Our original itinerary for the Middle East had us spending two weeks in Iran before crossing back into Turkey and onwards to Syria. Because Alicia had her passport stolen back in Hungary, it meant this was no longer possible – the pricey visa authorization code was for the wrong passport, and it would have taken us weeks to organize a new one.
Instead, we stayed a little longer in Turkey than planned, but we still ended up travelling much quicker than we’d expected, especially in Jordan, which is so small you can travel through Petra, the King’s Highway, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea in less than a week.
Once Alicia left and my flight from Amman to Hong Kong wasn’t until late July, I decided it would be crazy to be less than five hundred kilometres from the pyramids of Giza and not pay them a visit, so I found a good deal on flights and booked a last minute trip to Egypt.
Going on tour
Because I was only planning on being in Egypt for a week, I decided to join an organized tour in order to see as much as possible, as well as have a little break from independent travel.
Booking at the last minute (and at the height of the Egyptian summer!) meant that I was able to pay a significantly reduced price for the tour, but even still it would mean doubling my usual daily budget for the region. I hoped it would be worth it!
I can happily admit that I am a control freak. Although there are many things that are out of my control while travelling (what time the bus will actually leave the bus station, where I will be dropped off compared to where I was told I’d be dropped off, whether or not my cutlery is clean), while travelling independently, I’m in charge of all the important stuff.
What’s the important stuff? Things like where I stay, when I arrive at or leave a place, where I eat, who I trust, what mode of transportation I take or don’t take, the price I pay for a taxi, what time I eat breakfast…going on a tour meant completely relinquishing this control and truthfully, it made me a little nervous.
The Good, the bad and the ugly
On my RTW trip during the summer of 2010, I met my friend Alicia in Istanbul and we spent the next 46 days travelling overland through Turkey, Syria and Jordan before I headed to Egypt solo to join up with a quick organised tour through upper Egypt.
Read more about this leg of my trip on my Middle East roundup page.