Africa Travel Week

Smile, breathe and go slowly

Eugene has written about travel, leisure, food, drinks, marketing, media, television, film, music, theatre, art, books, business, personal development, and more for over 80 different websites, newspapers, and magazines across the globe. One of his top travel features won an annual Excellence in Journalism Award for 2017.

As a copywriter and journalist, Eugene has profiled well over a hundred inspiring individuals so far: from Grammy-winning musicians and multinational CEOs to celebrated fashion designers and the world’s best chefs. And as a marketing and creative consultant (named a top podcaster to listen to) he helps people and brands craft and share stories in the most impactful way, be it through words, images, video, or voice.

How did you fall in love with travelling? Ever since my first solo international trip to South America (two and a half weeks in Argentina and Colombia, with a brief stop in Panama) in 2010, I’ve fallen in love with travel. To navigate a completely different culture (getting by with some basic Spanish I’d learned through software!) gave me the confidence to see more of the world.

What kind of traveller are you? I’m the organised kind, with checklists for packing, detailed itineraries, backups of photos, and so on.

What’s your travel philosophy? Even though I like to have things planned as much as possible, I’ve also found value in leaving enough gaps in my travel schedule so that there’s opportunity to explore the unexpected while also leaving enough of a buffer in case things go wrong.

What are your top travel essentials? Notebooks, pens, flash drives, SD cards, rechargeable batteries, yoga mat, and earplugs.

The Great Pyramids of Giza. ©Eugene Yiga

Where was your most memorable trip? I’ve had so many, from travelling through Egypt with my brother and dad right after my university graduation in 2007 to a week exploring the islands of northern Madagascar in 2017. One that still stands out was a two-day luxury train trip from Pretoria to Cape Town. Given how rushed the world tends to be, it was great to enjoy life in the ‘slow lane’.

How has traveling changed your life? Travel has made me more patient, more adventurous, and more inspired about the world we live in.

Wat Suthat Thepwararam temple in Bangkok ©Eugene Yiga

When borders open again and the world starts to return to ‘a new normal’ what’s your first travel destination on your list? Travelling to Thailand for an epic trip last September was my first time in Asia and I’m desperate to go back. But I realise that international travel probably won’t be an option for the foreseeable future. That’s why I’m eager to explore more of South Africa in the hopes of sharing experiences through my writing that will encourage locals and visitors to do the same.

Best travel advice you can share? Always get insurance, no matter how short the trip. And remember the words of Thich Nhat Hanh: “Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

Read Eugene’s adventures here.

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.