The world is in a panic, and as usual the media is encouraging mass hysteria. We are in the finals days... wait, not the final days of human existence, but, the final days of the first quarter of 2020. In the America’s the 15th of March marks the first day of Spring, but man, has it been a long winter. We’ve already endured a year’s worth of drama, and it seems like our stamina has only begun to be tested. World War III almost started, Kobe Bryant tragically transitioned, and now the Corona virus is spreading all over the northern hemisphere.
In my opinion, you shouldn’t panic, you shouldn’t let the media dictate your actions, you shouldn’t be scared (be cautious but not scared) and definitely do not isolate yourself. Why am I saying these things when the world is telling you the opposite? Well let me share my story and maybe I can inspire some brave souls to get on that plane (unless your sick), go to that event (unless your sick), but most important of all, I want to encourage you to move forward with your dreams and expand. While the rest of the world is retracting, I believe this is the time to expand.
My first ever trip outside of the United States was January 2015 when I visited the African Country of Ghana. I was a student at Drew University finishing up a degree in Theology. A mandatory course for graduation was called the cross culture course. Students got to choose amongst several countries throughout the world to do a 3 week cultural exchange program. The original African destination of choice was Cameroon. I signed up for the trip to Cameroon and began taking the mandatory 3 month preparation course leading up to the trip. Mid-way through the course the Ebola outbreak happened in Cameroon and the trip was understandably cancelled. However, the school only gave us an option of going to El Salvador, Jamaica, Montana, or South Korea. I said no to those other non-African countries and locations because I wanted to visit Africa. The school refused to allow us to go to any african country stating the entire continent was off limits due to the Ebola outbreak.With the help of two professors at my school, I spear headed a movement to not cancel the trip to Africa. Citing that Africa is an entire continent with 54 different countries with different cultures, traditions, languages, ecological environments, and more. This enlightenment eventually led to an agreement that allowed us to visit Ghana. The reason Ghana was accepted is because around the world, Ghana is quietly known as ‘Africa for beginners. Unfortunately after weeks of uncertainty and signing numerous liability waivers, the group which originally started at 25 dwindled down to 11 as those other 14 people declined to attend but I am grateful to this day that we were allowed to visit the motherland.
Fast forward to today. I am currently in Ghana in the middle of an Africa promotional tour. I am creating content for my many business all in Africa, networking, and gaining invaluable experience and knowledge as I always do during my travels. Will I travel to Italy and go door to door shaking hands? Of course not. I will take proper precautions, such as washing my hands thoroughly (as I have always done) using hand sanitizers, (I thinks it’s sticky and nasty to use hand sanitizers without washing your hands first FYI) and I will also encourage non physical contacting gestures such as waves and prayer bows (hands together like you are praying and bow) instead of shaking hands. At this point no one should be offended if you don’t shake their hand. Clean all counter tops where you may eat and also regularly clean shared spaces and items such as bathroom sinks, doors knobs, and television remotes. If you are sick don’t be afraid to actually go to the doctor and get help. This is not the zombie apocalypse where if we find out you are sick we will kill you.
That first trip to Ghana is what saved my life. I started my first business there, made some of my closest friends, and truly made an identity for myself in Ghana. I currently conduct business in 6 different African countries, and live a life full of wonderful stories and adventures. It all started during one of the most recent humanitarian crisis of the 21st century. I relied independent thought and discretion and not fear and propaganda to dictate my actions, and I pray you will too.