SONGSOPTOK:  Do you travel often? Is it for work or for pleasure? Do you like travelling? Why?

MARK LEKAN LALUDE: I don't travel often. I do like traveling for the thrill and the excitement that the open road offers.

SONGSOPTOK: How would you rather spend your vacations – travelling to a far off place or staying at home doing things you normally don’t have time to do? Why?

MARK LEKAN LALUDE:  I would like to travel to faraway places, do things I have never done before, like skydiving.

SONGSOPTOK:: What do you like best about travelling? What do you hate most? Or is travelling a real pleasure for you from beginning to end? Can you tell us why?

MARK LEKAN LALUDE:  I like the excitement it offers, and the intrigues of the journey, however, journeys can be inconvenient, and this dampens the joy.

SONGSOPTOK: Do you like travelling to historical places and sites that transport us to a different epoch altogether? Have you ever experienced this type of sensation? Can you please share your memories and emotions with us?

MARK LEKAN LALUDE:  I would love to visit places like Venice in Italy, the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy. Unfortunately, I haven't experienced the excitement yet.

SONGSOPTOK: What, according to you, are the negative experiences of travelling, if any? Have you faced any major problems while travelling, either in your own country or elsewhere? What kind of problems did you face and why? Are they avoidable or are they an integral part of travelling?

MARK LEKAN LALUDE:: Getting lost or getting stranded are negative experiences of traveling. I haven't faced any.

SONGSOPTOK: “The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see” said G.K.Chesterton. Do you agree with him? Are you a tourist or a traveler? Why?

MARK LEKAN LALUDE:  I agree with him. I am a traveler, because I would like to see the places I visit the way they are, stripping myself of all prejudices.

SONGSOPTOK:  Traveling often allows us to discover totally new horizons and interact with people we do not meet in our everyday lives. Sometimes we have very positive experiences of such interactions, and some people we meet can even become close friends. Have you ever experienced this? Did you feel that such encounters are special? Can you give us some examples?

MARK LEKAN LALUDE:  I have experienced this in my travels to the Deep South of Nigeria, meeting strangers and striking progressive acquaintances with them.

SONGSOPTOK: As we know, not all journeys are fruitful and not all travels are perfect. We are often disconcerted and even shocked by certain things we see and experience outside our comfort zones. Have you had this kind of experience? Are they frequent or rare? Could you share some of your negative experiences with us?

MARK LEKAN LALUDE:  I have traveled in the past with expectations of the journey, onlynfor such expectations to fail me.

SONGSOPTOK: Travelling to a different country often gives us the opportunity of meeting people from different historical, cultural, economic and religious backgrounds and understanding them. Sometimes we discover the hard realities in terms of poverty, oppression, discrimination and other factors that are not reflected in the picture postcards or descriptions in travel guides. Have you ever experienced this? Have such experiences had a definite influence on your own world view and inspired you to take specific actions? Would you please share your experience with us?

MARK LEKAN LALUDE:  I have been to the eastern part of Nigeria, before now, my conceptions of that place had been riddled with prejudices. My stay there spanning one year was enlightening.

SONGSOPTOK:  According to Lin Yutang, ‘no one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.’ What is your opinion about this? Do you agree or disagree? Why?

MARK LEKAN LALUDE:  No matter how thrilling the journey, home would always be home.


We sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.
Aparajita Sen

(Editor: Songsoptok)


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