I am so soooo happy that I get to update my blog again. My blog posts are piling up. I plan to stick with my HongKong series but there are some things I am very much excited to write about.
I am now here in Australia! I finally pushed through with my big move after my PR visa was granted 3 years back. A lot happened... I got sooo busy! I finally left Singapore and surprisingly, I didn't miss it or got very emotional about it. I still look back on my life there but it feels like a distant memory. I think it's because after Singapore, I travelled to few countries. I went to Dubai, Egypt and Turkey before settling for good here in Melbourne. Now, my heart aches every time I think about those trips. I fell in love with these countries! I think post-trip is usually the hardest part of travelling. Your heart aches so much with all the memories and you want to go back so bad!
I was planning my big move last year when my bestfriend Dimsk mentioned he may conduct training in Egypt & Jordan. I got excited for him and joked that I want to come with him. I was not serious back then but as weeks went by, I realized why not? It might be possible for me to detour on my way to Australia.
Those who are close to me know that Egypt is on the top of my bucket list. I think my fascination with anything Egyptian started when my Mom bought me an Encyclopaedia set with an Ancient Egypt book bundled with it. Most would like to go to Europe and the US but little me only dreamt of going to Egypt. I often joked that I am Egyptian in my past life. Anyway, I started to painstakingly check multi-city routes from SG - Cairo - Jordan - Melbourne. I found that it's possible and the airfare was still affordable. When I was planning my itinerary, I found that there are a lot to see and do in Egypt aside from the Pyramids! So, I added Aswan, Luxor and Dahab in my trip. I like maximizing my travels and I want to see and visit as much places as possible. While I was finalizing my trip, the movie Inferno (Dan Brown) was released. The movie featured Istanbul and that very instant my heart was palpitating! I so badly wanted to visit Istanbul! I checked and it was just a 3 hr plane ride from Cairo. So, my semi complicated detour became more complicated haha! Unfortunately, I cancelled my trip to Jordan as they were so slow in approving Visas! I was already in Egypt when they sent me the approval. I didn't mind anymore because I am more than happy to extend my trip in Egypt.
I booked Emirates just so I could do a lay over in Dubai. I only spent less than a day there but I had fun since I was able to meet my second cousin who is based in Saudi Arabia.
I had big fears before coming here as some people discouraged me and thought I am nuts and too fearless for my own good. I am glad I trained myself to be deaf to naysayers. :D I so love Egypt! I confirm I am Egyptian in my past life... lol Everything is cheap! The people were very nice and welcoming. Their hospitality is one of the best I have experienced so far. The food were very delicious and of high quality. Every meal felt like fine dining even if it was just a small road side restaurant. I do think they don't deserve the negative reputation they are getting from the world. It was perfectly safe when I travelled there. There were a lot of police checkpoints and they really prioritised security. They took care of the tourists well. One of my guides told me that pre-demonstrations, their landmarks were always full of tourists. It was difficult to find parking spaces. Now, it's already a good day if there are at least five tourist buses. I can feel the sadness and pain in his voice. Prior to coming here, there were lots of warnings regarding touts and people tricking you to get their services. I was expecting the worst but I didn't encounter any severe aggression from them. I just see it as a way for them to make a living amidst the bad economy. They would leave you of you just ignore them. I do think Egypt deserve more tourists. It is one of the most amazing place I have ever been.
Istanbul is so beautiful and mysterious. I like hearing the Arabic call of prayers over the Mosque. Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are stunning! I also enjoyed the Bosphorus river cruise. I was planning to do it again but sadly I never had the chance. The food is also amazing! Until now, I am still craving for their Grilled Chicken Kebab and Shawarma. I thought I am done with Istanbul when I left, but now I am slowly missing it so bad! I want to go back! I have few pics for now as I haven't transferred most of my Turkey pics. Hopefully, I'll have the time and energy to do that soon.
I am a Filipina, formerly based in Singapore and is now living permanently in Melbourne. Yet, I am really a global citizen at heart. :)