Travel Advice from Egypt's Top 5 Budding Travellers
People tend to be daunted by the endeavour of travelling the world, especially when it poses seemingly endless challenges. It is however on the bucket list of many and, despite numerous obstacles, some have committed their lives to fulfilling that goal.
In Egypt especially, difficulties in travelling may arise due to the tedious bureaucratic process by which travellers obtain visas, as some of those we asked have noted. For others, budget, safety and time are greater hindrances to their wanderlust dreams. Difficult as it may seem, there is no doubt that the best way to start is to learn from the experts themselves.
The team at Trendster has spoken to 5 of Egypt's rising travel bloggers to tell us their tips and secrets about travelling the world, which hopefully may satisfy some of the curiosities of those wishing to follow suit.
If you could live anywhere in the world outside of your home country, where would it be?
Amany Ali: Istanbul.
Farah Waady: Rome. London when I'm over 45 years old.
Mariam Gobba: Australia or USA.
Hoda El Koussi: India. I’ve been twice and lived there for a month teaching yoga. It is like a continent in itself.
Fady Hanna: I'd choose Germany. I love how organized everything is and how Germans work hard and play hard. It's also close to my home country. No wonder I've been more than 20 times.
What one activity do you find is absolutely vital when travelling?
FW: Adrenaline-filled activities like hiking, zip-lining, and paragliding.
MG: Can’t think of one specifically but any activity that gives me an adrenaline rush, such as: hiking, motorcycling, walking around cities, and meeting new people.
FH: I think it's really important to connect with the people, hear their stories and problems and be one of them, at least for a few days. Things like food and music and other cultural activities are very important in order to have a complete experience. I'm a nature person too so wherever I go, I can't miss any natural wonder.
What obstacles do you frequently encounter while travelling?
FW: Visas and Egyptian bureaucracy of course.
MG: Being a solo female traveller in developing countries, but you learn how to deal with every situation.
HK: Finding an ATM haha.
FH: I've seen many obstacles but I made it through everything and was able to visit 132 unique countries so far with an Egyptian passport. Obstacles are part of life and travelling is not an exception. However, I'd rather look at the way travel changed me and it will outweigh the obstacles big time but for a direct answer the main obstacles will be the time off, the funding and the visas of course.
What are your preparation rituals before embarking on long journeys?
AA: I'm very spontaneous, I don't have a specific rituals and don’t plan any of my trips either; I just book the trip and go.
FW: Go on travel groups online, ask for friend’s recommendations, and take notes on my mobile.
MG: I like travelling light but I pack essential items and my travel diary.
HK: Reading a lot about the culture of the country I am visiting is a must but generally I go with the plan of having no plan.
FH: Every trip is different and I know myself - I tend to forget stuff. So, I start packing several days before which boosts the excitement levels as well. I have a list of everything I might need so I make sure it's there. I confirm all my reservations and do all the necessary planning of everything I might encounter. Sometimes it's mind games and like a network of many things I need to get my head around specially for long trips but once it starts it goes surprisingly very smoothly
Which country do you feel needs more than one visit to fully explore what it has to offer?
FW: Having visited India, I would really like to explore it more as it has a lot to offer. I've heard Brazil can never be completed in one trip and requires several visits. Also, USA of course and it has something of everything.
FH: To be honest, I can’t answer this question. I've been to 132 countries and can't even exclude half of them. Second visits are always different and you see the place from a different perspective and sometimes you revive the memories you got during the first visit or maybe see the friends you made years ago. If I have to pick out a few countries I'd like to visit again, they would be: Switzerland, Japan, Colombia and Brazil.
What tips would you give to aspiring adventurers?
AA: Challenge yourself. Face your fears. At least once a year go visit some new place and it's even better if it's not a touristic city. Talk to the locals and make new friends - it’s a great experience and you will learn a lot! Eat the local food and try different cuisines. Don’t let language barrier stop you from enjoying your trip.
FW: Just pack your bag and follow your heart. Be spontaneous. Don’t adhere to a strict plan.
MG: Be open to explore the world around you and be open to get outside of your comfort zone. Always trust your gut feeling and never be afraid to travel alone because you will be amazed by how far you can go and how much you can change.
HK: Don’t listen, go see. The media tends to distort the realities behind so many countries which leads to a false perception of them. Explore the world and see it for yourself.
FH: Always be yourself. Don't try to go with the flow of other travellers. While travelling, your heart will seek some things more than others, follow this feeling because travelling is like a restaurant full of dishes and you might like or even dislike some of them but you'll definitely love a few. Be open and accepting to anything and anyone. Whatever happens, enjoy or learn. It will change your perspective not just on life but on yourself. Try to discover the inner or hidden person that you'll hardly meet at your home town.