We call ourselves the nomadic travelers. Suitable, since we don’t have a home. We suffer from full on dromomania. The clinical diagnosis being the uncontrollable to wander and travel.
Hi, I’m Kayla and I’m addicted to travelling… (This is where you say, hi Kayla). I am 29, no! Not 30. Don’t even go there. An international School teacher and my partner in crime, Renzo, 36 is an International Business Development Specialist. Home is South Africa but we well, got married, packed our bags, sold everything (hence nomadic) not the wonder thirst travelers and gave up, literally everything we had and decided to go see the world.
Wanderlust, Fernweh and all that summed up quite banally. So mid-COVID we hit the road, metaphorically, of course, since we really only flew to Egypt. The first stop on our world tour. Our child, Clifford, a.k.a Cliffie also metaphorically, naturally, stowed comfortably, in a suitcase, strung along to Cairo.
Okay, our son in a suitcase. We aren’t psychopaths. Let me explain – our son, was the first valentine’s gift to my husband after 11 years of being in love. A doll every family and friend signed at our wedding. Subsequently, we decided that our travels would not be the same without our symbol of love, and it’d be a pretty big laugh having shots of Cliffie in every spot of the wonders of the world. So there we go, yes Cliffie in the baggage, not carry on.
All the while saying; we are so ready to paint the Red Sea, well red. Okay, wait, that sounded better in my head..
ARRIVING IN EGYPT
We did the cliché thing, camel riding in the desert, watching the heat stroke setting in all the while taking cliché photos with an astounding tour guide whom clearly had a lot of time to think of taking, for millions of other cliché thrill seekers such as ourselves-
Of course, we aren’t called the tycoon dromomaniacs. So we work to travel. As luck would have it, Egypt had substantial opportunities for my husband in marketing, and myself being a teacher, subsequently, bountiful possibilities of getting work at a good school. Both my husband and I, travelled to Nigeria, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Maldives, Zanzibar, the U.S and since coming here we could simply not believe our luck in finding this pot of gold of a country. In truth we are pretty comfortable in uncomfortable situations, and no we didn’t eat dogs. However, Egypt, despite the norm of what the media leads us to believe – felt like home. The people absolutely made it worth it.
WHAT WE LOVE
We fell in love with the accommodating nature of every single person we met, from barbers, to tour guides, to amazing rental agent assistants, to colleagues to, to bowabs, to friends. We are welcomed with open arms, for instance the moment we had arrived and gotten lost, we left our phones at home in Kafr Abdo, who does that?! Well, not us of course… anyway, moving on swiftly landed in Smouha and had a pharmacist who paid a tuk-tuk to take us home. How amazing, that when people see others in need, they go the whole mile to ensure we are settled in.
Our 3-month plan to stay in Egypt, invariably became a “well, let’s see” situation, which we are both ecstatic about. We fell in love with the gorgeous ocean, the views from the top of any hotel, the food, the bread and bakeries, the seafood, pizzas and my personal favorite, Fluckiger.
MORE LOVE FOR EGYPT
It goes without saying that both my husband and I are pretty easy going, we live to travel and travel to live. We love to experience everything life has to offer. When people were asking – “Why Egypt?” due to, beyond a doubt as mentioned, the media’s influence on what we believe a country is truly like. I now, sincerely invite them to partake in the adventure that is the kayaking on the Nile, the Rock climbing in Cairo, the indoor skiing in 6th, the dune buggy and camping in the desert, the skydiving over the pyramids. Ladies and gentleman these are not mundane activities offered anywhere else. Of course the Pyramids -The diving in Dahab, the food, the weather, the beaches, the people, did I mention Fluckiger? – We have no regrets, not even one letter. So, seemingly, when asked our son, on his first trip to the Pyramids in Giza.
CULTURE SHOCK, WE HAVE QUESTIONS
Naturally, we have to accept that part of travelling is adapting. We understand, respect and take everything new with a pinch of salt. But I have questions –
· In order to obtain a driver’s license, do you need to honk a certain amount of times?
· Is it a way of greeting?
· Does the driver not see me seeing him, 1km ahead?
· What happens to my sock, after I lose it from the washing line, 4 stories high?
· When do Egyptian people sleep?
On that note, have you experienced Miami? Really. When do people there sleep?
MORE GREAT THINGS TO SAY ABOUT EGYPT
Egypt has its wild and weird, which is what makes it so special. A lot of traveling to countries with strong ties to religion and customs, is realizing that you are without fail, adapting to foreign customs, traditions, cultures and religions. Not the other way around. That being the reason that my husband and I are already, 3 months in, are feeling quite at home. Conforming to the newness of an entirely different foreign country can be extremely tough. But with the help of the ease of expat adventures, excellent English speakers, excluding those who require my Arabic switch to be on, the ample opportunities and most importantly the respect given without even earning it, the always friendly smiles, makes this a top 3 list on our world tour Country. Let me get back to you on number one and two when we go on the world tour.
SOME UPS & DOWNS
Every aspect of moving most certainly doesn’t always happen right away, it definitely comes with some drawbacks in the big unknown. Just coming here, we had quite the culture shock of ending up thinking Miami area is the place to be. We could not stop laughing at how inexperienced our decisions were, how we got bumped from our first flight, how we ended up in a place called Madinaty in Cairo, where we were surrounded, by well, nothing. We subsequently had a proper laugh at how long it took us to find our feet. How when we order anything online, from food, to groceries, to Souq and we ask in our broken Arabic if they speak English, they say “No.” and continue in the language we don’t understand, quite the misconception, since we don’t have the switch to turn our Arabic on, not just yet anyway. However, like I said, we did find our feet pretty soon. We are enrolled at the gym, we have excellent jobs, we live in an amazing neighborhood. We ultimately have nothing to complain about. Of all the countries, learning the language, learning to order online, making friends, finding activities, Egypt should be top of the list.
I’m writing this from our favorite place we have been so far. I know COVID hit us all pretty wickedly and our first opportunity to take our baby to the beach was the North Coast, El Hamam. Winter there was honestly, not the winter we are used to (Oh that reminds me, we forgot our son on our first trip to the beach :/) We didn’t forget the other one this time, luckily.
But there you go. Our first family vacation in Egypt, exploring the most incredibly gorgeous beaches of Zomorda Beach Resort, has us ready for 2021. In reality, I am so thrilled about our decision in coming here. I just can’t wait what Egypt has in store for us. Get ready 2021 in Egypt.
Here. We. Come!
Getting our VISA’s YAY!
Good luck to everyone in 2021