Photo Credit: Courtesy of @kesitoandfro
Traveler Story: 'I Fell In Love In Kenya, But It Was All A Lie'
Traveler-turned-nomad Kesi Irvin has spent the last four and a half years touring and living in countries around the world. In that time, she’s spent a significant part of it visiting countries across the continent of Africa– twelve to be exact.
“I’ve been to Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Botswana, South Africa, Morocco, and Nigeria,” Kesi told Travel Noire. “The best activities were in the DRC where I went gorilla trekking and climbed to the largest lava lake in the world.”
While she has stories upon stories to last her a lifetime, one of her most memorable times came while backpacking through East Africa in 2018. She had traveled to the small yet beautiful island of Lamu in Kenya.
Shela is where most tourists hang out since it’s also full of beautiful hotels and the beach. However, Kesi’s heart and interests lied in the old town, which was where most of the locals lived and had more culture.
“Since the old town was small, it was easy to recognize the locals who would hang out on the streets. Towards the end of my week’s stay, I noticed a new face on the streets. I locked eyes with this dreamy Kenyan boy, and once he smiled, I completely melted.”
That same night while hanging at a popular floating bar on the island, Kesi ran into the man again. He was out dancing with friends, and Kesi describes his dance moves as “fun and sexy.” After locking eyes again, they finally decided to chat.
There was an instant connection and the guy asked Kesi to join him and a few friends for a bonfire. She couldn’t resist. The two continued the night singing songs by the campfire before the guy asked Kesi to talk a stroll along the beach.
“He stole me away from the small crowd to take a walk down the beach and gave me a romantic kiss,” Kesi said. “This kiss began our new love affair. For the next three days, we spent all our moments together, and I was falling hard and fast for this guy.”
Like a true charmer, he knew all of the right things to say. Whether it was “I am a poor man, but I’m rich in my heart,” or “you are the only person I want and I would love to marry you,” Kesi was smitten. He even told her that he was a virgin. His smooth words and handsome looks had Kesi paying for his meals and just before leaving, she purchased a phone for him so that they could stay in touch.
Saying goodbye was hard, but Kesi had a plan on how they could live out their happily ever after. As they continued to talk over the next three weeks, Kesi told her mom that she was ready to marry him and she had really fallen in love.
“I shake my head at all the nativity right now, but at the moment, he would say the perfect things that I’ve always wanted to hear.”
That was until things took an abrupt turn.
Out of nowhere, they guy sends Kesi a message saying they can never talk again and slandering her name. Although heartbroken, shocked, and confused, Kesi asked him where this was coming from. He eventually admitted he had a pregnant wife in Spain and that during Kesi’s trip he had been in Nairobi to sort out his passport and visa to visit Spain.
“The three weeks our romance lasted, was all a lie. He is now living in Spain and has blocked me on all social media.”
Despite the ending, there was a lesson in it all. Kesi has learned to be more mindful of who she trusts, even if they come with a beautiful smile. Also, if something seems too good to be true, it most likely is.