As the youngest Egyptian traveler, it wasn’t easy to decide to travel alone and even after the decision, it wasn’t easy to really make it true.
But having met a lot of people who traveled a lot along with reading travel blogs and tips on how to travel on budget, I decided to give it my best. Yet, I didn’t have much experience or the knowledge of traveling. I made one silly plan deciding to spend my one month time in Europe in Germany (which later didn’t prove to be a really good idea). I do admit I didn’t plan a lot but I am grateful for that because despite not planning anything on my first trip, things never went wrong and I made the best of it and really discovered what I can achieve besides realizing that traveling isn’t really that hard.
“I met some amazing people, went to wonderful places, couchsurfed, hitchhiked, slept with travelers in the streets of different big cities, and realized that ‘nothing is really hard to do if you just start doing it.’ I have been to 15 cities in my trip in 7 different countries, filled with amazing adventures.”
On a magical night of my birthday in Stuttgart, Germany I met a young guy in his twenties who greatly affected me despite being so humble and simple. He was a guy who finished his school and then decided to travel to Japan with no solid plans, money or anything to back him up during his journey. He just wanted to travel and learn and find his passion, he traveled there for a couple of years and things went great. He discovered his passion for computers and programming and then went back to his country to study this field, started his own company in the field, gained money for a happy life, succeeded and lived with the one girl he loved. Did I mention that he also gave me a nice birthday present? Sounds pretty simple, huh?
For me it was greatly inspiring to see a different person like him, the kind of person whom I never came across in my own country. I realized that my community ‘House-Family-Friends-School-City-Egypt’ is really small and that the way we see the world and life is not necessarily the only way and that other people can live happily without necessarily seeing life the same way we do!
I wanted to share some tips about how you can make your traveling experience without having to spend a lot of money and to get the best out of it.
1) Couchsurfing: The well known website, it’s a great community where you can find someone to host you in the city you are in for absolutely no money, show you the city and have great company.
2) Night Buses: If you are planning to travel from one city to another using trains or buses, choose the night train/bus. You will sleep, travel, and save a lot of time in your trip.
3) Hitchhike: Europe was really the paradise of hitchhiking to me. You can use ‘hitchwiki.org’. I have waited maximum for 3 hours to get a ride and minimum 1 minute.
4) Travel light, travel light, travel light!
5) Be a traveler, don’t go to a city just to see the usual touristy highlights, yes they are worth the visit but don’t make them the main purpose. Go on random walks through the city, take buses to unknown places and see the city away from those tourist buses, see the real city and get off at the place that appeals to you the most and explore it. You will find a lot of locals, local food, cheap souvenirs and special stuff!
6) Be open to everything and to everyone: It’s a great chance when you are traveling alone to meet nice people and make new friends, start conversations with strangers, listen to them and how they live their life for this might inspire you to change the way you live.
Don’t be afraid of traveling, you can travel cheaply or even for just the plane ticket price if you really have no money, you will find your way! The experience made me a new person, with new beliefs, new life style and lifetime friends. I am no longer afraid to try new things that may seem risky, I believe there is nothing impossible ,you only must have the courage to try. I can easily make friends now and start conversations with new people and that helped me greatly. Travelling doesn’t have 7 benefits, they are uncountable. Stop looking for reasons why you can’t and search for why you can!0