bahrain grand prix

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

 

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I’m not going to pretend I know much about the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

I know a few facts. Some of the drivers’ names, teams, how their cars look like and their numbers. I also know I went to Bahrain and I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have experienced this. Heck, was it even real? The only proof I seem to accept, despite the thousands of pictures I have on my camera roll, are the selfies I took with my family with the Bahrain International Circuit tower in the background.

Since childhood, I’d watch the Formula 1 brief highlights after news in the sports segment, with the most memorable bit of the event being how the drivers shake up and pop a bottle of champagne with cameras flashing in their face to celebrate their wins. I never paid much attention, mostly wondering when my dad would be done watching the news so I could just change the channel and have the remote to myself. How I wish I paid more attention hah! Who knows, you could end up watching the F1 live one day. Unbelievable.

Growing up in Kenya, the closest I got to anything Formula 1 was this once when Michael Schumacher’s race car was brought on display at The Carnivore. I was about thirteen/ fourteen years old at that time. We didn’t go but at least it was in Nairobi. Fast forward to Bahrain. The thrill of watching from the bleachers is utterly unbelievable. The fast cars, sounds, crowds cheering and die hard fans waving their flags to show their support. The desert heat, and how the sweat gets your clothes to stick on your skin! On the last day, the race was so intense that we could smell the rubber against the tarmac from our stand. I can’t imagine how the drivers feel in their cockpits, it must be such a rush and one must be intensely present in the moment.

The event lasted three days, 15th 16th and 17th April. Day 1 was like a rehearsal, day 2 determined the pole positions (where the cars start the race from but here’s a Google definition as well 😀 ) and day three was the finale. The second day was one of the most fun things I’ve experienced in my life so far as we got to attend the post-race concert where we got to watch Enrique Iglesias and Steve Aoki perform live! We couldn’t stay long enough to finish the entire concert because of our curfew haha but it was waaaay more than I’d ever dreamed of witnessing. Stay tuned for that in a separate post 🙂

I also have an idea for a post about some life lessons I learnt watching the Grand Prix so stay tuned for that too.

In the mean time, here are a few pictures from the races.

Don’t stop dreaming 🙂

more life

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”
― Anaïs Nin.

 

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Today Yesterday, I got to watch the sun rise from an airplane window. This is also the first post on my blog that I’m writing away from home, in a new country. It is ironic that it all seems so surreal after months of endless planning. Maybe it’s because technically, I am home – with my uncle’s family who I see about once a year. Whatever it is, I’m trying to be grateful and soak in every single moment – whether I believe what I’m experiencing is true, or a dream.

You see the thing is I’ve been planning on taking a trip outside Kenya for over a year now, and finally it seems to have magically worked out. Life these past few months have been as unpredictable as the weather. I’ve always had to think of plan B’s, C’s and D’s to back up my moves at all times – always preparing for a disaster to happen. It is a terrible habit that encourages anxiety, while convincing yourself that it’s all somehow for your own good. Fixing problems even before they happen. I can’t describe the feeling I had after my little brother’s and my passport got stamped and we found ourselves walking into the arrivals hall at the Bahrain International Airport.

My cousins picked us up and agreed to take the long route home to show us around the financial district of Manama. Very Middle-Eastern statement skyscrapers plonked into the landscape, with a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea, listening to Kendrick Lamar’s track ‘Humble’ on repeat. My brother and I had a three hour nap and then we all went out for dinner at Muhammed Noor Restaurant. We had bukhari rice and grilled chicken, which is the definition of generous portions. Sema tamu? We then stopped at a bridge in the middle of the city to get a view of the skyline, and later walked around the City Center mall where I got to ogle at some yummy cameras – wishing I could take them all! *insert crying emoji*

It was a lovely day, and somehow today topped it up. I can’t wait to share more with you.

In other news, we got nominated as Best Travel Blog at this year’s BAKE Awards! There’s four other very worthy nominees in this category so I’m truly humbled to just be on the list, and would appreciate every single vote I can get. I’ve learnt to take nothing for granted, so here I am saying how thankful I am to each one of you. It would mean so much to me if I won, so please vote for me and spread the word. I tear up just thinking about actually winning!

