It is often said that Traveling is the realization that you might have been born in the wrong country. We personally couldn’t agree more with that saying. Traveling is just one of those few things that are capable of changing your life and opening your eyes to the real world as it truly is. And since we don’t know enough about the topic to be giving advice, we thought we’d ask the experts about the reason they travel, what they feel when they do, and what stories would they like to share.
1- George Farid
“When it comes to travel, I fairly consider it as a topic to discuss rather than a state of being, an occurrence or a condition. It’s like asking a pregnant woman about her infant or an entrepreneur about his startup. You can’t really pull them apart, figuratively. Travel is a state of being present fully at a moment you’re aware of with all your senses, all your being. Every feeling is challenged so that you could genuinely grow and feel it. You lose yourself into thinking there are too many people out there and you find it when your identity is shown. You, and only you, attend to the smallest details of the trip because you’re there at this moment. I collect these moments and that’s my measure of keeping track of my trips. How present I was on a moment of a sunrise on a bay at the end of the Atlantic? Or how indulged I was in a challenging trek over the rocks of a volcano?
I may have visited over a 100 cities in different continents, but I do remember each because the moments I recall are far more. They’re my memory and they reside in the conscious of being at these specific moments. I visualize an interactive globe in my mind from such memories; I draw geography terrains where I’ve seen and walked. There, where moments connect and create a beautiful reminiscent movie to muse over so that travel would have engaged all your functions and soaked all your being. This feeling of living in those moments and the desire to collect more of them were my leadfoot to chase and pursue more of them. Travel wasn’t just a school of learning, a lifestyle of gateways or discovery of cultures and places; it was a sweet vow. It was the soothing promise that would liberate you from the ordinary and set your potentials free. I owe each and every life lesson to travel memories, ones that sculpture your character and ones that shape you into who you become.
I don’t have an inspiring travel story or an extreme encounter to share, but the fact that these moments lead to quitting a corporate career to find more of myself within these revelations. And that in its essence inspired many. My aspiration, the one I’m trying to deliver and would encourage others to share, is to take that breath; to be present on such life moments. These breaths would give your mind wings and take you away, as far deeper into yourself and as beyond clear into your being. And this is your reward; a full boosted set of senses and an elevated you, one that no one would deprecate or belittle. At the end of the day, you’ve seen so much, you know too much and you’ve been exposed to much more. At the end of the day, you’re invincible.
I believe we all, as humans, deserve the treatment and the collective immersions of travel. I believe we should all experience and live as much liberated, diversified and peaceful in each other’s cultures. Share a hopeful message of love. Accept the fact that our differences define us and make us who we are. It’s also what unites us. So book that ticket, get to the other side, walk that mile, free that mind and take that breath. Accept the other, feel their struggles and live their life. Drink the cultures, eat from God’s varied creations and gaze into horizons and spectrums. And in all of these, be present and awaken your senses. Wander on that trip, make that memory and take that breath. Travel.”
2- Abdullah El-Shamy: An Egyptian on his way to travel the world
Abdullah is a 23 old Egyptian who’s on his way to traveling the entire world. He already visited 204 cities in more than 65 countries. Abdullah spent all 5 years of university working in the tourism field and ended up having his own startup; he worked several jobs on the way to support his trips and save money for the trip he called an open date trip. He is now heading to Colombia in South America, and is really excited because the country came highly recommended. Abdullah is only traveling with an Egyptian passport and explained that if you have the Schengen and US visas, other countries will open their arm for you. Abdullah wishes to give space a visit and believes that if you really want something, you must work hard for it and never let it go out of your sight. “Just remember nothing is easy. You can’t have everything in life, focus.
Luckily enough, when we caught up with Abdullah he was on a trip to Central America. He says, “I loved Costa Rica with all my heart and had a great time there, but the culture is not that helpful to others. No one waits for you to cross the street; hitchhiking there is also nearly impossible. However, it’s a great place full of lots of amazing tropical beaches Pura Vida my friends, but I mean it from the bottom of my heart and I’m willing to help anyone. Traveling isn’t easy and not all of it is what you see in the pictures, but you still learn a lot and build who you are.”
