|photo credit: www.thecoolist.com|
One of my favorite saints, Augustine of Hippo, is credited with the words, "The world is a great book, of which they that never stir from home read only a page." I have been drawn to these words from the first time that I heard them, believing them without a doubt to be true. Though I originally had other plans for the remainder of this year, sometimes we must adapt to changes that exist beyond our control. My term in Iraq is now over, and the day after tomorrow, the next stage of my journey will begin in Egypt.
When I was a kid, my dad used to sit down with me and a giant National Geographic photo book of pictures of the pyramids and great monuments of Egypt. I absolutely
blame credit him for establishing this need within me to see, smell, taste, and
experience the world firsthand, even if my parents don't exactly have this same need themselves. For at least the next month, I will continue my study of Arabic in Cairo, Egypt. I may extend for another period after that, I may return for work in Iraq, I may return home, or I may spend the rest of the year (and my savings) couch surfing and fotoing. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the adventure, and the chance to see a place I only dreamed about for as long as I can remember.
Honestly, I don't know what to expect. Am I nervous? Definitely. What many people don't realize, is that a big part of that nervous-scared feeling that we experience before going to a new place is absolutely natural, and is a big piece of feeling excited too. Without some jitters and nervousness about a new experience, the excitement really isn't all that exciting. So I will open both my mind and my heart to some amazing new experiences in a new place. I will to allow myself to be further changed by a new environment, which rounds off the sharp edges. Where a new culture sweeps you away and scrubs you clean to emerge as a better version of yourself.
I will, of course, be posting as regularly as I can from the land of the Pharaohs. I can't wait to post my own pictures from the Giza Necropolis, the Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel, and Luxor.
Until we meet again, Lauren
“Remember what Bilbo used to say: It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” - J.R.R. Tolkien