American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson is often credited with saying, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Those are words Franci Neely lives by — she’s always been about enjoying the trip. The Houston-based adventure connoisseur has been voyaging the globe for several decades and eventually, she’ll achieve her goal of touching her toes on the soil of every country in the world. In the meantime, she hopes to inspire fellow wanderers by sharing the precious conversations she’s having and the connections she’s making along the way.
Franci Neely says one of her most coveted memories was made in Africa, in the lush Grassfields area of Cameroon. Neely was particularly charmed by a local man dressed in traditional Bamileke garb. While the gent didn’t have many material possessions, Neely says he was overflowing with the priceless love of his family and culture, and pride for his homeland. The retired attorney turned philanthropist recalls how moved she felt by how the Bamileke travel on weekends from the cities where they live to the villages where they were born to keep their customs and family ties vibrant.