3- Mohamed El-Sayed
“My story with traveling started in 2012 inside Egypt when I first bought my car. I was curious to take it and explore Egypt, not to mention that my exploration cruises resulted in me crossing 60000kms with my car in only 8 months. It was very serious. One day I’d be going to a café and find myself changing my route and going to Dahab or Saint Catherine. I remember I was especially amazed by Fijord Bay in Nubei! During my short travels in Egypt, I came to realize my fascination with nature and solitude. I liked beautiful places that didn’t have a lot of tourists and I started searching for similar places. After I explored almost every place in Egypt, I felt the need to explore beyond my country borders, so I started googling different places abroad and getting hooked on countries with beautiful waterfalls, mountains, valleys, beaches and diverse people. I wanted to know more about the different cultures in the world, and it frustrated me that I was stuck in my own bubble unable to explore and see those places for myself.
By 2016, I had already taken the decision to travel abroad. I sold my car to save on gas and maintenance fees. I started using public transportation and leaving the luxurious life that I was used to behind. I literally started saving on every penny. I stopped going to restaurants and cafes, because they were no longer as important as traveling. The first time I traveled abroad was on my birthday, 22nd of May 2016. I was very lucky that Georgia was my first country to visit because its people are very nice and respectable and the nature is very beautiful. Georgia will always be my favorite country; it still is. I’ve already visited 4 times since I first got back from there.
The second country I visited was Tanzania, and that was one of the craziest decisions I’ve ever made. I was surfing the internet and I found a very cheap ticket on Skyscanner so I booked it 11:00 am, packed my bags and traveled at 7:00 pm that same day. I did the same for most of the countries I’ve visited afterwards. In Tanzania, I visited the jungle and forests and got to see how people were living in simple huts. I was even lucky enough to spend two full days with them. I also visited Jordon, Lebanon and Russia afterwards. After Russia’s trip, I decided that it was time to enhance my traveling style, so I started adopting the lowest budget backpacking technique to travel, meaning that I decided that I needed to travel for the longest time to the greatest number of countries for the lowest budget possible. That policy works for me because I believe that in order to really get to know or explore any country, you have to spend at least 3 weeks or one month in that country, and that would be obviously impossible if you don’t travel on a budget. You’ll spend most of the money on hotels and luxury transportation, but if you travel on a tight budget you get to arrange everything by yourself with the least costs possible. You rely on public transportation, host families or cheap student dorms. You can also use couch surfing and find locals who are willing to host you for no money at all which could be a great idea because it allows you to really get to know the people and experience their cultures and habits yourself. I also do a lot of hitchhiking and whenever I am unable to hitchhike, I walk up to 20 kilometers. However, 90% of the times hitchhiking works!
As for the food and drinks, I eat street food like any local person. It all depends on investing your money in the right place. For example, instead of spending 50$ on something useless like for example a souvenir or riding an elephant where I’m only going to feel satisfied for only an hour or two, I choose to use that money to extend my stay in this country for 5 extra days and do free things like snorkeling. There are some crucial things where you can never budget like for example taking all the necessary vaccinations, medications and precautions, and these differ from one country to the other. tThe most important thing while traveling for me is to remain healthy to be able to move around, explore and enjoy it as I please. The bottom line is, I try as much as I can to invest my money where it matters. What people would spend in a week, I try to survive with for a month.
When I was in India, I spent 26 days while only spending 190$ for food, beverages, transportation and accommodation. As for Thailand, I only spent 227$ in 21 days including all that I’ve mentioned before along with beach activities, and an airplane ticket from Bangkok to Phuket.
Finally, I would like to add that I’m very curious about all the countries of the world, and I dream of the day where I will have visited the whole world. I’m passionate about everything that this world offers; the cultures, the people, the nature and monuments. The main reason I started my Facebook page was to introduce people to the concept of traveling and how it’s not as expensive as everyone makes it out to be. I want to show people that there are a million ways by which a person could travel, and that you could travel and have fun with whatever money you have. I want people to know that when they travel, they meet different people and encounter different incidents and situations that benefit them in ways they would have never faced had they not traveled or stayed in the same place for the rest of their lives. We should work more on making people more culturally aware of the benefits of traveling, because traveling is the only way by which we could learn and develop ourselves.”