Pelumi Nubi on an audacious solo drive from London to Lagos

Min Read


She’s more than an inspiration to her family, friends and fast-growing audiences across social media. When we caught wind of the incredibly adventurous travel content creator Pelumi Nubi’s ambitions to kick off 2024 with a drive a solo drive from London to Lagos, we had to reel her in for a coffee soak up her infectious energy and talk through the motivation for what could be described as one of her most daunting solo adventures to date! Without further ado – let’s here all about Pelumi’s trip, that will span most of Q1!

1.Please share with our readers how you would describe yourself in 3 sentences?

I am an adventurous spirit, fuelled by a deep passion for exploring the world’s diverse cultures and landscapes, and always seeking to understand the heart of each place I visit. While inherently an introvert, I thrive in social settings, finding joy in connecting with people from all walks of life and sharing our stories. My adventures are more than personal journeys; they are a beacon, encouraging others to pursue their own paths of exploration and boldly step out of their comfort zones.

2. Take us on a reflective journey through your upbringing. Place of birth? How moving to the United Kingdom came about, how it shaped the essence of who you are today and your decision to relocate to Dubai?

I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, a vibrant city that laid the foundation of my early life. My family’s move to the United Kingdom was driven by my parents’ aspiration for better opportunities, a decision that has greatly shaped my life, including the privilege of a passport that has facilitated my extensive travels. However, this relocation had its challenges. As a child in primary school, I faced bullying, often feeling like an ‘other’ due to my distinct accent and skin tone, which brought a keen awareness of my race and identity.

This led me to seek refuge in the school library, where I was drawn to travel books. These books planted a seed of curiosity and wonder about the world, which blossomed into a life of exploration. As soon as I was able, I embarked on backpacking adventures across Europe, and over time, my journey expanded to 80 countries and over 200 cities. There’s an indescribable joy I find in being constantly on the go, discovering new places and cultures.

My move to Dubai marked the beginning of another exciting chapter. It wasn’t just a change of scenery from the cold weather of the UK, but also a strategic decision for both personal and professional growth. For the first time in over two decades, it meant living in the same country as all my siblings, which was a heartwarming reunion. Dubai’s vibrant energy, diverse networking opportunities, and its positioning as a global hub provide the perfect backdrop for my entrepreneurial pursuits. This city is now a new base from which I continue to explore the world and grow in ways I had always dreamed of.


3. We’ve had the privilege of interacting with you in person and have to say, your energy is incredibly infectious. Your social media followers and the community you’ve built around your travels has been able to get doses of Pelumi’s sense of spirited adventure. Take us through what was your first trip that led you on this path to discovering the world one country at a time?

Thank you for your kind words! My journey into the world of travel began with an undergraduate program at my university called ‘Global Leadership,’ which offered an opportunity to visit India. This trip was monumental for me; India, at that point, felt like a distant, almost unattainable dream. I didn’t know anyone there, so the heavily discounted program made this experience accessible and exciting.

Upon arriving in New Delhi, I was struck by the stark contrast between the city I was experiencing, and the India often portrayed in the media. This realisation was pivotal. It sparked a curiosity in me about other destinations that might be misunderstood or stereotyped. I felt compelled to share my experiences on social media, aiming to demonstrate that travel can be safe, easy, and doable, especially for black women like myself. 

The response was overwhelming. I received numerous messages from people thanking me for altering their perceptions about certain places, noting that their experiences were not at all what they had anticipated, both in terms of the destinations and the warmth of the local people. This trip was not just an adventure; it was a profound eye-opener to the joys and lessons that come with stepping out of my comfort zone and immersing myself in diverse cultures. It ignited my passion for discovering the world, one country at a time.

Interestingly, the journey came full circle when I was invited back to the same program to speak to new undergraduates, encouraging them to seize similar opportunities. It was a moment of deep reflection and pride, seeing how far I’ve come from being a participant to now inspiring others to embark on their own journeys of exploration

4. You’ve shared with us that you have series of academic accomplishments to your belt, and yet have found your passion and fulfilment doing something completely non-related. Share what this has been like for you; that is carving your own non-conventional path to living life?

Yes, indeed, my academic journey initially followed a traditional science path. I achieved a first-class degree in Biomedical Science and began a doctorate program in cancer research and human genetics. However, the year 2020 marked a profound period of reflection for me. The pandemic led to the closure of my lab and the loss of all my samples, prompting me to reevaluate my goals. No longer pursuing a doctorate, I asked myself what I truly wanted from life. Probably the hardest chapter of my life but you know the saying: ‘Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.’ I found myself irresistibly drawn to the idea of traveling; it emerged as a recurring theme, a source of immense joy and purpose.

