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Gateway to a new beginning - Iris' 'why'

· Iris

A city veiled in sands with elements of opulence and struggle mixing under the cover. Everyone is hustling for space, for life.

Even though it was only a short weekend trip, glimpses of Egypt opened my eyes to the life I was living back in London, to the world I have been missing. A week after my visit to Egypt, I woke up with the thought: ‘this is it! I’m leaving, and everything is going to be okay!’. The perpetual fear and worry that I have had throughout years living in the city diminished beside the grandeur and mystery of the pyramids.

I kept thinking back to that moment when I sat on a dune in the desert, breathing in the waves of sunset orange and yellow in front of me — I could see each grain of sand being transported by the wind; powerless yet so willing; fleeting yet so permanent. It made me think about the lives we live. Every moment lived mindlessly, is a moment that’s gone forever.

Since the beginning of 2017, my husband had been telling me that he wanted to go away, go travelling. Before my trip to Egypt, I had always told him ‘I’m not sure. What are we going to do when we get back?’. I didn’t want to be another person just escaping life, living frivolously. I felt that ‘travelling’ would be running away from the problems and anxieties I have in my real life.

But what is real life?

Is lying awake at night thinking ‘where am I going in life?’ any more real than the sense of nothingness in the middle of the desert?

Is auto-piloting in silence from home to work then back to home again any more real than the little kids herding donkeys on the side of country roads shouting in Arabic?

Is chasing after a newly furnished apartment with minimalist design any more real than the ‘hole in the ground’ toilets in the middle of nowhere?

I saw some famous sites, I climbed up inside The Great Pyramid of Giza; but it was the simplest sights that bashed my mind into its rightful place — drivers honking every 10 seconds to signal their presence to other drivers, people waving down cars on the side of the highway, strangers who don’t speak the same language becoming friends through laughter…

People ask me ‘where are you planning to go?’

The truth is, I don’t have must-sees and I definitely don’t have a pocket list. I’m really just going…for the ride!

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