It was the early 1990’s, a magazine cover with The Great Sphinx was resting on a table. The photograph carried me away into the mystery of ancient Egypt. Closing my eyes, I could see humans gazing at the sunset while planning the location for this ancient tomb site. People that possessed secret codes that unlocked super powerful human knowledge and potential.
A dream was born. It would be my destiny to visit Egypt one day.
Being a solo female traveler, who is planning a trip to Islamic country, makes you a target for gender related conversation. Many people believe it is not safe for a woman to travel alone into the Islamic world. I’m well versed in topics like gender discrimination. A step back in time, I was a playful 12-year-old girl, hanging upside down in a tree that loved to play baseball. My Great Uncle approached shaking his head and waving his finger yelling at me, ”When are you gonna stop playing baseball and start wearing makeup.”
These kinds of moments shape a young girl’s life. The first book that I ever read was The Feminine Mystique by Betty Freidan. I was determined to become a strong, fearless and independent female. I would embrace my female warrior energy by never allowing a patriarchal society to dominate my thoughts or actions. This was the moment the idea of Wanderess Bleu was born.
After an apprentice in Shamanism and finishing a graduate program in Psychology, I embarked on a journey around the world in search of meaning. I had to work through my own fears and false beliefs to finally access the courage to complete my dream of visiting The Great Pyramids and Great Sphinx. In recent years, media reports discouraged travelers visiting Egypt, especially an American female solo traveler.
Part of my journey, was learning how to trust the universe and my own ability to overcome any challenges traveling alone including loneliness, fear, uncertainty and anything else that can happen. One day, I woke up and impulsively bought a ticket to the Middle East. The plan was 4 countries including a visit Cairo.
Well intentioned family and friends were seriously concerned about my safety. Many were determined to convince me to cancel the visit to Cairo. My curious nature was the motivation to investigate these fears. What I learned is that many people possess the belief that a woman is not safe traveling alone.
Being a thoughtful person, I took all these fears into consideration. However, I didn’t cancel the trip to Egypt. Just like I didn’t stop playing baseball at my Great Uncle’s request, (although I do love wearing mascara these days!) But there were a few changes that were necessary to ensure my ultimate safety.
The original plan was bus from Tel Aviv to Eilat. Then drive 8 hours crossing the Taba border into Egypt. I discovered that this specific region was active with extremist activity. When people say, “it is not safe to visit Egypt,” they are using a very broad statement. It’s more accurate to say, “It may not be safe to travel in the Sinai Penisula region due to extremist activity, but Cairo is a major metropolitan city and safe to visit.”
So I decided to fly from Israel to Egypt using a phantom airline. After carefully researching Cairo tour operators, I hired Egypt Tailor Made for a private solo tour. The owner, Walid Fathy, was incredibly responsive to my emails. We had a candid conversation about safety, and he expressed a genuine concern for my feelings and took the time to discuss this topic until I felt safe.
The tour included pick up from airport, assistance in obtaining a visa and very knowledgable Egyptologist named, Jemi, to teach me about this ancient world. We stopped at a restaurant, Abo Tarik, and ate a delicious authentic Egyptian meal called Koshary, while cruising down The Nile River watching the sunset. After this experience, we explored the old Islamic markets for shopping, talking with local Muslims and getting a unique glimpse into Islam. My favorite part of the night was a relaxing stroll in the nearby markets, while a local mosque played a light show during Islamic Prayer Calling. The total tour cost about $120 dollars and lasted about 6 hours.
I had been staying in 12 bed hostel room during my backpacking journey, I needed a break from shared co-ed bathroom scene. So, I decided to treat myself to privacy and comfort at the Radison Blu Hotel Cairo Heliopolis ($107.52/night).
I had tears running down my face as I climbed The Great Pyramid. I was proud of the woman that I had become, because I fought hard to become her. Visiting Egypt as a solo female traveler fulfilled every childhood dream. This was a defining moment to inspire global female empowerment. My only regret was not staying longer. I would like to return to Egypt again soon!
I hope this post has inspired you to travel to Egypt and to travel solo as a woman, please share you own tips for the country with our readers in the comments below. Read Next > 10 Things I Learned From Being An Expat In The Middle East