There is this stereotype that young people travel to find themselves but I think most of us do it to run away from a certain reality. Imagining a 9 to 5 routine after graduation felt like an early funeral. Alright, that’s a little fluffed but I don’t know why an appetite for cultural change is such a far-fetched idea.
As some of you may know, Toronto and I are going through a bit of a rough patch and are therefore taking a bit of a break from each other after four years. We just need some space. So in an attempt to start a new life, I packed my suitcase with some of my favorites and headed off. Here are my staples:
Spending almost 6 months in one of the hottest places on Earth logically shouldn’t need any more warmth…but I packed a blanket anyways. In the 2 weeks I’ve been here, I’ve slept in over 6 beds because addresses have become cliché. I sometimes miss the feeling of waking up in familiar sheets. Some nights my soft blanket inhabits the role of a companion always ready for cuddles and some it serves as a knight to protect her queen against lonely moons.
When you’re in a place where your tongue’s tasteless, it only makes sense to sit back and try the localities on the menu. I swear if listening to foreign languages was a sport, I’d be in the record books. At this point, I don’t even try to decode verbal conversations. Body language has become my cup of coffee.
Oh, and when you find common ground in flavors: isolate the ingredients in the depths of your mug by asking all the questions. Chances are, someone has already seen what you’re seeing for the first time and chances are, someone has thought the thoughts you’re thinking and chances are, someone has already thought the thoughts in the sights you’ve just set your sight on. However, those sights and these thoughts are not equivalent to any feeling inside you anyone has ever felt before. This constant search for new sensations is curiosity.
Many people have been messaging asking me if I'm okay and if the places I'm staying in are nice and the truth is it's hard. Instagram is only one side of the story. So please do intense research, ask questions, and don't let anyone take advantage of you when you're travelling. #cairo #instatravel #egypt #hijab #niqab #thisisegypt #exploreegypt
So far, the toilets don’t flush, the door doesn’t lock, the fans don’t turn, and the lights flicker. Maybe later, feet will wither, spines will bend, and eyes will close. No matter what, the world will keep running and we will not keep up. Keep walking anyways. You’ll be shocked about what you can live without.
Passion: the phone charger of packing essentials. My Canadian passion often doesn’t agree with the Egyptian voltage system. That’s why we have adaptors. I’m consistently learning to find another way to “cook” or “go to the washroom” when the stove crashes or the flush dies. I eat bread with hot sauce for 4 meals straight and go to the coffee shop downstairs to pee every 3 hours because my passion always finds a way to recharge.
As much as we want to leave it all behind, start brand new, or never look back, we have to hold on to something. Relationships are like Wi-Fi: You need them to connect to people. Connections spark stories and stories build winners.