A Girl’s Trip 2021.
Girlhood is often abruptly disrupted. To tap into girlhood while in full bloom of womanhood is a gift not many can afford, yet we’re blessed to have this luxury.
Our girl’s trip welcomed 14 girls from across Europe from different origins with (of course) varied loved experiences.
Lucy is sweet and beautiful. Always with a ready smile. Barbara moves through the world with self assurance that many are yet to master. Cassandra is as gracious as she can be. Valentina of God as she calls her self is a fire-brand expressive woman, she wears her heart on her sleeve and is fierce with her affection. Adanna is a strong one, mother to a beautiful boy and able to carve out capsules of joy for herself through times of grieving. Tutu is our dancing queen, boisterous and in charge. Airat is comfortable in her skin and hopeful for the future. Omamuli stands strong, owning her beauty in an unassuming way. Esther is regal, her dimpled cheek ready to make an appearance at any moment. Na’a is beautiful and she knows it, the world is her oyster… Abisola is nurturing to others and to herself. Our hostesses, Sarah and Oyinda are both gracious – their graciousness requires grace. And there’s me. Dwelling in possibility.
We share tense moments – we tend to run late. We have impromptu bus parties, we sing away the night as the car careens towards our hotel. We celebrate three queens as they turn a year older. We have countless outfit changes. Our laughter chimes through the spaces we occupy. Of course, tears are shed. We are girls, women, being present and creating joyful memories we will cherish for years to come. We take ridiculous pleasure in taking photos. We take 10-minute detours to take photos on 10-minute walks. Sarah and Oyinda happen to be the channels through which this happened.
Seven days. Three stops. First stop, bustling Istanbul, then picturesque Cappadocia and finally sweltering Antalya.
Istanbul hustles and bustles – it’s a dance we’re quite familiar with. Capadoccia stuns us with its warmth and deep heat, its people welcoming and curious. Antalya was filled with collective high highs and low lows. It brought us together in prayer and in party.
In my excitement for this trip, I told a friend I was going on a girl’s trip with 14 other women and he called us a colony. It was funny and we shared a good laugh. I bring that up again because we’re indeed a colony of joy, we’re a colony of beauty taking up space. People stare, take unauthorised photos of us, some ask for photos with us – we’re perplexed, slightly annoyed even but somehow we manage to wring out joy, we bond and reclaim our mornings, afternoons and evenings. We are on a girl’s trip after all. We’re 14 hopeful brown and black girls carving out time to nurture ourselves. Existing friendships blossomed, new ones budded albeit tentatively and in its own beautiful way – some of us may never cross paths again.