It’s been four months since I visited Lamu. Of course I need not add the prolix revelation that it’s equally been four months of procrastinating this post. Granted, there’s some things more important (less exciting) like adulting, thesis writing and finding my voice at my new job that’s had my attention, but it’s 2019. I need to style up! Phew – (If you’ve met my mum you can detect the sarcasm).
At a time when everything in my world seemed to be collapsing (including my lungs) leaving Nairobi was necessary. An act of redemption. To my doctor at least; my dad termed it as rebellious, but a little rebellion now and then is medicine. Lost in the tumult of my own recent choices, I hid behind wild laughter and pretense that I was stoked, content and handling life like the boss bitch I am. To betray Cardi in the quest for freedom or reveal the emotional strings that weighed me down was colossal (I dare say it) and I wasn’t about to let them win.
By the end of the week, my account was overdrawn, my bags packed and the continuous thread of text messages flooding my screen served as a reminder that there was a life much grander than I’d settled for in the last six years. Like that would somewhat restore factory settings. With hope in my eyes and a bag of anti-depressants to match my enthusiasm on the other, I was ready for everything the beach promised. Warm golden sand. The therapeutic sound of waves lapping on the shore. Deep cleansing. You know? The soul kind. And maybe, just maybe I’d return with an answer to life’s “what next?”
Pre – takeoff flight banter was marked by fairly predictable conclusions, selfies and symmetrical window pictures before we were jagged back to reality. The unfortunate tire burst had me questioning whether skinny dipping was something I was really capable of crossing off my short bucket list. Captain Ahmed, completely unfazed like it was somewhat a part of the collective adventure package, was quick to reassure us that all was well under the sun. This was an hour later. By this time my intestines had actively put up protest and cannibalism was writing its own history. “A coin for the ferryman” – perhaps the second time’s a charm.
To experience written perspectives and copious amounts of visual content served up by travelers firsthand was almost intoxicating in itself. The other 70% was a direct calibration of Jimmy’s influence on my girl T and Dogo Nature; whose Shakespearean description of Coconut wine had you paying for 3 extra bottles just because. After all, we did walk 10Kms to get it – he nudged.
My first affair with Shela was torrid yet breathtaking. Nothing could take away from the vastness of the white beaches. Watching the little girls playing, singing rhymes and stealing glances at us while we scouted the perfect backdrop served as my first encounter with reality since stepping foot on this miracle Island. Forced to come face to face with my fears and the real reason why I was here was nerve wracking but surreal. Perhaps it was something in the wind. Or the constant reminder that searching for pieces of my soul that had been missing for eons wasn’t going to happen overnight over a little conversation. For now, frolicking by the shore chowing down one fish samosa after the other, burring my face in waves would have to suffice. There’s nothing as therapeutic as silent swimming at sunset watching the colors swirl together in a muddled mass across the sky, the sand squishing through your toes and bits of your hair extensions yanked away by the last wave determined to set you free. Bliss.
And for those still wondering, skinny dipping wasn’t remotely successful. Mangrove trees and then the fleeting term ‘free spirit’ had something to do with it. In the grand scheme of things, however, the universe did conspire to give me a taste of liberation when the wave carried the bikini top too. Maddened by the fact that ya’ll kept this a secret so long. Completely enamored by the feeling, I’ll be pinning it for my next trip!
P.S > feels good to be back!