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Isio’s Travel Adventure in São Tomé – Part I

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IMG_0232Hi, my people!

It has been 11 weeks since the last Isio Knows Better article. I apologize for my unexplained disappearance.  When I wrote Background Checks 10 weeks ago, I had no idea that anything would interfere with my writing the next due article. But alas, life happened- and more unfortunately, the IKB column was one of the things that felt the pinch.

I did have to take some time away, principally to write, and decide on the new direction the IKB column would have to take, so that no matter what happens, these kinds of “breaks” don’t happen again. But, I never forgot. It was always on my mind, every day of those 10 weeks; new, interesting topics, dialogues and things to laugh about. I am happy to say that I am back now. My commitment to the BN family, and every one of you is important to me.

And so, my darlings, my dearly beloved ones, my people, my family… biko no vex for me. After giving it much thought, and discussing it with the BN team – as a prelude to the new IKB – I present to you a 4-part weekly series of my travel adventure on the little island of Sao Tome, here in Africa. After which, IKB will resume as a monthly column.

Much love,

Isio.

*****
To be frank, I didn’t even know what to expect on the little island of Sao Tomé. I just know I needed one month to clear my head off any expectation, responsibility, pressure, stress and every anxiety trigger that has kept me from writing these last few weeks.

Sao Tomé wasn’t a first choice. I considered Madagascar, Hawaii and Iceland, but whether or not I had been there before, total travel-time and climate/weather were huge factors in deciding. And so I did the simplest thing. I took a map, and looked around the equator line. And that’s how Sao Tomé won. I decided to go there, without knowing what to expect, but hoping for the best.

And so, there I was- at the airport. I had only one suitcase and my laptop bag. I didn’t need much- just my island clothes, my scuba diving license and my special tea and biscuits. I had been warned that if you didn’t bring it into Sao Tomé, you might not find it in Sao Tome. I smiled at the immigration officer who was asking me some kain chewing-gum questions at the MMIA. “Oh, Sao Tomé? What part of Brazil is it in? Why are you going there? When are you coming back? What do you do? How old are you…”

I gave my best angelic smile and explained that Sao Tomé was just this really tiny island in Africa, and that I found it intriguing, so I am going there to chill.

The immigration officer and her male colleague both looked at me like, wharrapun to America, London, Dubai or even South Africa? I just shrugged and beamed my 32. They stamped my passport and let me through.

Ahhhh, finally. As I walked on, I reviewed the last month in Lagos, and what I hoped for the next month in Sao Tomé. I had only two things on the agenda for this trip. One – figure out the new direction the Isio Knows Better column will take and write. Two – to remind myself of what it feels like to fall in love with the “now” by doing ordinary, simple things that I find deeply satisfying. Perhaps I will finally learn how to ride a bike. I will go diving. I hoped to enjoy long massages, and have the locals plait my hair “calabar” or “all-back”. Yep… that is the most difficult decision I want to have to make on this trip… calabar or all-back?

Shikena.

Sometimes, running your own small business can drain you. The creative, administrative, logistic, financial, legal, marketing, client-relations, business management, and product-scouting demands of sustaining a business you started from scratch no be here biko. You would think hiring people would eradicate the pressure – but in most cases, it just means you have to add “contractor/staff management” to the things you have to worry about.

Art is my first love, and design is my passion, but make no mistake about it, the business of art and design is a very demanding one, especially as a woman.

Seriously, we need to talk about the reality of starting your own business as a female in this country. But that is a topic for another day.

I groaned aloud as I rubbed my tired eyes. All these anxiety and stress triggers were exactly the reason why I had to go away.

I started to power walk out of the building. Once I sighted the airplane, omo, I broke into a soft sprint. I barely stopped long enough to show the flight-attendant-checker of tickets my boarding-pass before I raced INTO plane. Eh? Lagos, I love you, bhet it can get intense and I gatz to leave you for now. The promise of enjoying my life away from any grating generator-noise, was right up there – just a little short of being at par with the promise of everlasting life.

That was how I left Lagos. Via Ghana through Arik Air. And to Sao Tomé through TA Portugal. Arik sha gave us one dry cake like that in a transparent nylon alariwoI say I no chop. TA Portugal gave us a sandwich and salad also in a small food tray with plastic alariwo cover – I still no chop. At the airport in Ghana, I had had the “Ghanaian jollof rice” that Nigerians on Instagram/Twitter keep yabbing the Ghanaians about. Verdict? All na jollof.

It was late when we got into the island. If you scare easily, the landing of the plane – so close to the water- and into the (relatively) little runway of the little island, will make you scream JESUS! HOLY SPIRIT! JESU! Or whichever one gives you comfort. But it was expertly done, and all the oyinbos on the plane started to clap. Me, I no clap Kankan jo.

