My best friends Judy, Hope and I had dreams of visiting the Pyramids since we were 20 years old. It feels like a lifetime ago when we talked about visiting the great continent of Africa and seeing the Pyramids with our own eyes.
Each time we tried to get plans together for a visit disaster would strike. I remember one of the hotels I looked into was bombed several years ago. Then there was turmoil and chaos at the Capital. I felt bad for the people of Egypt. They are in the trenches everyday and never know if they will survive. I started to feel guilty for wanting to be a tourist in a troubled land. But trouble isn’t the only characteristic of Egypt.
Lets start at the beginning.
The quick flight from Istanbul to Cairo took approximately 90 minutes. Though the flight was short, I managed to close my eyes for a few. I awoke to the feeling that I had cheated myself out of the opportunity to be the first among my group to see the Pyramids (well… second to friend Marlon who had already visited a year ago). I was excited! This was the ‘first day of school’ or ‘waiting up for Santa’ excited. I was finally going to see where Life started. From the plane I could see a city. It could have been any city, but in my heart, it felt big.
We haggled our way to a taxi which would take us to our hotel. That was quite an ordeal. The economy in Cairo has been hit hard so the drivers are very aggressive. The ride was fairly long. It seemed to be longer than the flight, but I’m sure that’s just because I was very excited to finally see the Pyramids. There weren’t ‘lanes’ on the highway. The drivers seemingly get in where they fit in. There were many military vehicles on the road. There were also people who gambled with their lives by running across the road to pick up a ride.
Finally, there was a glimpse of a pyramid. I remember saying to Judy, “Wow. So they just have their pyramids out all willy-nilly for everyone to see”. We laughed. But most importantly, we saw and conquered this goal. We made it. WE MADE IT! We must have said that to each other 100 times.
I could tell you about the hotel we stayed at which had pyramid views for less than $80 per night. I could describe the delicious food we ate while dining on The Nile. Or I could tell you how this entire trip (3 days in Istanbul and 4 in Cairo) cost me less than $1,000. But, those things will not help you to understand what this trip meant to me.
I have not begun to fully digest the fact that I have been to my #1 destination. My hands have touched one of The Great Pyramids of Giza which took 30 years to build, thousands of years ago without our ‘modern technology’. I am honored to have stepped on the stones which King’s and Queen’s have stepped on. I had expectations of how it would feel to be in Africa, but I am so humbled that there truly are no words to explain how I feel. It will come to me one day. I’m not sure when. I plan to return so my son Jordan can share in the amazing experience. I hope this encourages you to take that leap and see one of your dream locations.
I’ve been to some of the most beautiful places on Earth, and it all boils down to the people. People are who make the land beautiful. How we treat each other, love, care, kindness and support are what I’ll always remember.
Egypt is in my heart.
Have you been to Egypt? Or is it still on your bucket list? Comment below!