The beach is my favourite place in the whole wide world. Well, the beach and my bed. Lol. But for some inexplicable reason I have only been to the Kenyan coast a handful of times and to three beaches outside of Kenya:
- Dubai. I went in August 2016 for my birthday as I won the EatOut Nairobi Restaurant Week competition that year. The average temperature in Dubai in August is 36°C but temperatures above 40°C are considered normal making it almost impossible to explore the outdoors during the day.
- Zanzibar. I went in August 2017 for my 30th birthday and I absolutely loved it.
- Cape Town. I went in March 2019 for Ed Sheeran’s concert and I hated it. The water was FREEZING plus the wind kept blowing sand on our exposed skin and it was SO DAMN PAINFUL we left almost as soon as we arrived.
My first time at the Kenyan coast was in December 2009. Yes I know, I was late AF to the party but technically my first time was when my mum took me to Mombasa via train when I was around nine months old. But obviously that does not count because I do not remember it so instead I say my first time was in December 2009. I went with my boyfriend at the time and a group of his friends to ring in the New Year.
I will never forget the trip for two reasons:
1. It was my first time to travel to Mombasa via bus and I did not know that it only makes one quick pit stop at Mtito Andei. We took the night bus and bought some alcohol to drink on the way because Mombasa raha. I finished my bottle of St. Anna’s sweet white wine real quick and, you guessed it, in no time I needed to pee so fucking badly. It reached a point I did not know if I could hold it any longer but I was not going to be that chick who peed on herself in a bus. How would I ever live down such a piss-poor (hehe!) reputation??! And, more immediately, who was going to sit in urine all the way to Mombasa?!! Gross! So I begged the conductor to stop the bus but fortunately for me we were not far from Mtito Andei.
That was one of the dumbest things I have ever done and till this day I never drink much on road trips, even when I am in a private car. I can have a drink or two but I prefer to wait until I get to my destination.
2. (The more important reason) On our first night there my boyfriend at the time found out I was cheating on him.
I will not elaborate any further but just know it was a long ass couple of days.
After that disastrous deflowering I next went to Mombasa three and a half years later for a weekend with friends in June 2013. I have since been to Mombasa three and a half times: with an ex in 2015, to attend a friend’s wedding and for work both in 2017. The half time is when I spent a night at a friend’s before heading to Malindi the next day so it does not really count. I have been to Malindi twice (2014 and 2018) and Diani once (2016), which is why I said I have only been to the Kenyan coast a handful of times. I can literally count the number of times on both hands, which is really sad seeing as foreigners pay a lot of money to vacation on our beaches. A girl can, should and will make more of an effort.
You know the way parents say they love all their children equally but we all know almost every parent has a favourite child. Malindi is my favourite child. I love everything about it: the vibe, the cleanliness, how quaint and quiet it is, the restaurants (special shout out to Simba Dishes), the Italians etc etc.
But I love Malindi most because both times I have been there I left a different person from when I arrived. Some of the changes were small, others were life-changing.
I first went to Malindi on June 7, 2014. It was a few days after the birthday fiasco of the guy who had dickmatized me and I needed to get out of town to “heal my broken heart”. At the time I was:
- A sad, dickmatized loser.
- A fan of sweet wine. Cellar Cask sweet red wine was a particular favourite of mine. Now the thought of it makes me gag.
- Not a water drinker.
- Deeply unhappy at my job.
When I left five days later, on June 12, 2014 which is exactly five years ago hence the reason for today’s post, I:
- Was no longer a sad, dickmatized loser. The dickmatizer texted me the evening I was back in Nairobi and asked if we could hook up and keep each other warm in this cold June weather. I replied “we are so over we need a new word for over.” Carrie Bradshaw would be so proud.
- Was a dry wine drinker. For some reason the minute I got to Malindi I started drinking dry white wine. I think because of the heat I preferred to drink chilled wine which is why I went for white. But I cannot pinpoint why with no preceding penchant I went for a dry white but I sure am glad my palette grew up. Perhaps my palette’s tastes refined in tandem with my pussy’s. Ha!
- Was a water drinker. I started drinking two litres daily and I have never looked back since. Now I am on three litres a day.
- Made an appointment to speak with the CEO of my former company when I got back to the office the following week on Monday.
It really did happen just like that *snaps fingers*. I had particularly struggled with the dickmatizer and the water but I really did change certain aspects of myself just like that *snaps fingers*.
I went to Malindi again for my birthday last year and on my last day there I made a commitment to three things:
- To get serious about blogging.
- To make my physical health a priority.
- The third commitment is private so I will keep it to myself for now.
I specifically made those commitments as I was taking a 420 stroll at Ocean Beach Resort & Spa because it has a special place in my heart. The first time I took in the beach at the resort when I vacayed in 2014 I was moved to tears by its breath-taking beauty. Yes I really did cry and so there was nowhere else more significant to make those three promises to myself. And so far so good. I post every Wednesday even if it kills me. Writing is just sooo fucking hard that some days I am just sooo fucking over it.
I have joined a gym and I eat clean at least 80% of the time. The gym is so hard though, kwanza cardio days, and eating clean can be very boring but the results make it worthwhile.
As for point three, I believe I am doing well as my sister tells me that I have changed a lot this year.
I cannot explain why I am able to change my life cold turkey in Malindi except that the place must have some magic in its beaches. It is a dream of mine to own beachfront property in Malindi one day. There is something transformative about the place that suddenly turns my life around and the only way I can define it is that I am made in Malindi.