When I got to the guest-house that was to be my home, all I could do was eat and sleep. I fell asleep to the sound of the ocean smashing against the rocks, and woke up at 6:30am to the songs of the island birds singing the songs of sunrise.
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That morning I went down to the beach, spent the afternoon grocery shopping and in the evening, I decided to take a walk around the village. Gosh, there were so many children under the age of ten. They played with everything, everywhere- while their parents stayed a close enough to keep an eye on them. A group of kids peered at me curiously, and giggly requested for Doce! Doce! Doce! They were in luck… doce meant sweet and I was lucky enough to have some Buttermint which I gave to them. They beamed their thanks and scurried off to play some more.
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I was just walking. Up this hill and down that one. I found myself at the fisherman’s bay all the way into the village. It was almost empty except for a group of kids (they seemed to be about 5-8 years old) and two ladies who were at a corner. I sat on one of the wooden canoes and brought out my phone to start taking photos of the scenery.

IMG_0440

A little boy, curious walked up to me to look at my phone – and then he called his friends over, telling them to come see a “little television”. They all gathered around me in a flash, and when I changed it to a front facing camera to take a selfie, they erupted screaming with unconcealed excitement. They spoke Portuguese – oh, so very fast – that I could barely understand, but I didn’t need to as their excitement was very much contagious, and the cause was very much evident. They jumped, and screamed, sang and made many funny faces…

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(Errrrrrrrr, this is not a waka, mbok… it’s a wave-and-say-cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese.

And that right there, made my day! Sharing that first selfie moment with the children of the local fishermen in the bay.

And then I went home, and started writing…

 

Isio De-laVega Wanogho is a Nigerian supermodel, a multi-award winning media personality and an interior architect who is a creative-expressionist at her core. She uses words, wit and her paintings to tell stories that entertain, yet convey a deeper meaning. Follow her on Instagram @isiodelavega and visit her website: http://www.idds.pro to see her professional body of work.

132 Comments

  1. Nkechi

    October 6, 2015 at 9:27 am

    The realities of starting your own business as a female really needs to be spoken about. I’m grateful for initiatives like She Leads Africa & bloggers like Tuke Morgan who started a vlog series sharing lessons she has learnt as a Creative entrepreneur. Running business no be beans.
    I’m looking forward to your Sao Time series, Lord knows I need a vacation & I can put myself in your shoes while reading about your time there.

    • Nduka

      October 6, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      This made me laugh “the promise of enjoying my life away from any grating generator-noise, was right up there – just a little short of being at par with the promise of everlasting life.” I feel you!

    • Morolake

      October 7, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      I NEED A VACATION!!!! So jealous right now Isio *side eye*. I need to this sort of shut out everyone and everything kind of vacation in my life right now.
      Looking forward to a the next post.
      Welcome back. xxx

  2. Xxxxx

    October 6, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Isioooooooooooooo!

  3. Agro

    October 6, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Isio!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Isio!!!!!!! I yaff missed you.chaaiii!!!
    This Sao Tome sounds interesting o. Wedding in december and the honeymoon destinations I have been checking for a 2week honeymoon don dey enter million. My entrepreneurship stinginess cannot let us spend that amt biko so I am looking for closer African countries that flight alone wont cost half a million.
    Isio you dey enjoy o, but we your BN family forgive you and welcome you back. Oya chop kiss! Off to check out this island.After waiting,a geh deserves honeymoon biko.

    • TA

      October 6, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      @ Agro, yes o a girl deserves some honeymoon. lol. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Sao Tome, Seychelles, Zanzibar, Madagascar, Cape Verde etc are all beautiful islands in Africa that you can visit easily. When I visited Sao Tome in 2009 (work-related trip) only visa on arrival was processed but these days you need a visa from their embassy in Abuja or so. As for Seychelles you can access it via Kenya Airways. if Kenya Airways is doing a stopover in Nairobi, then you may need a proper visa. Kenya stopped issuing transit visa as at August 2015. Zanzibar is in Tanzania and the visa process is easy peasy. Cape Verde and Madagascar issue visa on arrival so you have no worries. The beauty of these places is that you get to enjoy nature at its finest and many unspoiled scenery that will leave you breathless. The downside is that there is no shopping mall (if you are a typical Naijagal used to bargain hunting down Asos,Costco etc) The best you can buy from these location are locally made leather goods, fridge magnets and scarves. The cost of flight and hotel accommodation should be reasonable too. If you get money for lavish honeymoon, then look up Bora bora,Maldives dem. hehehe! , best wishes dear. 🙂

    • Cynical

      October 6, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      Ah ah ,TA I want to be like you when I grow up o. Choi….have you been to all these places? Abeg help a sister na,let me get work @ your place so I can flex like you….lol. My dream is to travel everywhere especially small lovely islands but how I for do with 3kids under 4yrs???? Went to Seychelles for honeymoon and it was bliss.

    • The real D

      October 6, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      Seychelles should not be on this list. She just said she does not want to spend millions, an average hotel in the main island of Seychelles is minimum $350 /night and above and that’s just a basic hotel Like I tell people there are reasons why some places do not require visa application, that is, if you can afford it then you are welcome. Seychelles for me is one of those places. So a 2 week hotel stay in the current exchange rate is already over 1/2 a mil. That does not include flight or feeding and activities. For a couple, yes o it shall be spending over a mil at least in Seychelles. Dear bride-to-be, you might want to consider Zambia, not touristy but if you are into nature, safaris and co, it might be worth taking a look.

  4. Queen Spicey

    October 6, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Welcome back Isio. I forgive your absence without notice.

  5. TY

    October 6, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Lovely article….glad you’re back!!
    Googling São Tomé now?

