Friday, September 19, 2014

Egypt: a time of transformation and surrender

This photo was taken on January 22, 2001, my first day in Egypt.

I had quit Microsoft three months earlier, and had a one-year open ticket in hand. I had never traveled alone, much less without an itinerary. I had no idea what to do with my life. I only knew that I was determined to trust my intuition and to follow omens and synchronicities, even when they often made no logical sense.

I rented an apartment in the village at the base of the Pyramids (called Nazlet-el-Samaan), and began the journey of opening myself up to the world, rather than living in fear of it. In a place driven by tourism, I quickly learned discernment, and chose the people who I saw cared for my wellbeing, and not merely my dollar value. It was a harsh awakening, and I was hurt by several people I considered friends.

But I learned a valuable lesson: to listen to that small still voice, that uncertain feeling, within that I had all too often ignored.

I stayed in Egypt for over 3 months and traveled to so many places (Luxor, Karnak, Alexandria, Aswan Dam, the Red Sea...) To me, it is a sacred place. There is a hint of the magical and eternal in every step, especially in the desert. I felt very much at ease there. I know I will, one day, return.

It also set the stage for my eventually finding myself on the Camino de Santiago two months later...

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