One of my all-time favorite things about being overseas is all of the random people I meet. I mean random.
I’m currently in Aswan, Egypt, visiting my parents for a couple of months since I’m on summer break. We lived in a few places in East Africa for all of my high school years, so being here in Egypt has been a wonderfully refreshing homecoming of sorts. I’ve eaten way too many mangoes and dried figs, practiced Arabic, and have gotten to know the community here.
Aswan used to be teeming with tourists, but since the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, less people have been coming to this ancient city. Tourists aren’t the only foreigners who come here, though. I’ve met doctors, teachers, business people, and others from varieties of different backgrounds and many different countries who have chosen this city as their home, at least for awhile. The international community is smaller here than in other cities, which made a way for us to have tea a few days ago with two of the most adventurous people I’ve ever met.
I was excited to meet Scott and Sarah because they are in the middle of an unusual and very intriguing adventure. They arrived in Aswan a couple of months ago not by plane or cruise ship, but on their bikes. They put their lives on hold in their adopted home of Paris, France in order to experience and see the world by bike. They’ve been traveling for almost a year with many months left to go as they finalize their route for the next leg of their journey.
As we chewed dried dates and fresh apricots on the balcony and discussed our lives, I was taken in by their very open approach to life. They seem to welcome days as they come, counting people and the richness of experience as their wealth.Though I’m not sure biking from Europe to South Africa is on my bucket list, I admired their adventurous spirits. And though I may never see them again, I was so thankful for the opportunity to cross paths with Scott and Sarah for a little bit of time. I am rooting for them as they continue their journey to South Africa, as they actively take steps to accomplish a dream.
I’ve met people before who press pause (or even stop) on their careers in order to just go, grabbing for the gusto, taking risks and facing fears as they venture out into previously unknown parts of the world. I’ve heard of backpackers who sell it all and become nomadic, wandering from place to place, in order to see the world and maybe find a piece of themselves they didn’t know existed. They are people who drop out of art school to become doctors, lawyers who become full-time bloggers—people like Scott and Sarah who choose to step out of normal expectations and accomplish a dream, whatever that may look like.
If I step out and try something new, I very well may fail. But if I want to grow and learn to live well, i think it is definitely worth the risk.
(Want to follow Scott and Sarah's biking travels? Click here)