  6. yet_dup

    October 6, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Haba Isio! Haba! You no try @all, you left us high and dry for 11 whole weeks, no forwarding address, no communication to let us know if IKB was ever coming back or if you had fought with the bellanaija team. Hian!

    Anyway, welcome back and since you say you needed the time away (cos only if you are alive and well will you be able to write anything interesting and worth reading), we can’t argue. However it is only right you inform your avid readers next time.

    We are excepting you better and bigger. Welcome home and we hope you had a lovely time beyond your expectations!

  7. Anon

    October 6, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Isio, tell the truth. Are you sure you are not prospecting for oil? LOL! There are so many gems in Africa. I have some Senegalese in-laws and many years back we got dragged to a wedding in Cape Verde which I heard is similar to Sao Tome sans the oil. Portuguese heritage and all. Enjoy. I miss your column.

  8. SoniaPaloma

    October 6, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Isio! My Woman Crush Naija Writer all day, everyday
    Welldone sugar!

  9. Ivy

    October 6, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Isio is back oooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my! Started re-reading your old write ups cuz i over missed u. & This write up just inspired me mehn! & i will start my business early next year, plan to start 2 sef & in different locations (scared as shit….but God got me). Thank you Isio.

  10. memoi

    October 6, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Welcome back!!! Miss you plenty, nice to have you back. Looking forward to your write ups.

  11. Moms

    October 6, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Good to have you back,Oniovo.

  12. Tru

    October 6, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Isio you are a wicked someborry and we BellaNaijarians are not playing wit you again #Askor

    • Bruness

      October 6, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      LOL!!!!

  13. Isiosfan

    October 6, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Welcome back, i live in Ghana and been hearing so much about sao tome now i have to go there soon before its bombarded lol.

  14. Roci

    October 6, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Soo..here i am and Isio is writing about my maternal country…been there once and since then EG my father land has been ma base!
    But really tho, its a nice place to be, and bcs of the nature of EG, it constantly remind me of my maternal roots.
    I can still speak a bit of Portuguese which its almost like Spanish which is my main language.

    ISIO Have fun and give us more juice gist about ur experience ..who knows i can go check it out LOL..

  15. Oluchi

    October 6, 2015 at 10:05 am

    This is the most refreshing post on BN in the last two months. #BreathOfFreahAir #Real #IsioDeLaGboGboTiGbo #AnticipatingTheNext #GodBlessYou

  16. tolu

    October 6, 2015 at 10:05 am

    welcome back in mase’s voice isio. missed you

  17. Grace

    October 6, 2015 at 10:12 am

    I should travel to from all the hustle of this city called Lagos but to where and with which money?When what you earn cant really take care of your one needs. But i wish i could travel even if its just for a week. smh

    Cant wait for the remaining part of your trip joor Isio.*straightface*

    • Bleed Blue

      October 6, 2015 at 10:54 am

      Hey Grace!

      I’m fortunate to work for a company that has a private beach resort on the outskirts of Lagos. It’s all expenses pre-paid, including the boat trip and meals and chalet. All you need to do is show up at the boat terminal in VI.
      I can book 2 people max (i.e. you plus your guest) but not for a week, they only open weekends – Saturday and Sunday.

      Drop your email address, let me see if God will use me to give you that rest from hustle you say you need so badly.

      Don’t worry, I’m not otokoto. Mz Socially Awkward knows me. Lol. Cheers. 🙂

    • Tomi Lawal

      October 6, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      That’s really nice of you Bleed Blue.

      withtomi.com

    • OMA

      October 6, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      BLEED BLUE PLEASSSSSE CAN I APPLY PLEASE TEARY EYED……

    • bn lover

      October 6, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      Hian @BleedBlue God bless you biko. If everybody can be dis nice then our country don boku be that. Bless you dear

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 6, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      Onye obi oma…. Hmmmmmm, when Napoleon said “show me a family of readers and I’ll show you people who move the world”… I know he wasn’t talking of BN’ers but truly-truly and even in spite of its online remoteness, this our small internet community na family gan-gan. Shikena.

      Grace, please drop your details sharply and when you enjoy finish, follow Isio do R&R post so we can enjoy your “enjoyment” vicariously ….

    • Ready

      October 6, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      God bless you, Bleed Blue. I hope she sees this. This Lagos hustle isn’t a joke.

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      October 6, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      You truly bleed blue and everything beautiful in-between.
      …And you inspire me too.

    • For Bleed Blue

      October 6, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      Hi Bleed Blue,here’s my email as well( that’s if you don’t mind), I sure do need the holiday Thanks. [email protected]

    • Krasavitsa

      October 6, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      Omg, u are such a nice person!

    • Dee

      October 6, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Chai! Grace where are you oh? Don’t let this grace pass you by. I agree with Mz SA, you have to send the pictures to BN since it’s through here that you received your graceful gift

    • Titilayo

      October 6, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Okay, bleed blue, I know asking to come along is stretching your kindness thin. But i’ll ask anyway, can I come along?

    • Isio De-laVega

      October 6, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Awwwwwwww, Bleed Blue, this is very sweet of you. More blessings to you, and may someone surprise you with seven times more than you need – for that thing you would like.

