I managed to grab the last luggage cart at the airport, but sadly, the thing wouldn’t budge. The great thing about Egypt is five people come to your aid as soon as you flash that I’m a weary traveler and I need help look.
I knew my cart wouldn’t roll, but I let 4 or 5 guys try. Each pushed it just enough until I spotted my driver holding a “Miss Wendy” sign. The poor guy waited for 3 hours before I showed up, and I was grateful.
I knew he’d be there because Egyptians rarely give up.
The Cairo airport is your first initiation to Egypt, and if you can make it through there, you’re doing well.
Customs used to be strict in Egypt. I don’t know what happened, but this time it amounted to a guy yelling out, “Anything to declare?”, me screaming “No!” and that was customs.
My hostel had no soap, towels, or water. After 43 hours of travel, I required all three.
I moved to the Western-style hotel across the street the following day to ease my transition with creature comforts like soap, towels, and water.
Call me bougie, but I needed the buffer after 43 hours of travel.
The people at the hostel, however, were amazing, and I’d definitely go back. But this time, I’d be prepared with the essentials.
New country, new you
You can’t deny it. The allure of moving to a new country begs the question, does a new country promise a new you?
I used to live in Egypt, and recently I moved back for good. I’m definitely not the same person I was before, and my reasons for returning are different too.
I’ve been here two weeks, and it’s starting to sink in that I am really here. Up until now, I feel like I’ve been dreaming.
My eyes haven’t adjusted to my surroundings. I’m still on Defcon 1 when I go out for a walk because the city of Cairo is constant stimulation, unlike anywhere else.
The last time I was here, I was a professional belly dancer, and it was a challenging image to manage. Now I’m not, and my focus is writing about ancient Egypt, Egypt travel, and personal development.
Getting to know each other again
You have to build up your resolve before heading out into the streets. Cairo is an aggressive city with a challenging pedestrian terrain, harsh weather, chaotic traffic, yelling, screaming, sirens, animals, and you at the center of the circus.
Getting lost in different neighborhoods is a daily occurrence. Google maps help, but it has limitations in good old Cairo because addresses aren’t big here.
I’m getting reacquainted with the country I call home, and she’s getting used to me too. Slowly, she’s showing me her layers and intricacies. We’ve both changed so much.
Egypt is changing fast
Although Egypt is steeped in tradition, the traditions are evolving to include flavors inspired by the younger generations.
As a nation, Egypt has been developing rapidly since the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
From a new International airport to major investments in infrastructure, a new administrative capital, and a world-class museum & cultural center to rival the best. Egypt is a strong emerging market on the global stage, and it's changing fast.
I’ve missed out on a decade of Egypt’s growth. It’s a different country with a different president, people, politics, goals, and ambitions.
I know I’m supposed to be here
I moved back to Egypt because I know I’m supposed to be here. Don’t ask me how; I just do. I know my life lessons are meant to unfold on this land.
It’s not an easy place to live. In fact, almost everything here has a level of complication to it.
Simple things like running an errand or two are rarely simple.
Cairo is famous for its many moving parts. Everything is a process of negotiations and maneuverings.
I’m here because…
There are things you know in life and things you’re unsure of. My certainty in moving back to Egypt is a sacred pact I made with myself built on trust.
No matter what goes sideways, I know I’m in the right place at the right time, and I take comfort in knowing it.
I moved back to Egypt to study a civilization that both shaped and intrigued the world. I moved back because I know Egypt is my path, whatever comes my way.
It’s been a rough landing, no doubt. I still can’t get my credit or debit cards working despite speaking with customer service numerous times.
I woke up in a bed full of ants. I got heat exhaustion. And yet I’m living my dream — I’m here. It’s enough for me, and I am filled with gratitude.
An arranged marriage
Returning to Egypt is an arranged marriage for me. The closest I’ll ever get to one again anyway. We barely know each other anymore.
It will take time to get to know and love each other again, but I am committed. I accept every unpolished edge of my chosen country. I promise to love it until my last day because I belong here.
Every day I meet new challenges we routinely take for granted in the states. And each time I say to myself, Wendy, you have everything you want. You are living your dreams. You are so lucky. So blessed.
Does a new country promise a new you?
There are no promises, of that I am sure. If there are, the only one worth making is to yourself because you build inner trust when you keep a promise to yourself.
The more you trust yourself, the more you invest in your own evolution. Start by taking some small calculated risks to increase your confidence for the big ones.
A new country is whatever you make it. For me, Egypt is a homecoming. We all long for that which is home. The place that makes our heart soar and our spirit flourish. To feel that you belong where you are is a powerful point of initiation. A moment in time, if seized, can change the course of your life forever.
My wish for you is that you find your Egypt ever after wherever it may be and that you live out your days knowing you have the power to choose your path.
Writers need coffee! I need coffee strong enough to wake up my ancestors! You can buy me one here if you enjoy my scribblings! Woohoo!
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