All of my wishes were answered in Egypt as soon as I stepped into the humid air at 3am. I arrived at my hotel to discover that it had a balcony view of the Great Pyramids of Giza. I was finally in Egypt.
The country had been a place of great mystery to me for several years. It was a place I was never sure I ever get to, and I certainly didn’t think I’d make it here by the age of twenty. I had always been fascinated by the history, cultural practices and simply the everyday life of Egyptians. Going to Egypt, my expectations were intensified by the excitement I had built up in my head. And with a full heart, I can say that Egypt exceeded my expectations.
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Expectations in Egypt – Opinion Piece
For all those wishing to visit Egypt, but fear may be stopping you, don’t let it. The country is a beautiful mystery that has land needing to be explored, discovered and stories to be told. Fear is a product of our imagination, fear doesn’t exist unless our mind tells us otherwise.
Safety – Of course safety is a very broad term, and I can never narrow down a particular place or scenario of any kind that can be regarded as ‘safe.’ Before traveling to Egypt, I didn’t know what to expect when it came to my safety. The media had persuaded me one way, yet my mind was persuading me the other. Being a female in Egypt, I felt protected, safe and comfortable. Our tour guides acted as protection and other passing Egyptians or tourists kept us safe to others who may have been begging us to ride on their horse or look in their shop. In Egypt, they will do anything they can to protect tourists as they do not want any tourists to leave with a bad experience, as this will reflect bad on their country, something else they do not need the media to dictate. A man I met on the Nile River had told me this, and he had also added that the country doesn’t need anything more to contribute to the lack of tourists’ or fear of the overall country.
Clothing – Not all clothing in Egypt is conservative, and not every Egyptian women wears a hijab or other types of traditional clothing. As you can see in the header image, I was wearing a short skirt and off the shoulder top, something I wore most of the time. Clothing is not as big of a deal as others make it out to be in Egypt, before I went I was worried about what to pack and what to wear, something which was unnecessary as clothing is something that shouldn’t be worried about when exploring the cities. Leaving the beaten track however, I would recommend covering knees and shoulders. Of course, I would suggest if you are traveling solo to dress covering your knees and shoulders, but if you are traveling with another person or more, there is no need. Be aware however, as for most religious sites across the world, that particular clothing is required.
Location – In Egypt, do not leave the cities or venture west of the Nile River. Most parts of Egypt are not recommended for tourists to travel to, unless extremely necessary. Cairo, Luxor and other recommended cities give each and every visitor to Egypt an authentic experience, from food to culture. There is no need to leave the cities that are best recommended to tourists, and it is better to stay in a more populated and buys city, as the saying goes, there is safety in numbers.
This article is written from my experience in Egypt and has not been influenced by another persons perspective, and please comment with any questions you may have about Egypt.