveling While Ghanaian

One of my favorite travel tales to recollect are those about people’s reactions, thoughts and behaviors after I have answered “Ghana” to their queries about where in the world I am visiting their countries from.

Starting primarily as a series to recount the unique experiences of Ghanaianness while traveling abroad, I reached out to a few other Ghanaian travelers to share with me, distinct experiences they've had in their wanderlust, that has come about as a direct consequence of their Ghanaian identity. Here's what they had to say:

For Nahaja Of TravelwithNahaja, Being A Ghanaian Traveler Has Been A Lesson in the binding nature of sports, history and essential Ghanaian exports.

Admittedly, prior to receiving this ‘topic’, I had never once considered what it meant to me to be traveling while Ghanaian. The discussions have always been about traveling while black, traveling while Muslim and on some occasions traveling while ‘woman’. So this right here, is a welcome bit of change.

Traveling while Ghanaian for me, has been an interesting combination of lessons in passions, history and a good dose of rediscovery. All of which have very been eye-opening for me as a Ghanaian, and as traveler.

In the summer of 2014, I travelled to Tokyo- one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, with some of the kindest people I have ever met.

While in Tokyo, an incident involving my father and I at a Softbank store in Roppongi brought to mind what it meant to be Ghanaian while abroad. We (my father & I) had just purchased a phone when we met a middle-aged Japanese woman who asked to speak with us.

She asked where we were visiting Tokyo from to which we answered that we were from Ghana. Almost immediately, she begun apologizing to us for our exit from the World Cup and expressed passionately, how much she was supporting the Black stars.

The woman seemed genuinely sad and worried about us and how we were feeling. Which was equal parts hilariously and adorable. We laughed with her about it and moved on to talk about other things. Given the period we met it, I felt it fair that she associated our being Ghanaian with the Black Stars' performance at the World Cup.

And then there was that time I experienced being Ghanaian in Tokyo in association with LOTTE Chocolate.

Lotte is a chocolate brands in Japan that imports cocoa from Ghana. Thus, the company uses the name Ghana as some form of deference to us.

Before I knew about the Lotte Ghana chocolate, I never understood why most Japanese people I met and spoke to, would say ‘ah Ghana chocolate’ in a Japanese accent. I always thought it was in reference to kingsbite which I think is the best chocolate on earth haha.

In Inawashiro as well, being Ghanaian is of significance. Inawashiro is located in the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, and is the hometown of Dr. Hideyo Noguchi. Dr. Noguchi died in Ghana of Yellow fever while doing his research on yellow fever. Because of this memory, Ghanaianness in that area is associated with the legacy of Dr. Noguchi.

Follow Nahaja's journey on Instagram @nahaja_ for more travel tales and related content.


In David Letsa's experience, his Ghanaian sense has been a catalyst for travel adaptability.

Traveling with Ghanaian tinted glasses really shapes your perception and helps you to adapt easily to situations.

For instance, if you've ever had to commute with a rickety, barely roadworthy trotro, you would definitely survive any mode of transport, anywhere in the world.

During the last Covid-free summer, I was fortunate to travel to Split, Croatia and there I found Accra. Certainly not all of Accra but bits of it. Friendliness is one of the first things that struck me. The people of Split were warm, friendly and welcoming to tourists, almost in the same way Ghanaians are, back home in Accra. The other elements were seen in the markets near the Riva- vibrant, busy, colorful and complex in navigation.

I found community, craftsmanship, trading, and banter, visiting stall after stall. I had to haggle like a pro to get some good deals, and where else do you think all of these elements come together in similarly beautiful synergy? Accra, Ghana!

Follow David and his travel tales on Instagram @dvdletsa


Akosua Narrates A Story Of How She Found A Piece of Ghana In Belize, Warmly Felt Through An Encounter With A Belizean Local.

My experience of Belize remains in my top 2 travel destinations, particularly because of one nostalgic experience! It's just 1 of the 83 destinations I have visited so that should tell you how incredible it felt!

I was taking a stroll in Caye Caulker trying to take everything in, when I suddenly heard Nigerian music coming from an open pub.

I got excited as it was the last thing I had expected to encounter on a tiny island in Belize! I had been in Belize for just over a week, and most of the music around was dancehall. So this was a pleasant, yet unexpected surprise. As I moved closer to the pub, the next song to play from that same bar was Ghanaian. That got me even more excited because I hadn’t been back home for close to a year!

Then came the owner of the pub, singing along as he worked; a Belizean man! I was astounded and curious. So naturally, I begun to ask questions of him. To my utter dismay, I found that he was very familiar, in fact, with our music. He was a lover of rhythm, so appreciated them a lot. Although he knew the musicians’ names, he had never met anyone from Ghana or Nigeria! I was his very first encounter with a Ghanaian!

Being one to appreciate the aroma of a good meal, i noticed pieces of lobster and chicken on a nearby grill, very much like our popular abotsi and kebab spots in Ghana.