Therefore, I made the decisive choice to fully commit to traveling, a passion that infuses my life with deeper meaning. I realised that life is too short not to pursue what genuinely fulfils us. It requires a daily commitment to follow my heart, even if it might not always make sense to others, and I am completely at peace with that decision. I’ve never been one to follow a conventional path, especially regarding career choices. To me, life should be fluid, a continuous adventure.

5. And now, after 80 countries across 6 continents, you are adding an epic solo trip to your list of achievements: A 3-month long drive from London to Lagos? Why this trip and why now?

Whenever I’m asked about this epic journey, my immediate response is, ‘Why not?’ I wanted to undertake something truly brave, something that symbolically connects the two places I consider home and where I’ve spent significant time. This trip is essentially a journey from one home to another, with all the rich experiences in between. There are countless reasons why I’m embarking on this adventure. One of the foremost is the importance of representation. I hope that by seeing me undertake such a brave endeavor, others will be inspired to pursue their own bold ventures. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be travel-related – it could be starting a business or leaving a toxic relationship.

We live in a world that often disqualifies us from new experiences, but it’s even worse when we disqualify ourselves. So, I challenge that notion with ‘Why not?’.

Regarding the timing, there’s never a ‘perfect’ moment for such an endeavor. I chose now based on my savings and the ideal season to travel, avoiding the rainy season in the countries I’ll be driving through. After a year of planning, the excitement is palpable, and I’m thrilled that this trip is finally happening.

6. Avid travellers across the world’s most underdeveloped terrains will attest to how scarcity of information can make it difficult to traverse these places, especially by road. Can you detail which legs of your trip you have had to research in depth for lack of readily available information?

In preparing for my London to Lagos road trip, I encountered challenges in finding detailed information for several legs of the journey, as countries like Mauritania, Guinea, and Burkina Faso required extensive research due to their less-developed infrastructure and the scarcity of reliable online resources. Navigating these regions meant delving into travel forums, connecting with other travellers who have made similar journeys, and in some cases, consulting local guides for the most current information

In Mauritania, for instance, understanding border crossing procedures and the condition of roads in the Sahara was crucial. Similarly, in Guinea and Burkina Faso, gathering information on road safety, potential areas to avoid due to political instability, and the availability of fuel and accommodations required thorough investigation. These countries, while rich in culture and natural beauty, do not have as much readily available travel information as more frequently visited destinations.

7. What is the message you are trying to drive home – first to your family and friends, and onto your travel community and associates with this feat?

To my family and friends, your unwavering support and belief in me have been the wind beneath my wings. Your acceptance and encouragement have empowered me through every so-called ‘crazy’ adventure. Each step I take on these journeys, I carry a piece of your spirit with me. I can’t thank you enough for inspiring me in ways that go beyond words.

To my incredible community, your enthusiasm and cheers have been my constant motivation. I am immensely grateful for the sense of belonging and encouragement you’ve provided. Your support has turned my solitary travels into a shared experience with a global family.

My message, both to those close to me and to the wider community, hinges on the power of belief: ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.’ This journey, from London to Lagos, is a testament to that. It’s about pushing boundaries, challenging self-imposed limits, and embracing the unknown with open arms.

I’d also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Osprey for their incredible support. Their commitment to making dreams a reality has been instrumental in turning my vision of this journey from London to Lagos into a tangible adventure.

I hope that this journey serves as a reminder that we are all capable of achieving extraordinary things. It’s not just about reaching a physical destination, but about the journey of growth, discovery, and pushing beyond what we once thought was impossible. Together, let’s lean into the belief that we are capable of greatness, and let that conviction guide us to explore, dream, and discover

8. What message would you tell the 10, 18 and 30 year old Pelumi Nubi, knowing what you know now?

To my 10-year-old self, your boundless curiosity was a beautiful thing. The way you hid books from the library under your covers, allowing yourself to dream about distant lands and adventures, was the beginning of something special. And here’s a little secret: all those places you dreamt of? You get to see them, experience them, and they are every bit as magical as you imagined.

To my 18-year-old self, standing at the crossroads of adulthood, brimming with questions and uncertainties, you might find this hard to believe, but you did figure it out. The answers were simpler than you thought; all you needed to do was listen to your heart’s desires. You did the best you could in every moment, and for that, I am incredibly proud of you. You made choices, took chances, and each step, whether steady or stumbling, was a dance towards your destiny. Thank you for being brave, even when bravery felt like your only choice.

And finally, to my 30-year-old self, oh how my heart swells with excitement for what you’re about to embark upon. They say life begins at 30, but your 20s were already amazing, so the anticipation for what’s to come is immense. Keep trusting your intuition. Your story, uniquely yours, is a tapestry of trials, triumphs, and timeless lessons. Remember, you are ‘born for such a time as this’ (Esther 4:14). Embrace every moment, for your journey is just getting started.

