2023 Year in Review

At the start of 2023, I sat in my family living room and hit publish on a blog post where I wrote about six places in Nigeria that I wanted to visit by year-end. Despite thinking this goal might not be possible due to school, I’m surprised by how much of that list I checked off.

In this post, I am sharing my 2023 year in review, highlighting my travels, accomplishments, and other notable experiences, inspired by Amarachi of Travel with a Pen.

Jaekel House, Lagos

January: Back to School

As expected, the year started with a call back to school to finish what we started. I wasn’t thinking about travel or anything of the sort; I only focused on settling into my final year in school, thinking about seminar topics, project topics, and whatnot. I used the month, however, to think and write about all the places I wanted to visit.

February: I Got my First Job in Tech

February was a busy month for academics—I got my seminar topic approved and successfully defended it.

In an unexpected turn, a friend recommended me for a UX writer position at a tech startup. I didn’t know a thing about UX writing, but they were eager to let me learn on the job. I signed a one-year contract with them, and it’s been quite the experience.

The election break came around, and I traveled back home to Aba. During this time, I frequently visited major markets in Aba, shopping for both friends and coursemates.

Women War Memorial

March: I Took my First Trip of the Year to Akwa Ibom

My year of travel kicked off with an exciting weekend getaway to Akwa Ibom with my partner, right after the election. This marked our first trip together, and we were eagerly anticipating the experience. The places we visited were Ibeno Beach, the Bridge of No Return, the Women War Memorial, the Aba Women Mock Grave, and the Amalgamation House. I have shared a detailed travel guide here on the blog; you can check it out if Akwa Ibom is on your travel list.

National War Museum Umuahia

April: I Organized my First Ever Group Trip

I wrapped up my first-semester exams and used the break to plan my first group trip. It was a day trip from Owerri to Umuahia, where we visited the National War Museum, Ojukwu’s Bunker, and Amakama Wooden Cave. This project was a big accomplishment for me and my brand, done in partnership with Afripik, an African stock photo brand that is promoting local tourism in Nigeria.

best days to shop in Aba markets

2023 Year in Review: May

In May, I discovered that my passion for visiting markets had somehow turned me into everyone’s shopper. With numerous shopping requests, I compiled them and traveled to Aba to shop for friends and clients. I earned some extra income and briefly considered turning it into a long-term side hustle. I even created an Instagram page for it, but later deleted it, realizing it might not be sustainable.

Ngwo Pine Forest Enugu

June: I Traveled to Enugu

June packed in quite a lot for me. I kicked off the month with a trip to Enugu with my partner, which we had to choose over a trip to Cross River. We visited Oakland Park, Ngwo Pine Forest, Nike Lake Resort, and Polo Park Mall. Also, we attended mass at Holy Ghost Cathedral before heading back to Owerri.

Back in Owerri, I organized a successful Sip and Paint hangout in collaboration with Vee of Your Location Girl. Riding on that success, we organized a Karaoke and Games Hangout, and it felt like I was on a winning streak.

As requests for more group trips and hangouts poured in, I realized the need to take a step back and carefully plan the future of this budding community I was building.

2023 Year in Review: July

Things got serious in July as I prepared to finish my project work and face final exams later in the month. I took a break from creating and organizing and dedicated my time to intense studies. It was a tough month, and I wasn’t sure I’d make it through at that time.

August: I Signed Out and Traveled to Port Harcourt

Finishing my final exams on the first day of August set a positive tone for the month. I vividly recall returning to my apartment that evening, overwhelmed with gratitude, my heart so full that tears flowed freely.

My gratitude streak continued as I secured my first hotel partnership with a boutique hotel in Port Harcourt. This partnership felt like a significant achievement, especially considering I had only around 480 followers—I hadn’t imagined landing such an opportunity at this stage.

Attending my first Bolè Festival with my partner marked the beginning of a tradition we plan to continue every year, creating anticipation for our return this year. We explored Port Harcourt City and look forward to discovering more on our next visit this year.

Send-forth picture with my best girl

Back in Owerri, I attended a couple of send-forth parties and officially resigned from my role as the Technical Director for Enactus FUTO.

September: I Defended my Project

September was dedicated to working on my thesis, and it turned into a bit of a nightmare until the defense and final submission, marking a major relief.

Crystal Lake Resort, Oguta

Later on, I visited Oguta Lake for the third time with my friends, Vee and Francis.

October: Clearance and Travel to Delta and Lagos

When it was clear I was done with school, I took a short trip home to receive my parents’ blessings as a fresh graduate. Later in the month, I traveled to Delta State with my friends, Vee and Dexter.