For about two weeks now, I’ve been listening to Drake’s playlist ‘More Life’ on repeat, day dreaming about listening to it in another part of the world and looking back to this little girl who always dreamed of ‘traveling around the world’. And here I am, following through with the fantasy. So whichever part of the world you’re reading this from, good morning, good afternoon, good night! I’m here to talk about More Life.

PS. Forgive the blurry pictures in some of the shots, I tend to get too excited sometimes and it shows in the pictures haha.

saturday shenanigans five

“Instead of trying to make your life perfect, give yourself the freedom to make it an adventure, and go ever upward”.

– Drew Houston.

 

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Where do I begin?

Are you familiar with the work of Antonio Gaudi?
If not, please look him up. I first came across his work in my second year of architecture school. He was a legendary Spanish architect known for his extravagant and organic designs characterized by complex, interesting forms and the free use of materials such as stained glass and wrought iron. Over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate and know more of his work mostly through this documentary I found on my external hard drive that I probably picked off one of my classmates. For some reason, Park Güell seemed to be the most memorable project to me. Perhaps because at that time I took a course in landscape architecture? For whatever reason it was, and it seems to be the project I could immediately compare the eccentric but beautiful Kitengela Glass to.

Isn’t it interesting how the human mind records information? And even more interesting when it recalls and retrieves the information when triggered by the most subtle of hints, sometimes even uncalled for. Stepping into the Kitengela Glass compound, a sense of dream-like familiarity occurred to me. I have never been to Spain (hope to attract it into existence one day), neither had I been to Kitengela Glass before but just from the imagery I had seen before through this same computer screen that I type this out from, it seemed that I knew this place. Not entirely, but  at least what it was about.

It is one of the most sensory stimulating places I have been in before; sights, smells and the almost prickling heat. Starting from the long rocky drive, to the random sculptures on the road I knew I was in for a real treat. Lelei and Jackie told me I’d need at least two days to see and take pictures of the entire property and I do agree. This just means we need to go back some time 🙂 Everywhere you turn, you notice something new. And I’m sure the next trip will reveal even more!

Odd, quirky and colourful human and animal shaped pieces of garden furniture welcome you into a compound that promises only adventure. The earthy animal smell is too present to ignore – ducks, peacocks, guinea fowl and marabou storks seem to live harmoniously with freely roaming dogs – who often chase monkeys in the compound which is no cause for alarm. “What’s that commotion about?”, we ask Nani as the seven or more dogs run outside. “Oh, it’s nothing. They’re just chasing the monkeys away,” she calmly responds back, entirely oblivious to the cacophony outside.

Our guide to the ‘adventure bridge’ later  tells us that Nani moved to Kenya 40 years ago and has been building Kitengela Glass over the years. Here, they have several workshops that make different crafts – glass, beads, wrought iron, several galleries – and organic cottages for intrepid spirits like ourselves to explore and even rent out for the night.

And so the three musketeers, Lelei, Jackie and I, just went on walking around and exploring the place. We got to see how the artisans made glass objects (we they made a glass), explored one of the many cottages scattered around the property alongside timid hyraxes, walked down to the pool area, crossed a delicate but sturdy bridge made out of iron, plastic bottles and odd glass bobbles in the middle of two cliffs, and later on trekked down an unmarked path to the bottom of a gorge.

Best part is, it was all free of charge. Save for the walk along the bridge, which we paid Kiben our guide 150 Ksh. per person (J & L seem to think we were conned) but we didn’t mind this so much. We hear that the notorious baboons sometimes bully people when they sense fear so Kiben saved our damsel-in-distress lives with his sling shot ready in hand. I’m trying to be humorous here, can you tell? 😀

If you’re going, and I highly recommend that you do, I suggest you have a heavy meal for the road and carry plenty of water, tissue and wet wipes. It gets hot and sticky out there.

Every time I experience something new and exciting, I tend to worry that I may not be able to top this off. Almost as if my ability to experience new and marvelous things is limited. I’ve come to realize that this is farthest from the truth. Because every time, I seem to have more. Because, as I’ve said a million times before, I now actively seek out new and wholesome adventures. Because, it’s all up to you. All I have to do is decide and then make it happen, get it?

Keep chasing your dreams.

Kitengela Glass

Google Earth directions here (link opens in new tab).

Happy adventures 🙂