As the cradle of civilization for centuries, Egypt has also been a cradle for inspiration and the source of many people’s discoveries and experiences, and now it seems even celebs are taking their own journeys of discovery in Egypt.
When acclaimed musician, songwriter and actress, Alicia Keys set out to record her third album, she struggled with “confusing music”. In search of inspiration and to help remove creative blockages, she took off to the land of the Pharaohs.
Travelling alone through Egypt, she floated down the Nile, visiting some of Egypt’s most historical sites. Standing at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza, taking in the magnificent human achievement, a profound realisation set in: “Here is this structure that’s been standing for thousands of years, no magic tricks, no cranes, just mind, will and hands… with my mind and my hands I could create something that could last forever.”
Fully inspired, Keys returned to the studio and completed her album.
Alicia’s time in Egypt was such an important, transitional time for her, that when she gave birth to her baby boy, just last month, she named him Egypt.
So why not follow in the star’s steps and take some time out for yourself. Whether you’re feeling dissatisfied with your lot, uninspired at home or work, or just in need of a change of scenery, there’s so much to gain from taking a break from it all and experiencing somewhere new.
Egypt is typically a popular holiday destination for sun seekers and diving adventurers; however there are plenty more experiences to have on a deeper, more spiritual level.
Here are just five suggestions to try in Egypt.
1. A desert walk to the world’s oldest monastery
Nowadays our lives are pretty hectic and we rarely make time for our minds to rest. A desert walk with an experienced guide is a great way to take some time out, forget about the everyday stresses and strains and take the opportunity to do a spot of meditation in the open and calm space. One of Egypt’s treasures is The Monastery of St Anthony, near the coast of the Red Sea. As the oldest monastery in the world it’s the perfect site to make a spiritual pilgrimage to.
2. Yoga in Dahab
Give the mind, body and soul some much needed time and attention, and book yourself on to a two to three week yoga course. The concentrated time to focus on your practice will help you rebalance your three cores and leave you feel completely re-energised.Dahab is one of the few unspoilt beauty spots in Egypt and yoga holidays are becoming increasing popular. Well-being seekers can either complete their yoga practice on nearby Mount Sinai, or check into a full-moon retreat and take advantage of the silence and space of the Sinai desert.
3. Swim in the Dead Sea
Soak up the healing powers of the Egyptian sea and book a day at the Dead Sea Spa. If you have a skin complaint such as eczema or psoriasis, bathing in the salty mineral water is said to help clear up irritation. Just ensure you travel to Egypt in low season, otherwise the high temperatures may have the reverse effect.
4. Sightsee and be inspired
Visit some of the wondrous historical sites such as the Sphinx of Giza or the Pyramid of Khafre and be inspired as Alicia was, by what man can achieve with a dream and determination. Camel tours can be arranged locally and take approximately four hours.
5. Fast during Ramadan
Fasting in the UK can be difficult with a lack of support from your peers, which is why Egypt is the perfect place to go if you want to fast. A predominantly Muslim country, during Ramadan many Egyptians fast for a whole month, believing that the practice helps to teach patience, humility, spirituality, peace and tranquillity. Fasting isn’t all pain and no gain either, because as well as the many psychological and emotional benefits, studies have indicated physical health benefits too, including detoxification, repair to damaged organs and even longer life.