This week on CHICA Travel, we chat to Fashion Curator & Photographer, Jerri Mokgofe of the famous http://accordingtojerri.com, known for the most amazing fashion photographs!
There is something special about Jerri, definitely not your average Joe and I like that he’s so colourful and free.. and everything that’s good as you’ll realize when you read through this Chica Travel According to Jerri.
Lelo Boyana: Tell us about your first trip & what about it got you to enjoy traveling?
Jerri Mokgofe: I am not too sure if it was during the school days trips or the varsity days travelling trips that made me enjoy travelling. I am leaning towards the travelling trips organised with friends during varsity days (when they actually got to happen). The adventure, the experiences shared, memories made and most of all the company during the journey to the destination.
LeloB: How do you decide where to travel next?
Jerri: Google maps is one of my favourite hobbies. I like going on Google maps and just look at the world map and start calculating how far x is from y when travelling by plane, train, boat, yes even walking. The decision is always random or based on what’s happening in that city during the time I would like to visit. For example if I decided on Paris, I will go during fashion month so I can attend fashion week, fashion parties, fashion trade shows and so forth.
LeloB: I’ve never looked at it like that, that’s interesting. So how do you budget for your travel?
Jerri: Honestly, I do not budget for my travels. Most of my travel decisions have been made impulsively. Planning, budgeting and the back-to-forth that comes with it kills the joy out of it for me. Subconsciously I always know that I wold love to visit this place and when I am ready (the feeling of readiness always pounces on me unexpectedly), I spend all night shopping for a cheaper flight to the destination.
I book my return flights and start planning my trip. My trips are often planned with a two weeks lead time before departure date so there is no budgeting process, if I have the funds and I am ready, I make the booking and just take it from there.
If I were to give tips I’d say extend an invite to friends or family but continue with your travelling plans. The worst thing is to have to cancel your trip because people pulled out on you. That is one of the reason I do not mind solo travels, I actually enjoy them. There is no rat pack mentality and no one to hold me back.
Start by purchasing your return flight in advance and that will motivate you to sort out the rest. Once you have committed and purchased your flight, you will not want to lose that money so that will force you to work hard for the rest.
LeloB: Heheh that’s true. When travelling, what do you spend the most money on?
Jerri: I think I spend most money on flights because my bookings are always last minute-dot-com without date flexibility. So I purchase a return flight with the exact dates I have planned for. Most of the money is spent on transportation; flights, uber, cabs. metro and airport shuttles.
LeloB: Do you have any Do’s and Don’ts you can share with first time travellers?
Jerri: Do check if the destination you are travelling to requires a VISA or medical checks.
- Do not carry your ID or passport around, make a copy and keep your passport (or) ID locked up in the safe in your hotel room.
- Do make sure you have your passport with you when crossing the border and any kind of identification when travelling domestically. You’d be surprised at how many people pitch at the airport without a passport or ID.
- Always be vigilant when travelling and keep your belongings close to you at all times.
- Do not party and booze up until the early mornings and sleep all day. Rather go sleep early and wake up earlier so you spend the day exploring your destination.
- Do research the culture and religion of your destination so you are not insensitive or get into trouble because you did not know.
- Always buy travel insurance.
- Do not over pack: Always try to pack 1x hand luggage and 1x hand bag or backpack. Over packing will slow you down and waste your time. Try not to have check in luggage – it can be lost, stolen or delayed.
LeloB: Great tips. What do you absolutely have to pack?
- 1x pair of sneakers – they must be flexible enough to run and walk in, and stylish enough to pair with an outfit.
- 1x pair of denims in a darker colour. Good enough for the dinner table, stylish enough for the club and comfortable enough for everyday wear.
- 1x jacket stylish enough for dress up and functional enough to keep me warm in the plane.
- 1x universal charger
- 1x portable charger
- 2x pairs of sunglasses and an extra pair of optic frames
LB: What has been your best trip/travel destination and why?
Jerri: Namibia, man I just love that country, the people I have met and the friends I have made. I also love Florence, Italy because of the charm it has but I love exploring the African continent more. It is such a pity that it is much more expensive to travel within our continent than overseas. I would love to see and explore the rest of Africa, it is a long dream of mine.
LB: Yeah, real pity about the expensive travel in Africa. What was your worst travel experience?
Jerri: I suppose it is some of the worst things that have happened to me whilst travelling that takes the little joy out of the trip. Some of the highlights are:
Like that one year my bag was stolen at O.R Tambo when I was on my way to Italy. Or that one year on a road trip to Namibia and the petrol attendant in Jwaneng, Botswana did not close the bonnet door of my car properly. As I was picking up speed on the highway, the bonnet door flipped open and smashed my windscreen. That was intense.
Or that one time in Milan my smartphone got stolen, I was hacked, so I decided to buy a new one the following day. I did not read the box so I ended up buying a European region locked smartphone.
That one year when we went on a road trip to Maputo, Mozambique and being hustled for bribes by the cops the whole time because GP number plates!
LeloB: Oh my word, sounds like you’ve been through the most! Money being no object, what is the one place you’d love to go to?
Jerri: Travel through the whole of Africa and South America
LeloB: And if you could pick anyone in the world to go on that trip with you, who would it be & why?
Jerri: I would go with my family because it would be precious to experience the world with them OR definitely go with my friend whom I have travelled with before and am certain our travel spirits are strong enough to be tried.
LeloB: You make an interesting point Jerri, travelling tests the limits of your friendship. Thank you so much for your time.
To follow Jerri as he navigates life through travel, fashion and art catch him on his website accordingtojerri.com