She is a journalist and a natural storyteller. Maureen Murori likes giving shape to people’s experiences and making stories for them to read, for healing- if need be, to pass on information to others and generally make a positive impact in the society through these stories. She also loves photography- landscapes, even more. Lately, Murori is trying out storytelling videos as well.
How have you used your skill as a visual artist/photographer to showcase tourism and travel?
Being a storyteller and a lover of photography- though an amateur at that- I often share some of my travel experiences via my social media platforms. Additionally, I run a blog where I also use some of these images to support my texts.
What makes you proud to be a Kenyan, and then a world citizen?
There are a few things that make me proud to be Kenyan. First, the fact that we win in most marathons. I love it when I tell people here (Cyprus) that I am from Kenya, and they automatically assume that I can run too. I laugh and walk away smiling with pride. I can’t run. But I love walking- if that counts. Secondly, the diversity of the people of Kenya. Our culture is rich due to the different communities that inhabit the land. I love our culture as Kenyans and the ‘Kenyan language’ that only we can understand and our food. In Kenya, nature is vast and wild.
It is by travelling that you realise how vast and wonderful the world is and notice what a tiny space you occupy in it. Interacting with the rest of the world widens your sight and increases your knowledge on things, people and places. You become more understanding and appreciative of what and who you already are.
To make travelling easier for all, however, I would like a world where travel restrictions were non-existent. By the mere fact that you hold a certain passport makes you vulnerable to ‘institutional discrimination’. While one person might get a visa to a particular country within a few hours to a day, another might get it in six months or never. I hope someday, we can have more relaxed travel rules for all.
Have you been to Uganda ???
Yes. My first time to Uganda was back in 2016. I came for journalism training in Kampala. Kampala is a hive of activities. I thought Nairobi was crowded, until I came to Uganda. Uganda’s bodabodas are a force to reckon with. I have not met a match yet.
What have you heard about Uganda as a travel destination?
It’s a bird-watching destination. I would love to do that one day. It’s amazing seeing the different species and hearing them chirp. I know mountain gorillas are in Uganda as well, but birds attract me the most. With the diverse culture and being a foodie, I am down to travel to Uganda any day any time. I also want to witness a traditional wedding in one of the local communities on the ground.
What was your initial or first travel experience? What memories did you carry from it?
Within Kenya, I would say when I first left my village to visit my uncle in Nairobi. That was in my pre-teen years. It was fascinating but also very shocking. In my village dresses, I felt out of place. My aunt was quick to help me settle in by getting me ‘city dresses’. This helped a little. But I wanted to see more; acquire as many memories to share with my siblings and the village kids when I went back. I think that is how my storytelling skills were grown.
I learned of ‘Nairobi bread’ as we used to call it. This is a large family bread that I only saw in the city at the time. It was big and tastier. My siblings, other village kids and I thought. At this rate, you can see my love for food tends to crop up in every question. Since our discovery of the bread, visitors from the city would not be warmly welcomed without it.
What are your top travel destinations locally and beyond? And why?
I have not travelled to famous destinations a lot. Nevertheless, I love country life. I like going down to a river and watching it drift away. Listening to birds chirp across the forest, while surrounded by strong natural aromas.
Such destinations arouse in me joy and peace. Outside of Kenya, so far, I would say North Cyprus and Turkey. Still, you will find me in the local villages, walking, hiking, taking photos and lately, camping. In my last camping experience last summer, we did it at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. There is nothing more beautiful than waking up to sea waves, and the sun emerging from the sea horizon. Tracing turtles’ footprints on the sand is the cutest thing to do in the morning sun. That was a perfect summer.
What makes or breaks your travel experience?
The company. In my opinion, who you decide to travel with could make or break a travel experience. Pick well.
Which travel destinations are on your travel bucket list, and why?
I want to visit a Scandinavian country someday to see the aurora borealis (Northern Lights). There is something fascinating about light reflections from the skies including sunrise and sunset. And I want to witness the aurora in real time. Additionally, I love visiting places with ancient history, buildings and culture, and I am not talking about the museums. With that in mind, I would say Jerusalem, Egypt, Canada, Rwanda, and Tanzania for now. I would love to visit Japan as well for their art and culture.
What do you love about your culture?
My culture has instilled in me great values and attitudes that make me who, what I am today. Due to this, I know I can pursue whatever I wish, provided I am at peace with it and it makes me happy.
What has the Covid-19 pandemic taught you?
To value those that are close to me dearly. To love deeply. To reach out to family and friends as often as possible. To live every day to the fullest, because tomorrow is not guaranteed. To love myself more.