Getting over the fear of heading to my first Muslim country

After the red-eye flight, we had a layover in Austria. I have been to this country before on my trip throughout Europe. Didn’t really bothered to explore this country then, nor at this time. Sorry, Austria maybe next time.

Taken by Hugo morel

It was officially the 12th and no longer the 11th. So the fear was somewhat gone. However, this will be the first time I will be in a majority Muslim country. I didn’t know what to expect. With all the Media surrounding the middle East, I expected to be attacked or killed for being from a western country. I knew if I want to travel the world, that I would eventually have to go to more Islamic countries. But still, I was extremely nervous!

Taken by Hugo Morel

There I was sitting, thinking about how I should had told my family or someone where I was going. I was having a mental breakdown. I know this seem overdramatic; however, it’s hard not to think this way with the American Media constantly brainwashing us. Fighting this fear and way of thinking was something I wanted to overcome. I know most Muslims are peaceful and good people. Yet, I couldn’t stop thinking about the images News stations keep hammering on us about this part of the world.

Taken by Hugo Morel

It was too late now to turn back, I had no choice but to go. I did a little research on Islam while waiting to board. Learned that Islam actually believes in Jesus and Mary. Also, the Virgin birth of Jesus. To my shook, Jesus is actually one of the most mentioned figures in the Quran and it’s not negative. Learning all this, maybe my trip will help me build a common ground on our differences. This made me get over my fear and was excited to finally board that plane heading to Egypt.

Taken by Hugo Morel

I actually had the whole row to myself! Flying over Egypt was breathtaking. The landscape change was out of this world. It felt like I was flying over Mars. The sand was nothing like I have seen before. Growing up in California, there were deserts but they were small compared to this.

Flying over Cairo, Egypt… Brought to you by google

After the flight, I landed in Egypt. Started to walk to get my passport stamped. The smell of the airport was very different. It smelled like the spices of the middle East and wet armpits. It was a strange smell. A smell that I will eventually get used to throughout my future travels in the Middle East.

Inside of Cairo international airport… brought to you by google

Got to the immigration line, I needed 25 dollars to get a visa. Looked around and saw an ATM. Found out shortly, that the ATM was out of service. Went to the immigration officer and told him about what happened. Also, let him know that I don’t have enough cash on me. He told me that he will get his supervisor. I waited until an overweight man came. He was the head supervisor of immigration. The overweight man told me that I would have to leave my passport and suitcase with him; while, I got money from the ATM that’s passed the immigration point. In other words, I will be walking into Egypt without an identity nor a nation. At this point, I had no choice but to trust this stranger.

After leaving everything I had with this stranger, I started walking towards the main lobby of the airport. I was able to find an ATM. Soon, I found out this ATM was also out of service. And there I was, with no passport in a foreign country that I didn’t speak the language and nobody back home knew where I was….

Thank you for taking your time and reading this post! Much love and safe travels!

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