Africa & The Middle East | People & Stories

‘Egypt was life-changing for me’: Karen’s Trafalgar Unlocked story

Recently updated on July 5th, 2023 at 11:10 am

Egypt was life-changing for me,” our past guest Karen wrote in her Trafalgar Unlocked Awards entry. “After being locked down so long in 2020 and beyond, I felt like a bird let out of her cage.”

Karen, who travelled with her friend Sara, says she received a welcome email from Trafalgar and Travel Director Mohamed a week or so before her trip.  “In my reply I stated that I was beyond excited, and also a little nervous.”

And understandably so. For Karen, Egypt is almost 13,000 km (8,000 miles) away from where she lives, and it was to be the farthest she’s ever been from the golden beaches of California. 

“Our Travel Director Mohamed was amazing. Two women travelling alone, Mohamed ensured our comfort and safety every minute. Seeing the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx, all the antiquities – I’ll never ever forget my experiences of Ancient Egypt.”

Let’s find out more about Karen’s life-changing trip, what it was like on the road and where she wants to travel to next.

In your Trafalgar Unlocked Awards entry, you described your post-pandemic trip to Egypt as life-changing. Why did you choose Egypt and what did you expect?

My travelling companion and dear friend Sara is a college professor. She had a student who was from Egypt who told her all of the amazing things his country had to offer. In January of 2021 Sara asked if I wanted to go to Egypt with her in May of 2022 on a Trafalgar tour. I had always felt a connection to Egypt and most emphatically said “YES, I want to go”!

RELATED ARTICLE: Egypt is back with a bang: Read why and where to go

Tell us about a highlight or a favourite memory from the trip?

I had no knowledge prior, that you could actually GO INSIDE A PYRAMID! Oh my goodness, absolute top five things I’ll ever do in this life. 

We also booked several of the Trafalgar optional excursions, one being the pyramid light and sound show. A shooting star flew across the night sky over The Pyramids when we were there. It doesn’t get any better than that for me. 

The excursion to Abu Simbel is absolutely something not to be missed! I loved it so much. Breathtakingly amazing. I’d go back tomorrow! 

Was this your first trip with Trafalgar? Who did you travel with?

They say you never forget your first, and I never will. Egypt was my maiden voyage with Trafalgar. I travelled with my dear friend Sara and I’ll be forever grateful to her for initiating this once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Being an educator, Sara read all the books and listened to all the historical podcasts. She could hold her own with our egyptologists Mohamed and Hatim! I was always the tardy one lagging behind, taking photos.

MAKE IT HAPPEN: Best of Egypt

You said your Travel Director Mohamed was amazing. Tell us more about what it was like on tour?

The tour was flawless. Mohamed and Hatim were both so helpful and patient with our endless pursuits for souvenirs, photo ops and restroom breaks. 

Hatim was our guide for the Aswan Luxor part of our tour. He was dear in every way! Very smart, very kind, very fun to be with. Hatim loves what he does, and you can feel it. 

Mohamed has a passion for and knowledge of Egypt that makes the tour unforgettable. He went above and beyond his role as Travel Director over and over again. Mohamed made sure we had photos taken in places that I was seriously too awestruck to actually make it happen for myself! He pointed out his favourite antiquities to look for in every museum and landmark we went. He took us to an amazing restaurant in Alexandria for yummy local food, making sure I had vegetarian options too. Mohamed paid with his own money for things in the busy tourist spots for us, so our personal belongings were safely back in the van. 

I must add here too that the drivers were always exceptional in every way! 

What types of activities do you like to do while travelling? 

I am a “go everywhere, do everything” type of traveller. I loved that Trafalgar provided those opportunities on our tour. The itinerary offered visits to museums, temples, local shops, and an unforgettable boat cruise down The Nile! My goodness! Never in my wildest dreams, yet there I was, watching the reeds and water birds, small towns and villages float by from the big windows in our stateroom. Heaven. 

Do you have a favourite destination, country or Trafalgar trip? 

I would return to Egypt again. No doubt about it. The people were so friendly. A new museum will be opening… the indescribable feelings being in the presence of the Pyramids… all the other beautiful places in Egypt there are still yet to explore… 

GET INSPIRED BY: Wonders of Ancient Egypt

What destination do you dream of travelling to next?

I had to think about this question for a moment and wait for my heart to answer… 

The answer is: Greece! The food. The dancing. The water. The Goddesses. 

RELATED ARTICLE: New year, new you: Where to travel each month in 2023

Anything else you’d like to add?

One day we had extra security on our tour! We absolutely didn’t need it. I never felt unsafe in Egypt. Ever. I felt completely taken care of by Trafalgar, and our Travel Director.  But the day we had our own extra security “bodyguard” with us made me feel a little like Lady Gaga – so kudos to Trafalgar for that!

Read more inspiring articles from our past guests who entered our Trafalgar Unlocked Awards.

Have you been to Egypt or is it on your bucket list? Leave a comment below…

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