Updated: Nov 24, 2019
I was not expecting the flood of emotions during my visit to Egypt, and even today, I am still filled with great enthusiasm. Hi, my name is Toni Reid, and I love to travel, and I want to inspire others to do the same despite having a 9-5. Since I was young, I dreamed of going to Egypt. Fast forward 20+ years, and that dream is a reality – and it did not disappoint. What I did not expect was that there was more to be excited about than the great Sphinx and the Great Pyramids of Giza. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting them both and although scary because it is steep and claustrophobic the climb up the Great Khufu Pyramids is an experience I am happy I did. Everyone talks about how camel rides are a must-do, but what they do not tell you is sitting on a camel is like standing on the edge of the 20-foot building! Egypt is a country linking northeast Africa with the Middle East and dates to the time of the pharaohs. It is where the 365-days a year calendar was invented and where the world's oldest dress was found to grasp and experience what Egypt has to offer, you will have to visit more than once.
Below are My Five Reasons Why You Should Visit Egypt today:
1. Egyptian Museum – The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is expected to be open early 2020, but the current museum should not be discounted if you travel before it opens. I was not expecting to be impressed, but to be physically among the world's most extensive collection (more than 120K items on display) of ancient Egyptian artifacts was memorizing.
2. Queen Hatshepsut Temple – The most popular queen that is discussed as it is related to Egypt is Queen Nefertari. Still, Queen Hatshepsut is so relevant to today's women, and perhaps that contributed to my giddiness. She was the longest-reigning female Pharaoh in Egypt, ruling for 20 years. (Girl Power). This temple is best appreciated from both a Hot Air Balloon ride and with your feet and hands.
3. The Valley of the Kings – It was scorching during my visit to the magnificent burial ground. However, I was still most excited about visiting The Tomb of Tutankhamun. I saw his gold artifacts during my visit to the Egyptian Museum now; it was time to see the Pharaoh called King Tut mummy. At the end of going down about 20 narrow steps and getting hotter as I descended was the face of a ruler who died more than 3,000 years ago!
4. The Nubian Village – Only a short wooden boat ride along the Nile River did I arrive at the "Nubian Village. And again an unexpected flood of emotions as I was greeted by beautiful children who were excitedly yelling "welcome my Nubian sister," "you look just like us," "hi," "may I take your picture," etc. all of this was just I stepped off the boat. A few steps ahead was the "medina" filled with a plethora of Egyptian spices, hand-carved souvenirs, Nubians riding camels, and children holding baby alligators. The Nubian Village is where I had my henna design done on my hand by a Nubian woman, and where I had the pleasure of literally walking through a home of a Nubian family.
5. Tour Guides - The part of my vacation that could have made the difference in it being a good vacation and excellent were my tour guides, particularly in a country like Egypt. Under no circumstances did I feel threatened or unsafe, but because the country has so much history, even a seasoned traveler would benefit from an experienced tour guide in Egypt. I could not have gotten better guides than Hend Elhalawany and Sayed Selim. Hend a keen Egyptian, strong independent woman who had an in-depth knowledge of her country. She was punctual, and she has a keen sense of storytelling, she also knew the perfect photo spots that allowed me to take some memorable photos. Sayed, this gentle soul is passionate, engaging, and has a wealth of knowledge and creative storytelling, as well. Their knowledge went beyond the standard tour guide facts and fiction, but their demeanor, their insightfulness, and they're accommodating personalities made a difference in the delivery throughout the trip. They took this motherload of historical & complex information and delivered it in such an enthusiastic and straightforward way.
Well, that's it, just a few of my lasting impressions from my travels to the continent of Africa. Despite the poverty throughout the country and particularly in Cairo, with a population of 27 million, the people were always incredibly friendly and accommodating. I highly recommend everyone take a visit, and I cannot wait to go again!
“JOBS FILL YOUR POCKET BUT ADVENTURES FILL YOUR SOUL.” ~ JAMIE LYN BEATTY