Posted in Gombe Tales

The First time I traveled to Gombe State.

I used to pride myself on being someone that liked to travel until the journey to Gombe State changed my life forever. There’s no way you’d spend two days on the road like I did and your life will remain the same. I’ve made this two-day trip two more times but the memory of the first trip is still very fresh.

Gombe State is located in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria and there’s nothing that could have prepared me, a girl that has only ever known the South and some parts of the West for this trip. My mental preparation for this journey began when I received my call-up letter and found out that I had been posted to the North. What do you do when you find out that you’ve been posted to Gombe State and there’s nothing you can do about it? You cry. I cried till the day I was to leave.

We hear a lot of stories about the North so you have an idea about why I was crying.

Gombe State? Where is Gombe?” I asked myself. I had to Google it because Gombe State is one of those states in Nigeria that we rarely hear about in the news. We began to make travel plans and we discovered that I had a long journey ahead of me, two days from Port Harcourt. To make matters worse, there was some sort of crisis with bandits in Jos, which is closer to Gombe. We considered flight but it was out of the question because the price was crazy expensive and we couldn’t afford it at the time. We made inquiries and we were told that the only option I had was passing through Kano.

Imagine this scenario: You’re supposed to take a straight route to see someone but there’s another person on that route that you’ve been avoiding. What do you do? You either decide not to go or pass through another route.

Detailed description with a pen and paper.
Don’t forget to hype my artistic skills in the comments section.

If we had done proper research, we would have known that there’s a park for direct vehicles to Gombe at Oil Mill in Port Harcourt but the thing with going to a strange place is that there’s usually nobody to ask. I didn’t even want to bother anyone so we went to Waterlines and we found “Cross Country” vehicles going to the North. Their transport services are quite affordable in my opinion. They’ve probably increased their prices from September last year till now but I remember that Port Harcourt to Abuja was 10k Naira then. Affordable. Again, if I had done proper research, I’d have known that there’s no way I would have arrived in Kano that same day, lodged in a hotel, and continued my journey the next day. You can guess where I spent the night but that was even the least of my problems.

Around 5 am when I left home – was still maintaining beauty.

I commenced my journey from Port Harcourt on the 31st of August and arrived at the NYSC camp in Gombe on the 2nd of September by 1 am.

We had not even left Port Harcourt when motion sickness kicked in. I’ve been battling motion sickness since I was little and I always prepare my stash of mint sweets, gum, and water. I also never eat before I travel. Never. That day, however, Lauren brought rice and chicken ‘cos somehow, she forgot and I set myself up by taking one bite of chicken (maybe it was two, I can’t remember). I had vomited three times in the vehicle before we got to Enugu. Mind you, Kano is 13 hours from Enugu so we hadn’t even gotten far. I remember thinking to myself “big girl like you still dey vomit for bus”. It was embarrassing but it’s one of those things. One of the passengers bought bitter kola for me and asked me to try it. I don’t know if I stopped vomiting because the bitter kola worked or because I had already emptied the contents of my stomach. I chewed bitter kola and drank water for the rest of the journey.

Did I mention that I was also on my period and I was battling serious cramps?

From Port Harcourt, you’ll pass through Imo, Abia, Enugu, Benue (Makurdi road), Kogi (Lokoja road), (all the other roads between them), before you get to Abuja. We got to Abuja around 12:55 am and the driver drove us to the park and said that he couldn’t continue the journey and we’ll have to sleep at the park. I started crying because I had been looking forward to a nice bath and some food. I went straight to the driver and asked him why we stopped. This was not the plan! We were supposed to arrive at Kano that day! He simply looked at me and told me that Kano was six hours away from Abuja. Six hours?! I started crying again. I had to use the toilet/bathroom reserved for drivers and I finally put bread and tea in my stomach. Thank God for people that make Mishai. I charged my phone a bit, let my parents know where I was, and slept in the vehicle.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this story so far. I don’t want it to be too long so I’m dividing it into two parts. I’ll try to publish the second part ASAP.

Love,

‘Ruona ❤️

P.S:

I’ve added a new category to this blog, titled “Gombe Tales”. I can’t wait to share my experiences in Gombe with you!

Have you been on a long journey before? Please share your experience.