      Regarding travelling- I started out like that. I would go to places and acquire all kinds of stuff. But with time I started to desire to experience things more than I desired to acquire things. So far so good. I still love beautiful things, but I try to balance it out. Experiencing beauty is everything, and our world is a breathtaking place.

      Grace is our lucky reader today. You made a wish of hers come true. #Bless

    • TA

      October 6, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      @ Bleed Blue, yay! thank you o. May God bless you so much. As you have surprised Grace,my you find pleasant surprises in unlikely places. God bless you darling. BN Family rocks mehn. 🙂 *doing my slow moonwalk* Lol 😀

    • Vangogh

      October 6, 2015 at 5:04 pm

      @Bleed Blue you are sooo kind!!!! May God bless you. Please just in case Grace does not take you up on this offer, biko I am game o! Although I can only get time off work in December. You can send me a mail on [email protected] Atm I do not have the financial capacity to go on a vacation.

    • Leah

      October 6, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      NIGERIANS! You lot will never cease to amaze me!
      All of you who asked to be taken instead of Grace or secretly hoping she won’t come back to this post so you can take her place, shame on you. Real shame! I hope Grace sees this and gets to go on her getaway.

    • Dee

      October 6, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      Please do me a mail. [email protected]. thank you.

    • Noms

      October 6, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      God bless you ma’am.
      I nor dey think of vacation like that sef na car I want…the suffer for Lagos too much. The rain today na D.I.E

    • Cynical

      October 6, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Aunt Bleed blue me me. I need a weekend away from the kids.

    • Bleed Blue

      October 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      WOW! Erm…. I’m flabbergasted o. Thanks BN family for all these nice comments. I came back to check if Grace had responded and saw all the prayers etc… I don’t even know what to say. I’m just…. as in…..WOW…. You guys are the bestest!

      To all those asking if they can come, I’m really sorry but it’s not that sort of thing. It’s a maximum of 2 guests that I can send for the weekend and that’s it. And Grace’s comment just gave me such feels that I didn’t even think before typing my offer to her.
      I wish I could take everyone, lol, that would be an insane and opinionated weekend sha…but alas I fitn’t. 🙁

      Okay enough talk…. I’ll just sit quietly and wait for Grace. 🙂

    • Gerry

      October 7, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Dear bleed blue. Please I need the details of this private beach resort. I will pay. Thank you. [email protected]

    • ATL's finest

      October 9, 2015 at 4:55 am

      @ Bleed blue.. God bless U abundantly!!!! Chai I wish this came up while I was in Nigeria, u best believe I would ve been taking my ass on it too. Just for weekend, yes I can do that. I do it A LOTwithin the states LOL.. I still need to experience this one in Nigeria ( I’ll pay for mine)??…I will be nice to ve such an experience in [email protected] Grace kpele!

    • Oma

      October 6, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      Grace, you better take me with you o……ncawwwwwwww ncawwwwww
      this is tears by the way

    • ATL's finest

      October 9, 2015 at 5:00 am

      Awwwww Grace U are so lucky and definitely deserve it.. Hang it there sweetie. I don’t know u but I feel ur pain .. Trust me I spent couple of days in Lagos & I thought I was going mad ??????:)! I was like a Lil girl at d candy store when I got to MMIA. I was so cheesy and jumping cuz I was going back. Not for any other reason bt I needed my sanity back.. Let alone U handling it everyday.. God works miracles.

  18. Lala

    October 6, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Even before I read let me comment! Isiooooooooooooooooooooooo I missed you! ?

  19. Sweet dreams

    October 6, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Isiooooooo I missed you…. U going MIA for 11weeks was an expensive joke… Welcome

  20. Lala

    October 6, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Ok I’ve read it. I’m glad you are back and took a break for yourself. ???

  21. Ephi

    October 6, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Such a refreshing article, I actually felt like I was the one on holiday as I read through.
    Those kids in the pics – what struck me is how happy their faces are *the joys of being a child with no worries*

  22. team isio

    October 6, 2015 at 10:24 am

    At last!!!my love has come on home…my lonely days are finally over…..

  23. Noms

    October 6, 2015 at 10:25 am

    good to have you back,Oniovo

  24. Adeola

    October 6, 2015 at 10:26 am

    I missed you, Isio

  25. Elohor Henrietta

    October 6, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Grinning from ear to ear. That will be my next spot hopefully mid next year.

  26. Iya'beji

    October 6, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Isio Na wa oooo. You no just try for this your abseentism at all at all. Anyway, welcome back sha.. Me I don miss you no be small.

  27. mia

    October 6, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Isio, this 10 week abandonement no come good o. welcome back

  28. Ese_sleek

    October 6, 2015 at 10:36 am

    yeah!!!!
    she is back
    (singing)
    isio is back, isio is back, isio is backkkkkkkkkkkkkk…
    welcome back
    ( side eyes) Ku ise
    runaway sisteh

  29. ajay

    October 6, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Its good to have you back. I’m patiently waiting for the rest of your story.

  30. Bleed Blue

    October 6, 2015 at 10:43 am

    THIS! My idea of a perfect holiday.

    Isio, I kid you not…the number of times my friends and family have given me blank stares when I tell them my destinations and my intentions ehn…the thing taya me. They can’t understand why I will go somewhere where I can’t shop.
    Biko, will I kee mysef with Zara and Prada and everything in between?

