My childhood was filled with numerous stories of Egypt and for a long time, the 1998 DreamWorks animation ‘The Prince of Egypt’ was my favourite movie. And here I was, in Egypt, dipping my toes in the Nile River – the same river from the stories about Moses and the people of Egypt, the longest river in the world. It felt surreal.
Growing up, I never envisioned myself travelling internationally and exploring new countries. That was a luxury I did not think was attainable. And so, there was no ‘dream country’ or experience to look forward to. I was happy to have once been invited by my uncle to visit his family in London but a visa denial had quickly given me a rude awakening.
It is only recently that I have begun experiencing the joy of visiting a place that one has dreamt about for a long time. Yet, Egypt, through Bible stories, had been ingrained in my subconscious and it was the first place that gave me the euphoric feeling of one finally visiting their dream destination. And I did not know it until I was in a boat on the Nile River.
In Cairo, I had joined a short Nile River evening cruise in a closed boat. It was a good experience but the sail in Luxor was better. Devoid of the frills that the Cairo cruise had contained, this one felt more profound. It was just me, my guide, the boatman and the open river and compared to the scorching August heat, the cool breeze on the river was a welcome respite.
There was no itinerary and being at the end of my tour in Luxor, my guide and I bonded over lunch with stories of daily life in our different countries. Reminding me once again that we are all more similar than we are different.
The tour was long enough for me to soak in the experience and even squeeze in a short nap, ending right before sunset. We returned to shore after a lovely outing and I spent the rest of the day at leisure at my resort accommodation.
This outing on the Nile River was certainly one that completed my 3-month stint in Egypt and is one that I will easily recommend to do if you plan on visiting Luxor and Aswan. It was an add-on by the operator I travelled with and I am glad it was included in my itinerary. To think that I almost missed out on this adventure due to a nagging feeling of homesickness!
I am glad that did not deter me and even happier that I said ‘Yes’ to Luxor!
I would love to hear about your most treasured travel moments. Perhaps about a time when you visited a place you’ve always dreamed about or when you received kindness from strangers. Share with me in the comment section below.