Turning up comes easy in Accra! With the most modern, eclectic, and poppin’ nightlife in West Ghana, you can definitely party hard in a few square miles. Accra, the 87 square mile capital of Ghana, is the urban metropolitan located on the Gulf of Guinea. As an economic and business hub, Accra is the best of both worlds——work and play. And since we’re often traveling to find the best places to play…Accra is one of our most favorite choices.
Accra is known for its lively, contemporary, and upscale environment. Visitors and locals, together, can experience authentic cuisine, ethnic musical events, and luxury lounge areas. When visiting Accra, there are exclusive dress-code spots, casual and relaxed spaces, and invitation only nightlife options.
The laid-back and relaxed open-air nightclub for the music lovers. Bloom Bar is known for its modern decor, great shisha, and a rockin’ iPhone DJ. There is a dress code to enter, so choose a sophisticated fit, and head on over to Osu. This is the perfect place if you’re looking for a melodic mixed drink and a few AfroBeat jams, Bloom Bar is the place to be. Learn more about Bloom Bar at https://ofadaa.com/accra/restaurants/bloom-bar.
J: Not only have I been blessed to encounter and befriend interesting people from all over the world, I’ve had the freedom and the funds to visit neighboring cities and countries. I’d only been to a few Asian countries before moving to Korea, but by becoming an expat in the region, I was able to cross a lot of places off my bucket list for cheap! During my two-year stint in Korea, I also visited Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, mainland China, The Philippines, India, and very briefly—Japan. I have plans to do even more exploring while in Spain!
Also, simply put – I get to experience the world! Living in a country and immersing oneself in its culture is different than traveling somewhere for a weeklong vacation. Life abroad has its challenges, but there is not much I would change about my trajectory.
U: How long have you been an expat? J: I spent two years in Korea and am only recently beginning my expat journey in Spain.
U: Do you have a network of friends, colleagues? J: Yes! The internet allows people to facilitate connections and soak up information with the click of a button. I’m a member of several travel/ expat groups that are active on social networks and in person, and I’ve also made friends with others participating in similar English teaching programs. Such people have been integral in my decision to live abroad, and they’ve provided endless support and inspiration as I’ve made the transition. I can’t imagine having taken such a huge leap without assistance from others.
U: How long do you think you will be an expat? J: I don’t plan to be an expat for the rest of my life, but I’m currently happy with where I am and what I’ve accomplished. As I approach my thirties, I look forward to having a family of my own and a partner who values travel just as much as I do; it’s extremely important for me to raise globally-minded, well-rounded children. I’d love for my future offspring to be exposed to the world at a young age, but I would also love for them to live close to extended family and experience life in The United States.
U: What do you miss about the U.S.? J: I miss NBA season, baked macaroni and cheese, and being able to find shoes in my size. I miss house parties, game nights, and hilarious office banter. I miss my record and book collections and living in an apartment that feels like home. I miss my family and friends and watching my little brother, nieces, and nephews grow up. I miss having the ability to sit on a loved one’s couch when I’m having a bad day.
I also miss having convenient access to Black American culture and ethnic diversity. In Chicago and in many cities across the United States, it is completely normal to regularly encounter people of various backgrounds. In South Korea—one of the most ethnically homogenous countries in the world—I was considered “different” and somewhat of an oddity. My brown skin and curly fro caused me to stand out wherever I went. I’m a person who loves travel and cultural exchange, and while I generally embrace friendly curiosity, sometimes it’s nice to go about my day without feeling like such an alien.
U: What would you tell someone that is considering moving abroad? J: If you are considering becoming an expat, take the leap! While some may not support or understand your decision, you’ll likely encounter many people who will be excited to witness your journey and will be there to cheer you on.
Secondly, be careful not to romanticize expat life! Recognize that such an experience can be fun, rewarding and life changing, but it won’t be perfect. You will see beautiful places, people and things, but if you’re anything like me — a girl who moved to a new city in which she knew no one — sometimes you may look up and realize that the people who most matter aren’t there to share in the experience with you.
Know that some days will be lonely and isolating as hell, and that life’s ebbs and flows may be exacerbated by the fact that your support system lives thousands of miles away. Be social and leverage various networks, so that you can have the best experience possible.
Finally, embrace your new country, its culture and people, and even when the honeymoon stage ends, appreciate the experience for what it is.
U: Have you met other “Lifers” while abroad? J: Unfortunately, I’ve yet to attend any official UITAL meet ups while abroad, though I’ve met Lifers who hold memberships in other groups I’m affiliated with.
With that said…Spain 2016 anyone???
Thanks, Jessica, for sharing your expat experience with us!
Click here to read more about Jessica’s experience as an expat living in Seoul.