Have you heard about motion sickness? Do you have motion sickness? What works for you?

When should I publish part 2?

Please share your thoughts in the comments box below. You know how much I love reading from you. Thank you! 💜

Author:

My name is Oseruona Asak, but I'll let you call me ‘Ruona. I haven't found the perfect words to describe me yet but I’m very passionate about those things that are close to my heart, including sharing my thoughts with you.

60 thoughts on “The First time I traveled to Gombe State.

  1. Ro Ro, You suffered o, sorry ehn, next time I’ll send my plane to get you, as for your drawing skills ( you have a tail and the bandits have a third leg 🤣🤣🤣), I have never had motion sickness, from what y’all have said about it I pray I never do, I’ve been on a long journey once , a 2day journey to Lagos ( why was it long?) It was 2001 and roads were terrible.

    Like

  2. Chai! This is scary! You slept in the busss???😫 Definitely a journey I would never be going on. Amen.
    I suffered from really bad motion sickness as a child. Now, I just feel dizzy and I make sure I sleep for most of the journey. I don’t eat also.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I slept in the busss! In the park!! With mosquitoes!! Bad bish like me 😩.
      Motion sickness is one kind but when I’m familiar with the route, it’s easier to manage. The other two trips I made were sickness-free.
      fami

      Like

    1. And I always complain about 1hr journey and I hate traveling , I really do
      You’re a strong girl , including menstrual cramps
      Really an adventure , please drop part 2 soon baby 😌😌

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Awww,baby girl…you really went through alot,only the thought of menstrual cramps 🤦. Sowi.
    This is an interesting story….I’m awaiting the part 2 of the story. Don’t keep us waiting please 😅😘😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ruo baby, Totally relate to the crying part when the call up letter came😂😩 I cried too. I can imagine the stress and exhaustion. Especially with period and motion sickness at once. Looking forward to part 2.

    Meanwhile, nice drawing 👀😝

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice intro to the world of long distance travel by bus…I am usually pumped when traveling long distance by road, I have had good and Bad experience, nice read… Waiting for the concluding part..Sorry about the Motion sickness though…

    Like

    1. Traveling by road involves a lot of experiences. Sometimes it’s enjoyable, other times, you’ll question your decision to travel but it is what it is.

      Thank you for stopping by, I’ll be publishing the second part very soon.

      Like

  6. Nah!!! You tried abeg.
    I have motion sickness too, I don’t eat or drink water. It gets worse with the smell of fuel, I get dizzy and lightheaded.

    The longest journey I’ve been on is to Lagos, I really hate traveling 😭

    Can’t wait to read all the Gombe tale’s

    Liked by 1 person

  7. No nah 😟
    Motion sickness + vomiting + MENSTRUAL CRAMPS
    I didn’t realize how bad the journey was babe..Thank God for safe journey bc I don’t even know what to say..

    I’ve never had motion sickness but well I have panic attacks but only when I fly or use an elevator and it’s not sth I’d wish for the Devil.

    And I love traveling, I really do (for now I guess) sometimes I wish the destination was just a little bit longer esp when I’m comfortable and traveling with friends and loved ones.. but I’ve never been on the road for more than 10 hours so we’ll see…

    This was a really nice piece ❤️
    I’ll stop being a lazy reader and click your link before reposting..

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If there’s a fixed amount of time I’ll be in the place or space, it helps. I just keep looking at the clock and do a mental countdown.
        But if not, i could lose consciousness.

        I guess I’ve not found a way around it bc except when I’m flying there are no other situations where I’ll be in the first scenario, so I have to find a solution to the unplanned scenarios too.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. No nah 😟
    Motion sickness + vomiting + MENSTRUAL CRAMPS
    I didn’t realize how bad the journey was babe..Thank God for safe journey bc I don’t even know what to say..

    I’ve never had motion sickness but well I have panic attacks but only when I fly or use an elevator and it’s not sth I’d wish for the Devil.

    And I love traveling, I really do (for now I guess) sometimes I wish the destination was just a little bit longer esp when I’m comfortable and traveling with friends and loved ones.. but I’ve never been on the road for more than 10 hours so we’ll see…

    This was a really nice piece ❤️
    I’ll stop being a lazy reader and click your link before reposting..

    Like

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