Last December when I visited the small West African country, The Gambia, I enjoyed a wonderful morning learning how to cook a traditional Gambian meal with the charismatic Ida in her family home. By lunchtime the smells from the cooking pot were driving us all to distraction and we were eager to tuck in to the feast we had helped prepare.

As we settled down on to the rugs that had been laid down on Ida’s patio I noticed a blue flip-flop nailed to a tree beside me. Curious!

Each country I have ever visited has its own set of customs and beliefs, some similar to those found in other countries and some that are unique to that particular country. For instance, in some countries, including Britain, it is believed to be good luck for a black cat to cross your path while in others, including The Gambia, it is very unlucky. I wondered if this flip-flop was to do with a local superstition.

When Ida joined us we immediately asked her and laughing she explained that it is believed that if you found a flip-flop on the street, brought it home and nailed it to a tree that had stopped bearing fruit, the tree would then start producing fruit again. She had always thought the custom ridiculous, however, when her prized avocado tree stopped bearing fruit she thought that she had nothing to lose and gave it a try. The next season, much to her surprise, the tree produced more fruit than it ever had before and has done ever since.

I’d love to hear from you if you know of any similar superstitions to this or if you have a favourite one you keep or a funny one you have heard of.


Join my 'Behind the Scenes' newsletter

Delivered monthly to your inbox with all my behind the scenes news, latest posts and giveaways exclusive to my subscribers.


Travel Planning Resources

Please note that most of the following links are affiliate links which means that if you click on the link, I may be paid a small commission. You can find out more about affiliate links in my Disclaimer.


Travel Insurance

I never travel without insurance. If something unexpected goes wrong the costs implications are just too high to take the risk. World Nomads provides travel insurance to travellers from over 130 countries. They're the perfect choice for long term travellers or single trip insurance.


Travel clothes for women

Check out my guide to all my favourite travel clothes for women.


Book your hotel or package holiday

TripAdvisor is my preferred hotel search engine. They compare all the top sites to find you the best deal. I also use Airbnb ($31 discount) for booking rooms/apartments.


Book your flight

Skyscanneris my preferred flight search engine. I'd recommend them for finding the best deals on flights.

Rent a car

Discover Carsis a great site for comparing car hire prices to help you find the best deal. They search both local and international rental companies.


Book an experience

When I’m travelling, especially to a new city, I use Viator and Get Your Guide to book tours and excursions. You can't beat a good food tour to introduce you to a new city!


Don’t forget your travel adaptor

Worldwide travel adaptors are perfect no matter where you are travelling from or to. Buy this one from the US or this one from the UKIt’s pretty much the only one you’ll ever need. Please note that as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Pin It on Pinterest

More in Africa, Gambia
The rules of wuri!

Ida teaching tourists to play an ancient traditional game from West Africa is this week's travel snap. I love the...