On The Run

Running in Akosombo, Ghana | Final Thoughts

After an intense but very fulfilling fortnight working in Akosombo – Ghana, I headed back home to a frazzled (and relieved) husband and incredibly excited children! While in Akosombo, I managed to do a lot of running and blogged about some of my first impressions here. A purpose-built and fairly affluent town, Akosombo is a beautiful and peaceful place to run, and the stunning views make up for the discomfort created by the heat, humidity and hilly terrain! In my second week, I continued to enjoy my morning runs, and even managed 12km on the final day. As I settle back home, I’d like to share some of the amazing benefits of running in a new place, especially when you find yourself there for a slightly extended stay. Enjoy!

What Do You GAIN when Running in a New Place?

Sense of Belonging. When you’re new to a town, it is easy to feel out of place when you first arrive. Ghana has very warm people which certainly makes it easier, but I’ve found I start to feel even more at home when I take to the streets to run. This was particularly true on this trip where I encountered many other runners on the road. Two specific things also happened to emphasise this feeling; the first was when a taxi driver interrupted my run to ask for directions! I thought, “Wow! I must look really comfortable and at home!” A couple of days later, I overheard a colleague from Accra asking for directions to the bank. I comfortably said, “…turn right at the circle, head down for about 2km, pass the police station, and about 500m later you’ll see the bank on your right”. This completely surprised her and left me feeling very chuffed with myself!

New Perspective. Exploring new places broadens your mind. You notice so many features that define a place, you feel its spirit and pulse, and you get to observe people in their natural space. Running in a new place also makes you reflect on your own environment or other places you’ve visited. What struck me on this visit, was the importance of not painting a place with the same brush. Running in Akosombo had a completely different vibe from Big Ada, or Senchi and Atimpoku. But what I especially love about all my runs in Ghana is that I have felt completely safe. The increased incidents runners are having in Gaborone is concerning and we need to tackle it now so any visitor to Gaborone feels as safe and as welcome as I felt in Akosombo.

Confidence. Running has given me the courage, confidence and fearlessness to be myself, and to enjoy life to the fullest. When I think of myself a few years ago, I never would have had the confidence to explore a new place on my own. I was adventurous but usually needed a partner-in-crime. But now, there is no question when I travel that I will actively explore new places on my own. Calling the tour guide like I did for my Akwamu Gorge hike was something that I would have mulled over for days, and probably not done, for fear of not knowing what to expect.

Feeling of Gratitude. Running always fills me with a feeling of gratitude, especially when I’m not in my usual environment. On this trip, I felt so grateful that I could start my days with a run before getting to the business of the day. It allowed me to reflect on the day before and clear my head in preparation for the day ahead. Once again, I felt grateful that “I get to do this”.

Your Clothes Still Fit! As a foodie, I love trying amazing food on my travels! On my work trips, I’ve been fortunate to stay at great hotels with a vast array of “deliciousness” – a huge spread for breakfast, big buffets, not to mention all the treats at tea-time. So, running makes me feel I won’t cause too much damage if I indulge a bit more than usual! But even more importantly, sticking to a running routine means you’re able to maintain some level of fitness. After the hills of Akosombo, I feel I have GAINED fitness. My first run back home on flat terrain felt amazing!

My stay in Akosombo showed me that running while you’re working away from home has so many incredible benefits. It helps you to settle in, broaden your mind and perspective, gain so much confidence, and remind you of all there is to be grateful for. Plus, you may even get stronger if you’re faced with more challenging terrain and weather conditions!

I hope you have enjoyed running with me in Ghana! Why are you grateful for running? Do you run when you travel – why/ why not?

I’m so excited to be linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida for Fit Five Friday

5 thoughts on “Running in Akosombo, Ghana | Final Thoughts

  1. It’s always fun to run in a new place! My favorite ‘new’ place is when I visit my sister in California. With the time change, I can easily get up, run, and return while they are just getting up for the day. I can’t wait to return!


  2. There’s no better way to tour a new town than running through it, especially if you have several days to run different routes. LOL on the clothes still fitting.


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