How to describe my time in Egypt?
As always, these trips always teach me a lesson and the universe has set up my life that way; whether it’s in gratitude, in life, in journey, in patience…in whatever I need to learn at that moment in my life. This trip was different than the rest of my personal growth journeys, but of course it was no exception to my travel learning philosophy.
First off, this trip was amazing - let’s not dim down its light. When we first got to Cairo, it was like walking into a “shit show.” Pardon my French - it was a totally new world, for both me and my mom (even though I’m quite diverse in travel). The heat, the sand, the driving, the chaos, the garbage, the bartering and the lifestyle (of course) was nothing like I had seen before.
We settled into a resort called “Mercure Le Sphinx”, which overlooks the pyramids. (How magical right?)
It wasn’t the trip I had originally predicted - I predicted relaxation, sightseeing and feeling like a birthday queen, but the Universe always has another plan.
I should have known!
As we zoomed through the four-lane traffic (that was clearly 5 lanes because no one used the lines), sights like the 7 guys piled in the back of a truck and the motorcyclist with flip-flops and no helmet threw me off my game. It was pure culture shock, the first I had ever experienced... and I can’t explain why after all these years of travel, that at this moment, and in this country, that I would have it. I was in pure gratitude that I lived in Canada.
The energy of hustle, grind, and barter was not an ingrained quality for me, and the energy was very masculine dominant, forceful and present. In its own way, Cairo was beautiful; pyramids, mosques, temples, ruins, cobblestones sidewalks, old buildings, and camels. But Cairo was stuck in the past, in an old world that no longer served us, that didn’t evolve with the time, that didn’t value the planet, or animal welfare. Cairo was the definition of stagnation. If the cars and busses wouldn’t have existed, I would have believed that we were still in ancient Egypt’s history. I felt surrounded by so much of the same old energy.
Oddly enough, the patriarchy, the masculine energy and the hustle & grind is/was exactly the lifestyle I was trying to get out of.
The feeling of never doing enough, not staying up late enough, or even the feeling of ALWAYS taking action. It was time for me to let go of all that, let go of the idea that “hustlers never take a break”, 6am to 10pm work or you’ll never be successful, and always sacrificing love, passion, and self care for success.
It was that world that I was so desperately trying to escape.
I wanted to breed a new set of beliefs, create a new set of leaders, and be a person of change - but not on this trip. I was, we were all, taught to work, work, work, and later you’ll enjoy it. Well I’m sorry - but that’s not how I envision my life.
As the trip went on, I was stuck in my old ways: not seeing the value of the moment I was spending in a foreign country, enjoying the heat and the sun, and not being able to let go of “my business” for 8 days out of the month. My subconscious, my ego, was fighting with my soul. After four days of Cairo sightseeing, pyramid touring, and pool sunbathing… I finally let go. I FINALLY LET GO! And I was able to enjoy the moment with my mother (as you can see, she’s my main travel buddy and seriously my best friend). We learned so much about the history, all the pharaohs, the celebrations, the temples, the ruins… and AH - what amazing history and discoveries we made in Egypt.
We then made our way to Luxor, which was a very different city than Cairo. Luxor is about 8 hours south of Cairo, and along the Nile River, the famous Nile River. It was substantially hotter, it was historical, and seriously a magical place. Let me just add that the driving was normal, it was a clean city, and the people were nice. We stayed at a sustainable resort beside the Nile called Luxor Karnak, which is located almost walking distance to the Karnak temple (which if you didn’t know …. all temples are massive, giant party places they used to host for the rich and non-commoners). As we toured for 2 days, we saw the Valley of the Kings, the female ruler Hatshepsut’s palace, and beautiful statues that were carved by hand. It so amazing to think that these people didn’t have the tools we have today, and they were able to create things from nothing. They didn’t have a sketch pad, they didn’t have 3D printing, they didn’t have machines… and they created such amazing things. It blows my mind to think how people used to live back then, the creativity that stemmed from just being present and the idols they worshipped. I have to thank them for inspiring me, and for leading the way. I’m totally off topic - back to this blog post.
Life. Life has a way of showing you different things, different opportunities of growth, different ways of life, different views on the world - but what if you aren’t open to them? Kind of like I was when most people in my life (including my mom) would tell me to take a break once in a while and to relax… and of course I didn’t listen. When I finally came to terms with that, the fact that I was conditioned to always be on the go, and feeling guilty when I took a break, napped or did anything remotely fun… I let go of that person that was so stiff. I finally got to enjoy my trip. Egypt was amazing, and it definitely a culture shock, but it’s worth seeing, and it’s worth the plane ride (from Canada).
I loved every second of it. The hotel pyramid view, the celebration of my 26th birthday, the scorching heat of 39 degrees, the sand in my shoes, the tan lines and time spent with my mom. The Universe had meant for this trip to teach both of us a thing or two, just as it was supposed too; gratitude, love, relaxation, appreciation and bartering. The universe is always working for you, showing you things about yourself you didn’t know, teaching you lessons for further your growth and most of all, it shows you how to be okay with the process. It helped me realise things about myself that I didn’t surrender to and showing me that I wasn't allowing myself to receive the gift of relaxation. How is your current life showing you how to grow out of your old ways?
Side Note: As I wrote this post, a black cat is walking on my fence. coincidence? Black cats were worshipped in Egypt, thought to bring happiness, protection, fertility and motherhood. Maybe I brought my very own good luck charm from the ancient world.