    Aaaaanyhuu, I thoroughly enjoyed your words and your pictures. Waiting eagerly for the next in the series.

    Isio, you’re so darn talented, you could be anything. Seriously. (Except maybe a tour-de-France competitor)

    • ATL's finest

      October 9, 2015 at 4:38 am

      @ Bleed Blue!!! God bless U. I don’t even know U but things like this makes me realize that there is a God & an Angel like U. @ Grace enjoy & lol @ all those dropping E-mails I hail thee?. My Nigerian FAM no dey slack at all..

  31. FasholasLover

    October 6, 2015 at 10:52 am

    The first time l experienced passengers clapping at landing was on a flight to Israel. I asked why, and l was told it is appreciation to the pilot for safe landing and in that particular case, that we were not blown to smitterens by the you know who.

  32. Ruth

    October 6, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Isiooooooooooo. Dobt do dis again. Everyday i check BN just to see if there was any post frm u. I am happy that you re back. Looking forward to more of the series. But seriously we need to talk abt starting your own business as a female one of these days. Thanks

    • Dee one

      October 6, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      Exactly there should be a forum where people can help others; share their experiences and stuff like that. I want to start a business latest early next year but the problem I have is getting a good business idea. I’ve been jobless for a while now and I’ve always wanted to run my business but I don’t just want to go into any kind of business. Any kind of suggestions would be much appreciated. Please help me out guys. Thanks in advance.

    • Tayo

      October 7, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Talk to Stephanie Obi, she will help you

  33. sera

    October 6, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Holiday is great way to do a quick reset; relax, have fun and come back fully ready to get back to work. I missed you Aunty Isio, please if you need an assistant tourist am available, won’t mind being your staff too. Thank you.

  34. ACE

    October 6, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Wow! It sounds so calming and relaxing. Lovely

  35. Dior

    October 6, 2015 at 11:18 am

    its funny how i was just thinking about you while having my bath this morning “”dnt mind me, thats d only place i can be sane”. you just evaporated, ko da o Isio and this monthly ish is just pure scam. Anyways i enjoyed this write up and i forgive you for your absence bebe

  36. ify

    October 6, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Isio oh my screaming your name , yeaayyy u need to see how I was showing my sister ur pic in tinsel show last two days ago, how we can love and feel people from afar its amazing , I pray the love we have for each other is shared abroad in our hearts daily amen. Well come Isio

  37. titi

    October 6, 2015 at 11:30 am

    isio of life!!!!! i cant even begin to describe how much i have miised your column, i kept checking every tuesday until i got tired. its nice to have you back .
    PS: BN, kindly inform readers if a column will be away from the blog for a long period.

  38. ibok

    October 6, 2015 at 11:38 am

    ok so am part of the few that has that i need to disappear away from here n i never get the chance to. seen a therapist twice cuz i feel i am slowly losing myself. please how do i apply for this visa i need to escape please

  39. Exotique

    October 6, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Isio is back!!!!!!!!! Missed you girl. Kept wondering if everything was fine with you until I saw you on Ndani TV real talk.
    I have been thinking where to go on my vacation and I am soo looking up Sao Tome. Thank you Isio

  40. Damsell

    October 6, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Welcome back,missed u so much.

  41. Thatgidigirl

    October 6, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Isio u can’t seat with us anymore! Who u taking for granted? 11 weeks! Askor!

    • Isio De-laVega

      October 6, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Hahhahhahaaaa as, Biko no vex na, Biko… xoxo

  42. NIRA

    October 6, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Welcome back Isio!!! Was smiling all through while reading this. The pictures are too cute. I’m all for going to all these Islands for my vacation. Beautiful, peaceful places.

  43. Priscy

    October 6, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Isio, how can you disappear like that?
    This your explanation no do o…u have to bribe us with something biko

    Anyway, I am green with envy with these pics o. I need a vacation like right now
    I no want anything wey go cost me pass 150k vacation for @ least 1 week
    Suggestions pls, anyone?

  44. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    October 6, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    The pictures of those kids were everything! Their happiness actually brought tears to my eyes and made my day. And Isio, I did not think it was really waka. Actually looked like some conjuring act gone awry.

    Happy you are able to get away. We know the crew here is admittedly part of the demand. We don’t really intend to but you know how good things are hard to find. So forgive us “awa” trespasses and thanks for being you.

    • Isio De-laVega

      October 6, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Awwwwwwww, thank you for saying that, it actually made me smile. You know the IKB column is not just me. It’s everyone who contributes through the comments who make the read better than I ever could have written it alone. We all share, and I learn too.

      I am grateful.
      Thanks for this! xx

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      October 7, 2015 at 9:47 am

      You are most welcome!

  45. Mz Socially Awkward...

    October 6, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Isio, make I keep face and squeeze mouth like some of those big aunties dem wey go call you, wan scold you but the kain love dem get for you no go even gree their vex to release on top your matter …. I-siiiiiiiiii-oooooooooooo…. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

    What can we say, after you’ve acquitted yourself so admirably with that passionate opening statement? 🙂

    Re Sao Tome – the concept of holidaying there seems completely idyllic. I was looking at the photos of those children you ran into at the village, though and my heart broke, that photo could have been taken anywhere in the Nigerian niger deltan areas. What is it about petroleum resources in West Africa that has caused communities which host those resources to suffer this kind of severe deprivation? Only God will judge these our thieving leaders, see as dem don turn wetin suppose bless these villages into wetin dey bring more lack….