9. Who and what inspires you?

Inspiration for me comes from the heartwarming stories of everyday resilience and courage that surround us. It’s in the unwavering spirit of individuals who overcome daily challenges with grace and strength, much like the people in my own life who have supported me through every step of my journey. Their stories, often unsung but deeply impactful, remind me of the incredible strength that lies in human spirit.

What deeply inspires me is the compelling need to help others realise and pursue their own purposes in life. I firmly believe that my life’s mission extends beyond my own adventures and accomplishments; it’s about encouraging and empowering others to be relentless in the pursuit of their passions. This drive stems from a profound understanding that each of us harbours unique talents and dreams, and it’s essential to nurture and act on them.

Seeing someone step out of their comfort zone, challenge their limitations, and embrace their true calling is incredibly rewarding. It’s about igniting that spark of possibility in others, helping them see that their aspirations, no matter how lofty, are attainable. In doing so, I hope to create a ripple effect of positive change, where each person, empowered and purpose-driven, can then inspire and uplift other

10. A drive from London to Lagos as a solo traveller is as audacious as it gets! If you were to spell out a cause for your upcoming journey, what would it be?

This journey from London to Lagos is indeed audacious, and it stands for much more than the physical distance it covers. If I were to spell out a cause for this epic adventure, it would be to demonstrate the power of resilience and the beauty of cross-cultural connection. This trip is a celebration of human tenacity and the rich tapestry of cultures that make up our world.

At its core, the journey is about breaking down barriers – not just the physical borders between countries, but also the invisible walls of fear, uncertainty, and doubt that often hold us back. It’s a testament to the idea that with determination and a positive mindset, even the most ambitious dreams can be realised.

Moreover, this drive is a narrative of cultural immersion and understanding. By traversing diverse nations and communities, I aim to showcase the interconnectedness of our global community, highlighting the similarities that bind us and the differences that enrich us. It’s about fostering a sense of global citizenship and empathy, encouraging others to embrace new perspectives and experiences

In essence, this journey is a call to action for anyone who has ever dreamed of undertaking their own grand adventure, whatever that may be. It’s about inspiring others to step out of their comfort zones, to explore, to learn, and to connect – not just with the world around them, but also with the untapped potential within themselves

11. What has relocating to Dubai within the last year done for your passion for travel and content creating?

Relocating to Dubai in the past year has been nothing short of transformative for both my passion for travel and content creation. Opting for a slow relocation process allowed me to gradually transition, giving me the time to adapt and make decisions at a pace that felt right for me. This approach has made the whole experience less overwhelming and more enjoyable.

In just a year, so much has changed, and it’s almost surreal to reflect on the journey. Dubai has offered a unique platform for networking with like-minded individuals, which has been incredibly valuable. It’s a melting pot of cultures and ideas, and being in this environment has significantly broadened my perspective. The opportunity to connect with people from diverse backgrounds has enriched both my personal and professional life.

Being interviewed by this magazine is just one of the many exciting opportunities that have come my way since moving to Dubai. I’ve found a community here – a tribe of supportive and creative individuals who are not just friends but also collaborators in making my vision a reality. This sense of belonging and collective effort is truly heartwarming.

Regarding content creation, Dubai has been a fertile ground for collaboration. Working alongside other creators has not only enhanced the quality of my content but has also provided a platform for exchanging ideas and learning new skills. The city’s dynamic and visually stunning backdrop has been a boon for creating engaging and diverse content.

As I look forward to exploring more of the Middle East after my London to Lagos road trip, I’m filled with excitement about the possibilities. This region offers a wealth of history, culture, and landscapes that I can’t wait to delve into. I’m eager to bring these experiences to my audience, sharing not just the beauty of these places but also the stories and lessons they hold.

12. What message do you have for all the women out there who are grappling with facing any fears? What are your words to help them jumpstart out of their rut and how has travel helped you face yours?

First, hi sis! I applaud you for even considering stepping out of your comfort zone. Recognizing the need for change and contemplating action is a significant first step, and it’s incredibly important

To all the women out there facing fears, grappling with uncertainties, or feeling stuck: know that you’re not alone in these feelings. We all encounter moments of doubt and fear. My message to you is one of encouragement and empowerment. Remember, every great journey begins with a single step, often taken when you feel the most apprehensive.

In facing your fears, start small. Set achievable goals that gently push your boundaries. Each small success builds confidence and momentum, making the next step a little easier. And remember, it’s okay to be afraid. Courage isn’t the absence of fear; it’s the determination to move forward despite it.

Travel has been an incredible tool for me in facing my own fears. It has taught me resilience, adaptability, and the beauty of embracing the unknown. With each new place I’ve explored, I’ve learned more about myself – my strengths, my capabilities, and my passions. Traveling has a way of putting things into perspective, showing us that our fears, while valid, shouldn’t confine our potential.

To follow Pelumi’s adventures, check her out on Instagram @Pelumi.nubi






Pelumi Nubi


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