An Inspiring Interview with Egyptian Traveller GEORGE FARID


George Farid is one of those people who gave up their comfortable life for the sake of traveling. He had quit a reputable BIG paycheck corporate position in a multinational company to start his globetrotting journey. 
Take a deep breath and get ready for his awe-inspiring words..

George, how many countries have you been to so far?
George: 36 countries and +90 cities. Just stats figures.
A rather qualitative answer would be the amount of travel invested in one country or the number of trips. I always seek offbeat encounters and distinct experiences.
I may have spent about 1.5 years of combined travels out of the 25 I’ve lived. Some countries I’d like to visit for extended weeks, other for days. 


Oh you have already travelled to almost 20% of the countries worldwide. What is your favorite thing about traveling?
George:
Letting go. 
You’re free of worries, normal and ordinary. Your expectations are your own; you write your own story and unleash your own potentials. Everything belongs to you and is a consequence of your decisions. You can sit down to write or you could run, or you could chase cultures, have a walk with a stranger or smile at a local, you could take a nice picture or have a meal with ingredients you have never had. At the end of the day, everything will run to your mind and will put a smile to your face.
At the end of a trip, on a long flight back, you are not the same person that left. So, the change accompanied is another favourite thing.

Tell us about what changed you the most when you decided to be a traveller (ex: personality, appearance, concepts).
George:
Appearance is a physical matter, I might have longer untidy hair, a reckless beard, random choice of colors for clothing, more bracelets on each hand from memories of countries I’ve been to.

Your eyes accept more change, it tolerates more tastes and it gets less judgmental.
You’re open to try things, explore options not offered on the table. Accepting and appreciating times of solitude and reflection. 
And definitely, tons of vivid memories, life experiences and enthusiastic stories to relate to.
You learn to make peace and eventually spread it, the world is a bigger place than your neighborhood, humans deserve peace and love in every part of it. And as a traveller, you should ambassador such values.

Which country is your favorite and why?

George: Portugal, South Africa, Cambodia, Taiwan. It all depends on the amount of memories and kind of experiences you claim. It is not about the amount of countries you visit but rather your encounters with yourself and other travellers abroad. It is your reflections about life and how aware you are of yourself and others around you.
You may favour a country cause you bungee jumped, an experience, but rather cause you unleashed another level, broken another boundary with yourself. You may un-favor a country for the fact that you got sick or stolen, but rather cause you knew you are vulnerable to fatigue and weakness. It depends on you, your awareness of yourself and if you learn your lessons. It is a journey of growth just happened to be cross-cultural and across continents.


George you actually have been to somehow weird destinations such as Phnom Penh, Laos and the list goes on.. How can you learn about a culture and meet locals without speaking their language?
George: The same way we communicate daily with humans without getting each other. Human minds are mostly the same everywhere, needs and wants. You’re not maintaining a conversation about soccer games or political regimes, you either want something or trying to get someplace. Language was never a traveller’s barrier to consider. Humans created different languages to communicate, but they’re still the same minds that created language and it definitely does enough translation for mankind to reach another.
Just relief this as a worry, one less worry down.

Tell us George, in your opinion, what is the most underrated city?
George:
The ones that are not the capital cities, the ones that are less likely to be haunted by tourists and the ones that got richer local tastes.

You should go touristic if you want, but you qualify to get the same as everyone; tourists rushing to take a picture of the Mona Lisa, have a cliché photo holding the Pyramid, etc. Unless you taken an off the beaten path, get to see other sides of Paris, get creative with your Pyramid photo, walk around different paths of a dessert, follow a river stream, doing something you wouldn’t normally do, anything that challenges you to discover the underrated. Cause it’s not the city that’s underrated, it’s ourselves, underestimating our potentials.
That’s why we visit the same places, that’s why tourists rush to the same sights, we accepted this. You won’t see a tourist skipping the Louvre for the Marathon de Paris, I don’t mean you should skip the Louvre, you get the idea.

“When you are everywhere, you are nowhere. When you are somewhere, you are everywhere.” Rumi said.


How do you avoid jet lags when are travelling to various continents up and down the globe?
George:
You don’t have to. Jet lags are indicators that your body is tired and your mind is still aware. It means you’re alive and you’ve got more to go, it means you’re fighting against all odds of time zones, distances and physical efforts. It’s part of the process to be tired, it’s your sign of vitality and it soon refreshes you.

Whenever you land to your new destination, your whole being will revive again by the enthusiasm you breathe and the smell of new sights. 
You are soon consuming new energies that you didn’t know they existed in you. Like a marathoner, that consumes his glycogen stores but his body will start finding new sources to continue providing energy.


Finally, is there a specific advice you would like to fellow travelers who are new to solo travelling?

George: It might not be for everyone, but everyone should at least give it a try. 
There’s the answer that travelling alone doesn’t mean you’re ever alone cause you’ll meet up with people and other travellers. You can google dozens of articles on solidarity travels, but it is something you get to taste yourself.
It simply pushes you out of any zone, whether your comfort or others’ expectations.

They say travel far enough to meet yourself.

It’s a gift for yourself. An ultimate to your self-indulgence.  You get to connect with nature, the place, its people and the whole experience.
It makes your whole journey an introspective one, imagine going on a long hike without the need to talk to anyone. Imagine your potentials of focus and listening to your own thoughts. 
No pressures. No necessities. No strains.
It’s just you and yourself.

We have really got inspired. Thank you George for your time and keep traveling.. : )

For travel inspiration, follow George on Instagram: @george_gf

Credits: Yasmin Hossam

We are making interviews with various Egyptian travelers to gain insights of what makes them select their next destination, inspire fellow travelers and recognize Egyptian travelers traveling preferences. If you think you have a story to share, send us an email with subject “STORY2SHARE” to outgoing@rotana-egypt.com and one of our team will contact you.

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