McCarthy Beach, Abraka

After a 5-day stay in Delta, I returned to Owerri to complete my clearance, had a day of rest, and then headed to Lagos. During this trip, I collaborated with GIGM, marking my second one for the year.

In Lagos, I joined an impact program organized by Toke of Alarinka. We painted classrooms and provided learning materials to schoolchildren. This experience also served as a valuable networking opportunity as I connected with some Lagos tour operators.

Jaekel House, Lagos

November: I Explored Lagos and Ogun State

November kicked off wonderfully with a visit to Jaekel House, a railway museum in Lagos.

Another day, I embarked on a Lagos city tour, exploring the Nike Art Gallery, Lekki Art and Craft Market, and concluding the day with a delightful meal at Ilé Iyán.

On a beautiful Saturday, I joined a group trip to Abeokuta by train, exploring Olumo Rock, Adire Mall, and OOPL Wildlife Park. It was an incredible experience, especially since it was my first time riding a train.

I was invited to kayak by KayakinLagos, and it lived up to my expectations. It was a fantastic experience that I had eagerly looked forward to, and it certainly did not disappoint.

Kayaking in Lagos

I scored my first paid partnership in Lagos with a fast-food restaurant. Beyond the collaboration, I genuinely enjoyed their meals, particularly the Egusi soup, which became the topic of discussion when I brought a plate home to share with my hosts.

Aburi Botanical Gardens, Ghana

December: More Exploring and my First International Trip

On the very first day of December, my hosts in Lagos convinced me to experience the nightlife. Reluctantly, I followed them to a lounge in Ikeja City Mall at 10 p.m. on a Friday. We had drinks, danced, shared gossip about Lagos big boys, took pictures, and eventually headed home. Riding back at 1 a.m. was a huge culture shock for me, as where I come from, you dare not step outside at such an ungodly hour.

The following day, I joined another trip to Abeokuta, courtesy of Naija Explorers. Interestingly, a video I posted about my first trip went viral, and on this trip, people approached me, mentioning that my video was the reason they signed up. It was an incredibly rewarding feeling to know my content had inspired others to join in.

Olumo Rock, Abeokuta

On another day in December, Pulse Nigeria reached out to me for a paid collaboration, which I initially thought was a one-off offer. Surprisingly, it turned out to be a long-term one and is still ongoing.

As Christmas approached, Naija Explorers presented an unexpected opportunity for me to join them on an all-expense paid trip to Togo and Ghana to document the entire trip for their social media. It felt like what I had been seeking in heaven was handed to me right here on earth.

With bags packed, I traveled with them to Togo and then Ghana. It was an unexpected turn of events, especially as the year was almost coming to an end.

Ghana School of Law

I returned to Nigeria on the 27th and officially signed out for the year.

2023 was a huge year for me and my brand. I hit some significant milestones, watched my social media community grow, and checked off many items from my bucket list.

To sum it up, let’s take a look at some of the goals I set for myself in 2023 and their outcomes:

My 2023 GoalOutcome
Work with at least three brandsI worked with four brands
Grow my TikTok from 387 to 5000 followersI ended the year with 9264 followers
Grow my Instagram from 190 to 1000 followersI ended the year with 2960 followers
Explore at least five states in NigeriaI explored a total of six states
Take my first international tripI did and visited two countries
Start a travel communityI am proud to say that this was a success too

Looking back, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride for the heights I reached in 2023. It’s a testament to the potential that awaits when I fully put in the work.

Jaekel House, Lagos

As I step into 2024, I’m eager and excited to roll up my sleeves and dive all in. Here’s to a year of getting my hands dirty with hard work and reaching even greater heights.

Happy New Year!

16 Comments

  1. Wow. This was an interesting read, you really did a lot in 2023. Cheers to even bigger accomplishments in 2024.
    Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you so much, Whiz.
      I am truly excited about this year!

  2. PS: I missed reading from you on your blog, I hope to read more of your adventures this year!

    1. Whoosh!
      I promise to be more consistent this year. I hope you stick around for all the tea!

  3. Finally, the year in review is here.
    You’ll crush even bigger milestones this year.

    1. Thank you so much, girl!
      I’m looking forward to that too.

  4. 2024 is going to be bomb

    1. Absolutely! I can feel it too.

  5. God when

    1. Lmao! Please.

  6. Best in doings! ❤️

    1. Aha!
      This year we do more;)

  7. Amazing! 2023 was a great year for you, no doubts! Looking forward to everything you’ll accomplish in 2024.

    1. Thank you so much, Chidinma!
      I’m looking forward to all of that too.

  8. What a stellar year for you! Congratulations on your graduation and hitting your blogging milestones! Wishing you an even more exciting 2024!

    1. Thank you so much, Amarachi.
      I also pray 2024 brings in more exciting things!

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