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YOLO, So Why Not?

Overcoming Fear in the Land of the Pharaohs

By A'Dia G

I was excitingly nauseated! The beautiful African sun greeted our group as we continued our ascent into the air. That November morning, the air was surprisingly cool but not too cold. As the sun continued to kiss the sky, I tried to observe the amazing view below us. It was another glorious morning in Luxor. However, that morning I started my day trembling in fear. How did I get myself into this mess?


I had always wanted to visit Egypt. As a little girl I was obsessed with the ancient Egyptian history, absorbing information on the culture of the ancient Egyptians. Immense joy is what I felt exploring the many temples and ancient sites. The best part was that I was able to experience the country with not only family, but also with one hundred and six other people.

With there being so many of us, our group split into three, accommodating the Egyptologists that were arranged by the tour company. I listened to our groups’ Egyptologist closely wanting to relearn and discuss the history and culture. I was in awe as I glanced around at the many breathtaking temples and artifacts housed in museums. I will never regret going to Egypt! It was truly a live changing experience. Especially since I did something that I thought I would never do- a ride in a hot air balloon.


I had months to mentally prepare myself for this excursion. During my previous travels, in recent years, I had made it a personal challenge to get out of my comfort zone with one of my biggest fears. I have an extreme fear of heights. Preparing myself mentally however didn’t help when I was actually there, fourteen hundred feet in the air. “How did I get myself into this mess?”, I asked myself as I tried to keep my eyes open and my breathing steady. Yes, I said open. I didn’t want to miss any of the amazing sights below me. As I took in deeper breaths and focused more on the sights, I stopped worrying about the distance between myself and the ground. It was mind-blowing!

The thirty to forty-minute ride went by extremely fast after that. Preparing for a rough landing, everyone but the pilot stayed in landing position for what felt like forever. It only took us ninety seconds to reach the ground, since we were cruising at a lower altitude during the last part of the excursion. After our perfect landing, and with my feet on the ground, I took a photo with our pilot as my only proof of concurring my fear. Well the only visual proof with myself included in a photo! As my aunt and I walked back to the buses, I thought back on the discussion I had with another woman in our group. Similarly, to me she has an extreme fear of heights. Before getting in the hot air balloon I had asked her why she was doing this activity. She simply replied, “you only live once, so why not”.


If you find yourself even slightly interested in traveling to Egypt, please do not hesitate to visit! The people are friendly and the weather is amazing (if the extreme desert temperatures do not bother you). There are so many activities and tours to experience to make your stay memorable. Below are a few known sites and excursions (but there are more) to do when visiting Egypt:

1. Cairo- The Great Pyramid of Giza

2. Aswan- Abu Simbel

3. Luxor- Karnak Temple

4. Cairo- The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities

5. Luxor- Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

6. Aswan- Philae Temple

7. Cairo- The Sphinx

8. Luxor- Valley of the Kings

9. Cairo– Camel Ride near the Pyramids of Giza

10. Luxor- Luxor Temple

11. A Cruise along the Nile

Seen pictured (L-R): Luxor Temple at night, me on the very affectionate Whiskey Soda, the camel, behind the Great Pyramid Complex, and Philae Temple.

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