By Kayode & Tola Olla
People are constantly moving. If there are definitive characters marking about a decade and a half used in the 21st century already, we think aside from the exponential rise and spread of terrorism internationally, and perhaps also the phenomenal scale of political conflict and unrest in the Palestine, the subject of people movement—and which partly results from the foregoing—will not come any farther down the line.
From migrations and displacements within the same country and to cross-continental movements, the statistics will astound anyone! UNHCR Global Trends 2012 in Displacement: New 21st Century Challenge, records that in the year 2012, 7.6 million were newly displaced; 10 million were regarded as stateless, of which 3.3 million in 72 countries were successfully covered in data by the UNHCR; while also 22 countries admitted 88,600 refugees for resettlement during the year, with the Third World countries hosting 80% of the world’s refugees.
What about the rough, risk-laden, dangerous crossing of borders in a part-foot, part-boat and part-train odyssey from Mexico to the US in search of the American dream? Or, the famous long, rough crossings of the North Africa deserts by road into Europe? Those are the hard sides of movement where the search for rest away from what is—or, maybe, was—home, is a long, hard ordeal—sometimes, even, life-costing.
For some, travel is pleasure—living. For others, travel is… surviving. The quest for greener pastures comes to some on a platter—some others spend literally their whole lives striving for it. We are by default not meant to be on a spot for ages— we, ultimately, are all some kind of nomads, itinerants, travelers—and keeping travel logs… travelogues.
A couple of weeks ago, we heard a piece of news that shocked us. A good childhood friend and workplace colleague of Kayode died in a ghastly road accident. May his soul rest in perfect peace! He commuted interstate between workplace and a postgraduate school. And while Kayode still saw and chatted with him two days before he traveled, our friend died on his return the day following his travel. It was an intense pain to us because even K. plies the very same road on the very same account every single week. We could only tremble, ask questions within and pray his gentle soul rests in perfect peace. We also continue to wish journey mercies to all travelers.
We talk of work life, of love life, of married life—we do not think there is something like travel life. Work could keep us shifting homes—or better still, shifting abodes, or rest-places. Between our work life, love life and all the lives we find to live, we often find our experiences punctuated by travel—yet our love lives are more fitting to pencil down in a diary than the unconventional—the travel life. One day you should write about these wanderings.
We all should.
—KAYODE & TOLA OLLA