Tag Archives: egypt

Egypt: Plan Your Trip!

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Originally written for and published by: Texas Lifestyle Magazine 🙂

 

When I decided to go to Egypt over spring break, most people thought I was crazy. “But it’s not safe!” was still ringing in my ears as I landed in Cairo. Well, I promise you, fellow Texans, it IS safe (enough) and it is amazing. If this African country isn’t on your bucket list already, add it! There’s so much more than just pyramids to see.

Granted, I was part of a tour group—escorted by Sherif, our genius and congenial guide. Egypt CAN be a dangerous place, but so can every major city here in the U.S. You just have to be smart—don’t go off alone. Pretty normal, straight-forward travel advice for any third world country. Unfortunately, the impoverished state of the country is hard to miss—but there’s so much beauty to see as well.

We started off in the capital, which meant that the tour of the Great Pyramids (which you can see peaking between buildings as you drive through the city) was up first. I thought this was strange—to do the most exciting thing on Day 1, but I was very mistaken. The sphinx and pyramids where fantastic, don’t get me wrong (we even rode camels around them!), but I enjoyed the rest of the trip much more than expected.

After Cairo, our group set sail on the Nile—in a small cruise ship! The dollar goes far in Egypt—one of ours equaling to about eight of their Egyptian pounds. We wined and dined, lounged on the upper pool deck, and each time we docked, we were met with some of the most gorgeous sights we’d ever seen. Luxor, Edfu, and Aswan each presented their own treasures—temples upon temples upon temples, delicious food, insane markets, hookah lounges, vast museums, belly dancing, and of course, more temples.

Valley of the Kings was a highlight—we even went on a sunrise hot air balloon ride over it before walking through the tombs themselves. We also decided to take a quick flight to Abu Simbel, a massive rock temple that was my personal favorite stop of the trip—it was just simply majestic.

Hurghada was our last stop—we charted a yacht and snorkeled in the Red Sea! The water was brilliantly blue and we saw bright, beautiful fish and even got to hold a pufferfish. We also swam through so many purple Moon Jellyfish—they don’t sting! It was a great way to end the trip, especially since almost every other day had required quite a bit of walking! On that note—be prepared to sweat (it’s respectful to cover up as much as possible in Muslim countries—no short dresses or low-cut tops).

Egypt is such a historical place, but it’s more than just the mummies, gold, and hieroglyphics. It’s such a unique experience—you just have to go!

Travel Mas

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I am constantly reminded of what travel does–the power it holds.

Even if it’s just here in Arizona, a family Christmas trip. The cold night air clings to my cousin’s bleach blonde hair as we all scream Justin Beiber lyrics and drive around like maniacs, searching for a desert bonfire spot. There’s happiness here, a few states away, in my aunt’s “Reindeer Punch” and my uncle getting us Cardinals-Packers tickets and a cheesy cactus photo instead of a cheesy Christmas tree photo. My little cousins are everything and nothing like me, they keep me young, and I love them ferociously. Even if it’s just for a moment, I forget about all the bad and focus on “the official rules of calling shotgun” and “why I should download Snapchat.”

Traveling is my sanity. I would’ve broken into pieces by now if it wasn’t for the saving grace of a plane ride two to three times a year. I wish I could explain it better.

All I know is that in Punta Cana earlier this month, it was like every salty wave and spritz of sunscreen and “Hola, bee-you-tee-ful lay-dees!” was reviving my entire sense of being, my soul (that’s been a little bit crushed lately, to be honest). I read so much more than I’m ever able to read, we swam up to pool bars and ordered icy deliciousness in fancy glasses, and we basked in the sun, feeling like sandy-footed goddesses.

In California for Turkey Day, I felt like a giddy, ridiculous little kid traipsing around Disneyland, Fastpasses and lunchtime my life’s biggest concerns. I could conquer the world easily, I thought, as I walked down Santa Monica Pier and picked out a Thai restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. Sipping a beer on Venice Beach, walking around Hollywood, driving down Sunset pretending I was in the cast of Entourage–smiling is all there is to do in times like those. Every time I travel, I wish that traveling could be my entire life–that I could just continue from that place to the next.

Coming home is always bittersweet, but I’m feeling more and more like myself, thanks to the three trips I’ve made in the last couple months. It’s fucking hard to get back to your usual, happy self after someone stomps on your heart, it just is.

Seeing new places, meeting new people, exploring, adventuring, tasting, smelling, capturing…travel as often as you can. I’m counting down until my next trip: Egypt in March! I am fully prepared to cruise down the Nile, pretending I am ancient, pyramid-worthy royalty.

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