I told him about our version of the same meal and he asked that i join him on the grill. It was a surreal experience. Here I was, finding a piece of my country on an Island on the eastern coast of Central America and I felt like I was back home again.

Journey with Akosua on her wanderlust by following her Instagram page @aqousuahh. On YouTube at Ohemaa's Wanderlust and via her food page @aqousuah.eats. It's your up-coming spot for everything food and drinks!


Kofi Dotse Shares How An Experience During A Visit To South Africa Shaped His Journey Of Becoming A Travel Content Creator And Local Guide, Right Here In Ghana.

Being Ghanaian is a blessing and the respect that comes with it is emotional!

I am part of a singing group theharmoniouschoraleghana and in July 2018, we were nominated to participate in the world choir games in Pretoria for the first time. As part of this, we spent two (2) weeks in South Africa- a week in Hatfield, Pretoria and another in Sandton, Johannesburg.

The energy and excitement with which we were received by our fellow Africans in South Africa was exciting! Believe me, I had never felt that nostalgic. They love our traditional outfits especially the Kente and also our sashes.

One night, while in an elevator headed back to my room (we stayed in a hostel in Pretoria), a handful of pretty Russian girls joined in and began to ask me questions. Questions about where I was from, the continent I visited from, amongst others.

From their questions, I could tell that they knew nothing about Africa, especially Ghana, and had never even seen dark skin. I was glad to share my heritage and culture as a Ghanaian with them. And right after sharing my story, we exchanged souvenirs and took lots of groupfies!

From that experience, I decided to share more of Ghana, especially through travel content, and to give people a reason to visit my country, Ghana. That’s the reason I have decided to create travel content on every trip I take.

I feel that as Ghanaians, and especially Ghanaian travel content creators, owe a great deal of favor to our Ghanaian heritage.

Follow Kofi's journey as a Social Media Strategist, Content Creator & Local Guide on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@kofigramm). For travel writing, visit Kofi's website at


For Cycy_Travels, Being A Ghanaian Traveler Has Been Nothing Short Of A Blessing. In Travel Experiences and Business Alike.

Traveling as a Ghanaian and an African for that matter has gotten me a positive reaction in the all countries I’ve been to.

In Kenya & Uganda, I had a great reception with the locals. They were happy to talk to me and smiled a lot at me.

They said my accent was different- that it felt more Nigerian than Ghanaian. I had a similar experience when I visited Rwanda as well. The Rwandans were very receptive to me and were very kind in relating to me.

While In UAE 🇦🇪 , most people I met were warm, nice and respectful. Traveling a bit through some west African countries like Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast etc. I have met a host of amazing locals who have offered me help so many times. They never try to cheat me even when I couldn’t understand some of their local dialects. For me, traveling while Ghanaian has a blessing in itself. To me, and to my travel business.

I believe that more than anything, being Ghanaian is what has earned me all of these beautiful experiences and I cherish them a lot.

Follow Cycy's adventures on Instagram @cycy_travels and @cy_travelconsult


In The Words Of Aba, A Ghanaian Travel, Food & Adventure Content Creator, Traveling While Ghanaian Has Been "An Enriching Experience Of Discovery, Healing And Of Paradigm Shifts"

I've had some of the fondest travel memories which keeps me wanting more of the world; of cultures and cuisines, meeting more people and encountering more perspectives, as well as adventure.

Prior to travelling, I always wondered how it would be for a ghanaian out in unfamiliar places. It's been more of funny stories for me, lol and it has been an enriching experience of discovery, of healing and of paradigm shifts.

Shesuthman posted on IG asking if people enjoyed the familiar when they thought of travel or preferred the unfamiliar. I've always preferred the unfamiliar and the unknown. To discover how I can make some connections even in unfamiliar territories.

My travels as a Ghanaian have been enlightening in many ways. First of all, as quite a number of the people I've met on my journeys didn't even know of Ghana (yes! In the 21st century), the few who knew, did so because of the black stars (and that is when I started appreciating soccer more). I never passed an opportunity to talk about my country, and talking about it made me realize just how much I love my home, Ghana.

Most people I've met have been gracious. They have loved listening to my tales and were grateful to have finally met a Ghanaian. Once while staying at a resort, I had a free room upgrade simply because my travel buddy and I were the first Ghanaians to visit the resort.

In one very eventful incidence, I met an African American in Italy who was stunned to discover that Ghanians required visas to travel to Europe. It was eye-opening to recognize how many barriers there are to travel for Ghanaians and Africans, and the extent to which all of us seemed to live in our respective bubbles of what we thought travel was like, for other people. But this is what traveling does right? It takes the scales off our collective eyes; scales of assumption and of ignorance.

Every country I've visited has taught me a valuable lesson-it's in the contentment of Singaporeans, the utter humility of Indonesians, the boisterous spirit of South Africans, the slowed pace of Sao Tome, the foresight of Dubai and the list goes on.