    The trek though… so you have to fly to Ghana and then to Portugal to get there? Darn…. waka like that fit deter me but I suppose if you’re spending more than just a few days, you’ll recover from the layovers. As for that immigration officer who thought you were travelling to Brazil – see as we dey show ourselves. No be who dey work for border control suppose even know geography pass others? Odiegwu.

    • Dee one

      October 6, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      You got it wrong, she flew to Ghana via arik air and from Ghana she flew to Sao tome via TA Portugal (an airline)…. She didn’t have to go to Portugal, lol.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 6, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      Ahhhhhhh, the penny drops. Never heard of them and when she said “to Sao Tome through TA Portugal”, I thought that was another transit stop before getting there. Which seemed like an unbearably long trip… :-D. Thanks for the correction!

    • Isio De-laVega

      October 6, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      Schweetness, ha! I no go Portugal oo! Na to comot plane begin explore Lisbon be dat na. I had to fly to ST from Ghana with TA Portugal, as no Nigerian airline travels directly to ST.

      I don miss you o, Biko as a nice egbon no vex for me… The hustle becameth intense, na e the writing sef bone leave me commot. I had to put IDDSInteriors in order and flee from the demands of the company for a few weeks before my body con balance.

      But it was an amazing time there. Those children have all the joy in the world in their eyes. It was a most beautiful thing to see…

    • ATL's finest

      October 9, 2015 at 5:19 am

      @ Isio tu Bella!!!

    • just me

      October 6, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      I tire o Mz SA no be small yeye people them keep for that MMIA immigrations, was travelling to SA sometime in May and the woman was asking me stupid questions and not wanting to release my passport, even when she see say I be frequent traveler she was asking why I was wasting my money like say na she give me the money. Nigerian Immigration officers especially those at the airport seriously need re-training. They are bunch of dumb heads sitting there.

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      October 7, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Mz. S. A. you were spot on. That “look” knows no nationality. The kids could have been from anywhere.

  46. debee

    October 6, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Dear Isio welcome back!!!!!! I really missed you sigh! I cant wait to begin to have the luxury of deciding to take a vacation when I feel like letting out some steam… well God dey sha.

  47. chee

    October 6, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Isio,i said to myself today,”if Isio doesn’t write today,i’ll forget her” but alas she’s here and I can’t help but say welcome!

  48. jess

    October 6, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Did you say monthly column??? One post per month??? Na wa o. Ok o welcome back.

  49. hildos

    October 6, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    This article is inspiring…..Sometimes,.it doesn’t take so much to relax and get one’s self back….it made me laugh….keep it up girl

  50. kcz

    October 6, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    good to have you back isio…and bleed blue..am interested o…

    • peperempe

      October 6, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      Bleedblue should organise a package for the BN family…

    • TA

      October 6, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      Yes o. Me I just dey look the chic with one kain evil eye like this. All the time I dey like her comments fo this BellaNaija she never say ‘come and take one getaway weekend’. Hian. Na wao!

    • Bleed Blue

      October 7, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Hahahahaha! @TA

      But gurrrrl, my love for you is not for here. You’re one of my cyber soul-sistas for life meyn!

  51. tianna

    October 6, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Isio, i really miss you o. Kept checking BN too for your column. Welcome-miss you loads.

  52. Oyaga

    October 6, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Isio, everytime you leave, you take a part of me away. That part that comments on Bellanaija… so for 11 weeks i haven’t commented on BN because i didn’t hear from you.

    You do not realize the power you have here. Every Tuesday i come to check and leave sad, because no IKB *tears*.. I have missed you like a child misses his blanket meeehhhhnnnn!!!
    I missed you terribly! Na wetin sef.

    Its good to have you back.. I am alot happier now and then somewhat sad coz you said you’ll be featuring just once a month?? Haba now.. Okay, i can struggle to live with that but just make sure whatever you are writing monthly will be like a short novel, so we can atleast read it through a week small small and hoarding am till e finish.

    I don dey write too much but its good to have you back babe and i am glad you had a restful and rewarding time at Sao Tome (abi wetin you call am)

    Kisses

    • Isio De-laVega

      October 6, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Oyaga, my dear…

      You cannot imagine. I did not intend to disappear, and I have missed you all, much more than I could ever write about. I am glad you have started writing! Just let the words write themselves through your hands – don’t try to make it what you think it should be… That’s how I share my gift.

      It’s good to be back… it’s good that have you back, and I hope to read your work (and comments) one of these days.

      xx

    • Oyaga

      October 6, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      Isio gorgeousness!!

      HAHA!! You see i suck at writing… I no dey write oo. What i meant was… “i was gushing too much in writing how much i’d missed you”

      But at least the misinterpretation got you to write back at me, and i am just floating. No one can get me upset today because ISIO girl wrote back directly to me!! LOL

      Thanks for the advice though, who knows?, maybe i will actually write someday. BUT i will definitely comment now you are back for good.

