On the go is how I have been living since my teenage years. When I was living in my home country, Lebanon, I used to keep moving from one place to another, not staying in one place more than few months. And for the past few years I have been living and working abroad and traveling back and forth to Lebanon and other countries. I have a passion for nomadic lifestyle and for the adventures that come along. For me “every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home,” as Matsuo Basho says.
During college time, for several years I had lived in many different places in several districts around the capital Beirut and across the country. In each place I met new amazing people from different backgrounds and learnt new lessons that pretty much defined my perception of life and helped me further appreciate the indispensable diversity we are endowed with as human beings.
Every time I met someone new, I was introduced to new music, new movies, new ways of thinking, new food, new books, new traditions, new skills, etc… It is a very enriching experience that broadens the mind and makes life more exciting. Every day for me is a new adventure, and among the countless adventures I had lived is a road trip I went on with amazing friends to Jordan. We left from downtown Beirut and headed towards the Lebanese-Syrian borders to cross to Jordan. On the way, we spent the day in Damascus where we visited one of the oldest souks in the world and the Umayyad Mosque also known as the Great Mosque of Damascus, which is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. It is believed that the mosque contains the head of John the Baptist, and it is also a place where you can also contemplate the magnificent mosaics ornamenting its courtyard. Following the enchantment of Damascus, we continued to Jordan where we spent unforgettable three days of laughter, adventure, sightseeing with friends and relatives, and met the Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Jordan in 2009. We visited one of the most revered holy sites of Jordan, Mont Nebo, and many other amazing sites in Amman, not to mention the breathtaking Dead Sea where we enjoyed the healing waters separating Jordan and Israel.
However, following graduation, the roaming lifestyle I was pursuing and the adventures I was having took to another level as I relocated to Qatar for work. Living and working abroad is one exciting experience that drastically contributes to our personal growth and brings us closer to many different cultures and people. When it comes to Qatar, you get to meet people form the four corners of the world and know their diverse cultures, foods, traditions and habits. I highly value the memories I have lived and the friends I have made there. The camping trips, the parties, the diving courses, the work experience and the activities make every day a unique journey. Apart from the adventurous few years I have been living abroad, traveling to few other countries further enriched and broadened my view of life.
The few days I spent in Oman with only a backpack were enough to get to know the amazing and hospitable people of this country in the Gulf and to visit few beautiful sites such as Wadi Dayqah Dam and Reservoir. On the other hand, my trip to Turkey is no less interesting as one sees and experiences so much that it is quite hard to talk about it in few lines. I went there with one close friend and stayed in a hotel in the vibrant Taksim Square, where the streets are constantly swarming with people from all walks of life and from around the world. We visited all the touristic sites of Istanbul and stumbled on some friends with whom we went on a Bosphorus cruise. A trip becomes more exciting when you unexpectedly stumble on some of your friends when you are in a foreign country. Traveling with friends is also a great mean to know them better and value them more.
Now, last but not least, one of the unforgettable trips I had was a trip to Egypt. The highlight of the trip are the few days I spent with amazing friends diving in Dahab, the place where dwells few of the most dangerous and adventurous diving sites, the Blue Hole and the Canyon, and where I tasted amazing sea food. Dahab is one of a kind adventure, yet Cairo is as exciting as the horse riding in Giza around the pyramids will be encrypted in my memory for a very long time. The streets of Cairo literally do not sleep and the people are amazingly energetic nonstop. What really takes your breath away is the Museum of Cairo that takes you back to the glorious days of the pharaons.
What I got to learn from these modest trips is that traveling leaves us with so many memories and stories to tell and offers so many experiences that shape the way we see the world. Among the vital things I have learnt from this lifestyle as well is that the less we own the happier we are as materialism is an unnecessary and dispensable load we must give up for a lighter and happier living. Eventually, traveling revealed to me that home is where the heart dwells and borders are nothing but a political myth.
Hopping from one place to another is my favorite hobby and passion. I love visiting natural sites and going to new places every now and then. Whether alone or with friends, my only aim is always to enjoy every moment of every journey and embrace the perpetual change traveling imposes on our perception and view of life. To sum it up, in Mary Ritter Beard’s words “travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”