Traveling as a Ghanian has not been easily justifiable to my fellow Ghanaians sadly, but I would not trade these enriching experiences for anything in the world. And I'm grateful for initiatives like this, to enable us better appreciate what good there is in traveling, as a people.

Find more on Aba and her wanderlust on Instagram @_abadadzie


For Caleb Of Thetravelclan, Being A Ghanaian Traveler Has Meant Finding Kin And The Familiarity Of Home, Amidst Strangers

It was summer time in 2018 and I was in Begium, finishing off my three-countries Europe trip. I missed my flight back home and the next available flight was not due until two days.

I was completely stranded and had made no accommodation arrangements whatsoever, for these extra days. I was also very low on cash, as I had shopped the day before I was scheduled to leave the country.

I could have phoned home to get some money wired to me but I guess my desire for adventure stopped me from doing that, and I decided to figure something out.

By some strange struck of luck, a lady who worked at the airport happened to be Ghanaian! She spoke to me after she'd overheard me telling a friend in twi that I missed my flight. She called up her mom to inform her she’d be coming home with a friend for the weekend and just like that, we were on a train from Brussels to Antwerp. I had never met this woman!

Her mom (bless her!) was so welcoming and had dinner ready when we got there. She'd made some Ghanaian food, which I thoroughly enjoyed. We all stayed up late talking about Ghana and how much they had missed being back home. Just before I called it a night, her mom invited me to church the next day and I was curious to experience a Ghanaian church in Belgium. I woke up to the smell of breakfast and I could have sworn I was back home in Ghana. It was surreal.

We got to the church and it was just as I had envisioned it'd be- a piece of Ghana in Belgium. The sermon was in twi, the music was heart-filling, worship reached up to the heavens and everyone was perceivably happy to see me.

I even got invited to about 3 homes for lunch, and attended a Ghanaian party that night before leaving for home the next day. I thanked my hosts profusely because they made me feel like family.

Being a (stranded) Ghanaian in Belgium had me finding home in people I'd never met. And it is one of the fondest travel memories to recollect till this day.

Follow Caleb's adventures on Twitter and Instagram @whereiscaleb_ and support his travel company on Twitter and Instagram @thetravelclan_


Akosua Shares A Story About An Experience In Europe And How It Led to Changes In Her Brand Name To Better Portray Her Ghanaian Identity and Journey as a Ghanaian Traveler

The very first memory/experience that comes to mind when I think about traveling while black was my first solo trip to Europe. I was going to a couple of countries; starting with Prague.

Let me tell you, my suitcase was filled with every popular African cloth/ntoma you could think of. My “pro-Africaness“ was on full display... and let’s just say I ended up with a whole new wardrobe, not because I was less pro-African but there comes a point in one's travels that you will experience what it feels like, to be “too different.“

I cried on the first night. I was soooo stared at which made me very uncomfortable and I honestly didn’t know what to make of it. I literally had to google “what to expect while traveling black” and it was then and only then, that I found many articles from black women especially, talking about their experiences while traveling with skin colored like mine. From them on, I learnt that sometimes, it was just sheer curiosity, sometimes, it was racism and at other times, admiration. I found it really helpful.

The next day, I was more comfortable and was able to decipher the many stares I got. I turned into a tourist attraction myself at tourist sites with people taking pictures of me and with me. It’s interesting that there are people who still haven’t encountered melanin.

I spent a month roaming Europe and every time I would mention I was Ghanaian, there was 2 things: 1. Football. "Oh Ghana! Asamoah Gyan! I was rooting for you at the world cup! Suarez ruined it for all of us." This was years after the 2010 world cup yet, everyone still remembered.

The other reaction was a complete shock at a young, solo traveling Ghanaian female. Apparently they are used to black American travelers than Africans, especially Ghanaians.

I made it a point to be very specific with where i'm from, from that experience onward.

I changed my blog name from “chef in skinny jeans" to "Akosua Shirley" because anyone could be the chef in skinny jeans but Akosua is specific to where I come from. When I blow like Asamoah Gyan, Ghana will blow with me.

Find Akosua and her travel works on Twitter and Instagram @akosuashirley , YouTube at (AkosuaShirley) and be on the lookout for her business page @bucketlistghana


It is absolutely worth mentioning here that the idea for this blogpost came about as part of a conversation with Wanda Duncan- host of the Black Women Travel Podcast (bwtpod) early this month.

In an attempt to answer the all-familiar question for black, traveling women; what my travel experience has been as a black woman, I realized how layered my identity as a black person is, and the nuances in experiences that has afforded me- Ghanaian, West African, African, Black, Woman, etc.

This blogpost (and series) is an attempt at offering readers a glance into all the complexities there is to travel experiences for people of Ghanaian descent. Especially now, as we work towards carving out space within the larger travel demographic.

I am grateful for your readership and urge that you follow, support and amplify the travelers featured above. Together, let's write ourselves back into history.

Found these resonating and want to share your travel stories in future projects? Email me at or drop a comment in the section below and I will be in touch!


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