So why Egypt? Why Egypt for me, and why Egypt for so many people all over the world who want to travel there? Well, I’ll tell you that for me it was the sheer volume of sites to see and unique and distinct places to visit within this one country that drew me there originally.
When I first moved to Egypt back in 2003, I was there on a language scholarship that required me to pick one country to study Arabic in and stay in that country for most of the entire year I was living in the Middle East. So I picked Egypt because, of all the places I could choose to live in the Middle East, Egypt was a place I could live that would also allow me to travel around and see so many different things from so many different historical eras all in one single country.
In Egypt, you have obviously the ancient Egyptian civilization’s monuments and treasures, but you also have ancient Rome and ancient Greece here as well. Don’t forget that Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332 BC and established what was essentially a dynasty of Greek pharaohs that ruled the country until it fell again under Cleopatra and the Roman Empire took over.
So in addition to thousands of years of Egyptian history, you also have Roman amphitheaters and Greek tombs and an incredibly unique mixture of multiple imperial artistic traditions in some cases. And all that is in addition to the relics of the Nubians, the Persians, the Byzantines, and the Arabians, all in one country.
Then Egypt’s also got the modern attractions too, like urban cities, white sand beaches, turquoise seas, coral reefs, deserts, dunes, oases, and so on. Then there are the Biblical sites over in the Sinai and all the ancient churches and monasteries that literally date back to the time of Christ himself.
And I think you’re getting the picture by now. You’ve got all of this without even leaving one single country.
So that’s why I chose Egypt, and it’s probably at least part of the reason that you want to visit and explore Egypt too. But there are probably other reasons why you might want to go too, and there are even more that are good reasons to go sooner rather than later that you likely didn’t even know about.
For nearly everyone, Egypt is a bucket-list destination because of the Pyramids. You’re probably also interested in seeing the treasures of King Tut, which are stored in the Egyptian Museum. What’s amazing about this guy is that he’s the most famous Pharaoh in all of Egyptian history, but he’s one of the least remarkable historically. It’s just that his tomb wasn’t discovered and plundered by grave robbers, so we actually have all of his treasures, unlike those of the hundreds of other much greater Pharaohs. But all of his gold and other treasures still provides a really fascinating look into real ancient Egyptian life.
Another reason to go to Egypt is that the dollar is SO strong there right now. When I first lived there in 2003 and 2004, the Egyptian Pound ranged from about 5 to 6 Pounds to the Dollar. If it was over 6 we thought we were winning the exchange rate lottery back then. By 2012 when I was going there every month for work with my travel company, it was about 7 Pounds to the Dollar. When I was there in 2015 it was up to about 8 Pounds.
And – now this is incredible – by the end of 2016 it was up to over 15 Pounds to the US Dollar. That’s just insane AND incredible – if you’re a tourist coming to Egypt. That means traveling there and the cost of things in Egypt are so much cheaper than they’ve ever been.
Also, because the hoards of international tourists that use to flock to Egypt’s sites and monuments to the tune of millions annually just aren’t coming in such great numbers these days, on some days when you’re visiting the Pyramids and tombs and temples you can just about have the entire site to yourself, which is absolutely incredible.
Especially when you go down to some of the lesser known Pyramids, you’re literally the only person around for miles and it’s just a phenomenal experience. You walk around them and go inside of them and it’s just silence and solitude. Just you there with the monument and the thousands of years of history that it holds.
So if you’ve been thinking about taking the trip of a lifetime to visit Egypt, you couldn’t have found a better time than the present. The foreign exchange rates are amazing right now, visitor numbers are still depressed so the sites are still not as crowded, safety is always a top priority of the government and its security forces, and, let’s face it, you’re not getting any younger.
Egypt will be there for thousands of years more, but you won’t. And before too long, everyone else will catch on that it’s time to start flooding back into Egypt like the Israelites doing a reverse 40-year desert wander. So stop wasting time, and get to planning your bucket list trip of a lifetime to this amazing place. Yalla!