      Kisses

  53. Pretty girl

    October 6, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Iso me have missed u alot. I knw miss my own boyfriend the way I miss u these few weeks that u where away. Chi but it’d all good I take u apology.

  54. ThatBlackBabe

    October 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Yaaaay! Isio is back!!!

  55. divea

    October 6, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Yay…Isio De-laVega is back. You won’t be able to comprehend my happiness when i scrolled through and found this…very refreshing. Good to have you back.

  56. Abena

    October 6, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Hello Isio, really missed you on here. you’re living my dream girl. I also intend starting my interior business soon (i hope ).I’m a practicing quantity surveyor at the moment.Please do keep your promise on the article about starting a business as a female in nigeria especially in a male dominated industry like construction.

  57. Fabulous B

    October 6, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Beautiful woman. Running a business for a woman ain’t easy in this part of the world, even continental, region sef. LOL
    Sao tome, lovely place from what I’m seeing. Cheerful kids :-). Have a restful timeout, dear. The pictures are refreshing. Miss you darling. Looking forward to the other parts. GOD keep you safe & well. I see you like tea. I have a lil gift for you when you come back.
    Mz socially awkward, so sad. Yeah! It would have been the niger deltans kids. The corrupt ones made them the sacricial lamb for the oil. There lives is a living hell. I hope things improve with this new government and the people willingness to better themselves devoid of the corrupt ones amongst them.
    @Bleed Blue, nice one dear. You motivate me. Nice gesture. GOD bless you.

  58. tatafo!

    October 6, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Welcome back Isio!! My absolute fave column on BN that makes me come out of hiding to comment. Looking forward to the rest of your series. And will always take what I can get when it comes to your column. Half bread is better than none at all!

  59. TA

    October 6, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Isio me I nor get anything anything to tell you except Shebi na every time you go dey go vacation? Yes! I dey jealous you. And as a true Naija geh I haf to ask ‘Ekabo’ shebi you buy shokolate come? Yes nah. You nor see shokolate for airport? Abeg abeg abeg. LDTMB 😀
    Girl, you were missed around here o. Great to have you back.

    * Kisses *

    • Isio De-laVega

      October 6, 2015 at 8:14 pm

      TA!
      Looooool! The vacation no dey reach pesin o. And yes o, I brought Sao Tome chocolate – the locally made one a la cocoa plantation tinz. I shall keep it for you… *wink *wink!

  60. deedee

    October 6, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Yayy,ma darlyn Isio is back,missed ur posts,was always checking BN every Tuesday,ma Mum knows u sef,I had to show her your picture online and also your feature on Gidi Up coz she was tired of me talking about your refreshing posts.Please, Dan Allah,biko,don’t do this to us again abeg….

  61. Chinwe

    October 6, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Isiooooooo , hmmm. Is God that will judge o. You just lif us like that. Isoryt sha. Kabo o. thank God for safe journey. Wey d chokolate? abi u no bring am come ni. I miss you no b small and now u wan come do monthly thgs……*sigh* as long as you dont go away again…i will take what you give.

    Hugs!!!!!

  62. Koffie

    October 6, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    This is typical “Ask and you shall receive”, chai. Bleed Blue, that was a lovely gesture and your kindness will be repaid by God.
    Just in case there are other angels answering prayers on here (hehehe), I’m looking to switch to another firm but within the financial analyst/performance management terrain. And Isio, it’s good to have you back but 11 weeks was too long fa, I was beginning to think there was bad blood between you and BellaNaija itself. Ma sebe mo oo. We definitely add to your pressures and I’m glad you got a break you enjoyed.

  63. miss max

    October 6, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    The Lady of Columns is back. I didn’t know i had gotten attached to you and IKB until this disappearance. See the way i dey rush BN every Tuesday to see weda you don drop suntin. Welcome back, please don’t do this disappearance act again o bifor pipul will get high blood pressure.
    The lady that offered Grace a getaway, God bless you.

  64. Emerald

    October 6, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Isiooooooooo! I’ve missed u & ur articles. So glad u r back. Welcome. I’m looking 4wrd 2 d rest of d article.

  65. Girlbeingreal

    October 6, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Refreshing post! had me smiling all through. Welcome back!

  66. Ello Bae

    October 6, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    My fellow people of BN land please do not tell me that you did not notice the ‘fleekness’ of Isio’s brow!! That alone made me forgive her for her abandonment. Welcome back Isio. I hope you find peace and happiness.
    …..Love Bae

    • TA

      October 6, 2015 at 11:47 pm

      @ Ello Bae Yes ke that eyebrow. I noticed it too but I didn’t want to be the vain one to draw attention to it. Looool ?

  67. Unique

    October 6, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Isiooooooooo, oh how i missed you!!!!!!!!

    The efizzies and swagger you brings to your articles are world class. I was just scrolling through bellanaija and immediately i saw your name, oh my! My heart skips a beat and i was smilling all through reading your articles, that shows the effect you had on me

    . Those eleven weeks seems like eleven years to me.

