I thought I was resilient to those feelings of moving to a new country.
But the truth is, it is still such an uncomfortable, yet ridiculously exciting feeling.
It's been a month since I unintentionally moved to Dahab, Egypt. And now, somehow we are in to a brand new year. I hate how fast time moves. I've been meaning to write about life here sooner, but I'm still not sure how to explain what a huge transition it's been for me. But I'll try...
If life was to be lived in one place we would have roots instead of feet
My move from Hong Kong to Egypt was fairly sudden. I love that city so much, but the high living costs were killing me. I knew it was time to move on soon.. but I didn't think it would happen so quickly.
In 2015 when I decided Hong Kong would be the newest addition to my many homes abroad it took absolutely no getting used to. From day 1, I was thick into city life, and adored everything about it. 24 hours in a day was NEVER enough. There was so much to do, so many people to see, and I thrived on the fast pace.
And actually, I never got bored of that. I love that lifestyle. But it stopped challenging me. And I can't help but love a challenge. Egypt was that.
To improve is to change, to really improve is to change often
Change is good. I've always believed in this. But I have to be honest, I don't think I was prepared on how much of a change moving to a small ocean town in Egypt would be.
Here are some things in Dahab that are taking a lot of getting used to for the city girl inside of me, but things I am absolutely loving:
- People sit and drink coffee just for the sake of sitting and drinking coffee. They aren't doing it to wake themselves up, to start a business meeting or to catch up with someone. Maybe I'm not just talking about the act of drinking coffee. More about the act of doing nothing - just for the sake of doing nothing. I've never known how to do that before.
- No one is stuck to their phones. You can actually have a conversation with someone without them having one eye on their phones. May sound small to you, but this is huge to me. In Hong Kong I always felt I only had 50% of someone's attention. And, I was also a slave to my phone. This is ridiculously refreshing to me.
- Everyone knows every one (and their business). This one, I'm not too sure if is a good or bad thing. With my job I am used to everyone knowing my business, so that doesn't bother me. But, the fact that you can walk along the road here in Dahab and know most people along it is new to me. Living in a city of 7 million people, I used to be constantly surrounded by new faces.
- There is no pollution. And I notice it every morning when I wake up. There are also no cars. Or busses. Or planes. Or undergrounds. Or trams. There are camels though.
- Desert vs Skyscrapers. My vision still seems blurry, I can't quite adapt to there not being huge concrete skyscrapers in my eye line. And it's so very strange for me to walk at night without flashing illuminated lights and hums of bustling bars and restaurants. Walking at night in Egypt is so peaceful. I CAN SEE STARS. I haven't seen stars like this in years.
- Egyptians love their country. And I love them for that. Regardless of any negativity they receive in their country they are the first ones to stand up for it. This is such a beautiful quality that many of us struggle with.
- Tea. I drink a lot of tea.
You can take the girl out of the city but you'll never take the city out of the girl. Or can you?
I'll be honest, it is definitely taking some time to get used to this pace. It's almost like I was living life at 100mph and suddenly the batteries slowed down to 10. But, I am really enjoying learning how to slow down. I really never knew how to do that before. I never knew how to actually relax, and thought that maybe it was because I never needed to. Naive of me, of course I need to relax.
Contradicting that I still plan to travel a lot. Tourist visas are valid for 30 days in Egypt so I plan to travel every month to renew it. And of course, it's my job to travel, there is absolutely NO WAY that will be slowing down any time soon! But, in the days off from travelling I will be enjoy the slow life.
And, it's safe to say, I'll be staying in Dahab for a while.
Keep tuned for chapter 2 of life in Dahab