  68. Beegal

    October 6, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    I didn’t esperit!! Isio is baaaack. Lol.
    I know a secret….. Isio de la vega is using black magic! Warizit?! I was vexed after the abrupt end to the articles and the unannounced return. Who does she think she is? Gerraheremehn, sh*t! Lol
    But peraps after the brief intro I just chilled and in a total reversal of emotion started feeling bad for her. Eya. Pele. I’m sure your good now sha. Welcome back 😀

  69. Oluchi

    October 7, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Bleed Blue, its little random acts of anonymous kindness like this that keep hope alive. I will pray with your name if you don’t mind, all I’d ask is that God bless you with more.
    Isio……find Grace!

    Kisses

  70. Lyrics

    October 7, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I totally love you Isio! Welcome back!!!

  71. Onyinye

    October 7, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    @Bleedblue: Awwww. That is so kind of you. Please tell me about the resort. I need a weekend getaway on my birthday second week of November. I am not looking for a freebie but maybe a lil discount wont hurt…..lol. Please send info to [email protected]. Pray you see this

  72. Zeeny

    October 7, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Welcome back Isiooooooo!!! I have missed you like kilode….infact the way I’m smiling going through this post and comments has earned me serious side-eyes from my colleagues, lol. Welcome back and thanks for sharing your beautiful experience in ST. Bleed blue, you are the real MVP, may God reward your kind gesture beautifully.

  73. annalise keating

    October 7, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Isio, I’m a little bit of a newbie to your column hence my knowledge about your personal life is quite limited. Just 3 questions.
    1. Do you use your naija passport for your trips?
    2. Do you always travel solo?
    3. Do you book your holidays through agencies and as a package deal, like from Thomas Cook, etc. ? Reply soon, thank you.

    • Isio De-laVega

      October 7, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      Hello Annalise!
      Yes, I use my Nigerian passport every time I travel. Most times I travel solo, sometimes I do not. But this is not a bother for me at all, I have never been one to have qualms with going to the movies alone, to a restaurant alone, or travelling to explore a new land alone. Sometimes you bump into people you know, some times you don’t, and you make new friends.

      For your third question, no… I do not book my holidays through any agencies. I research online, read reviews, open a line of communication with the hotel/ whoever runs the place I am interested in staying, then I do some more research about the area I intend to stay in, the people and the culture. And then I get my ticket, and I’m off. Easy, peasy. Lol!

      xx

    • sera

      October 8, 2015 at 12:32 am

      Dear Aunty Isio, like I said you don’t have to be alone, I can be your tour partner. Please I would love to work with you. Blue blood lol, if bleeding blue means kindness then bleed on and don’t heal. God bless you. I drop mail add when I comment so am sure the admin should be able to provide that of Grace. Pls can you help with a breakdown of a weekend getaway? Or link to the website, name or contact person. I would love to surprise Uncle before He surprises me. Thanks

    • Annalise Keating

      October 8, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      Thank you Isio.

    • ATL's finest

      October 9, 2015 at 4:43 am

      Lol @ Isio U sound like me! I’m very great all by myself heading to the movies/Vacation ALL but my bestie is sometimes around with Me too. I LOVE to travel as well. Nice trip indeed Ms. Isio:) I don’t know much about U but thanks to Google

  74. Rukayat Owolabi

    October 7, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    The pictures are really beautiful. I’m gonna add that to the list of places I want to visit.

  75. patsychy

    October 8, 2015 at 4:25 am

    Isio de la vega…..ur always welcome back.u always have a way of making us receive u with open heart…hope u are well rested now.Nnoo in ibo language.
    @Bleed blue…dear kindly drop the address on my box…..Bae wants to celebrate my birthday in a cozy and fun way….i think that resort will be a good place.kindly help with the details…
    [email protected]..thanks and eagerly waiting for an answer.

  76. Elizabeth fifi

    October 8, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Isio is back. Thank God.Missed you a lot even though I dont make comments.
    BTW, we dont have to leave the country to have a vacation. There are many unexplored beautiful places in Nigeria we can go to.

  77. Ada Nnewi

    October 8, 2015 at 11:20 am

    I was so pissed off at your absence that the moment your article popped up i just hissed, scrolled up, sideways and down then closed BN for about an hour, opened BN again and just refused to scroll to your article…Last night my sis asked me …Have you read Isio’s article.. I was like ehnnn..why should I?..she just thinks she can vanish and i’ll be here waiting when she gets back abi, like it wasn’t even a mutually decided breaK OR ANYTHING SHE JUST LEFT ME WITHOUT ANY CLOSURE… so i spent the night thinking about the merits of forgiveness and how unforgiveness is like carrying around unhealthy load…Then i opened your article this morning… 😀 AND NOW

    • Ada Nnewi

      October 8, 2015 at 11:21 am

      I’M HAPPY!!!! btw this your proposed monthly ISKB sounds like a scam but half akara is better than no akara sha…Glad you had a lovely time in Sao Tome and you’re back brand new…XOXOXO

  78. Red

    October 9, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Yo BN, shouldn’t you be able to contact Grace via her email and let her know she has a weekend getaway waiting for her? This story has to have a happy ending, you guys should play fairy godmother and give her a nudge.

    • Leah

      October 11, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      I agree oh. Or maybe Isio should mention her in her next article and ask her to come back to this post.
      Even me I’m eagerly waiting for that happy ending.
      BN or Isio please make it happen.

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