In primary school, when we took field trips, there was something magical about those events. Getting our permission slips signed in excitement for the adventure we were to experience. Venturing to a space and place, that would provide us with a new lens into the world of learning, was always a place.
Just imagine how that particular attribute carries out overseas. Observing school field trips at international schools, and even on the University level. It’s invigorating! Just comprend the wonder of studying and living in another nation, where his/herstory is right at your back door. That ancient wonder you heard about in fairy tales, movies, and after thoughts is right there-vigilant, alive, and moving for visitors to see. Can you imagine the level of excitement and thrill such entails?
So, on that special day, shortly after returning from the winter holiday, and visiting family, the magic of going on a field trip to the Pyramids of Giza, with fellow American University In Cairo, international students took me back to that period of childhood’s excitement. Being on a bus with fellow, awaiting eyes was ecstatic. Granted, it was not my first time having visited the pyramids. Yet, there was something auspicious in having another visit, with those who would partake in this adventure for the very first time. Another level of euphoria, as if I had just arrived in Egypt. Reliving that Fall 2010 experience of having just arrived in the country. There is always a beautiful awakening in having gone through such a journey, and getting the opportunity to experience it, for another day.
The bus ride was a euphoric tale, in its own right. Traveling through, and observing Egyptian landscapes was phenomenal. That’s one of the beautiful things about vehicles. They give you that ability to move through time. In fact, you feel as if you are flying. Gliding through given points in space, in order to fully immerse in every element and visual of that one space in the Earth’s population. There is intrinsic wonder and dynamics, when a collective group of individuals are able to experience this, together. When you are studying abroad, the experience is even that more powerful. Sharing that very same level of excitement with individuals, who are accompanying you on this very same travel journey.
Moving through the Giza Pyramids, the different scenarios awaited us. From those merchants presenting us with products to sell, to the camel, donkey, and horse riders offering us their services, the dynamics were never boring. The energy was as vibrant, as ever! Then, of course, one cannot forget our personal tour guide, and historian, who awaited our presence, once ticket purchases, and gate entrances had occurred. That special human being, who prepared his/her entire University/collegiate studies for moments as these-an opportunity to show off what they had learned, and mastered for one hour or two. A feeling of, “this is what all of those late night studies were for.”
Moving through sandy grounds, which dusted our shoes, the pyramids (and sphinx) stood in audacity. Awaiting us to capture ourselves, with their very presence. Sacred images we would continue to treasure, and look back upon, long after we had stepped foot within that spacing. I, for one, took advantage of the camel ride, offered to me. Participating in this dynamic with other students, and having a sense of pride, in having been able to steer the camel, by myself. Experimenting with different angular positions in taking pictures by the pyramids, while being advised by local tour guides, further heightened the memories of sacred moments, there.
It’s amazing how a trip can arouse comfortable vibes for those away from home. Experiencing your humanity in another way, shape, and form that you never realized. A phenomenal factor in connecting two different worlds, so that they balance you in your movement, and rhythm in Earth’s spacing. When such activities are performed, there is nothing you can truly say, which describes it. Sometimes, you just have to feel it. Let everything soak in, and feel!
Reflecting upon that time, there is an aura of feeling content having lived out a life’s bucket list, at such a young age. Taking a special field trip to a site of fascination, and wonder, that many people will not ever partake in. As a collective, we were truly lucky, and we were, blessed.
Getting closer to the Sphinx was another colorful component of our adventure, for that day. Permitting yourself to interact with small children, who are happy to take your photo, for a small monetary gift, was captivating; ever reminding you of the creative ideas people come up with, in also benefiting from the spacing.
As the dust and sands continued to glace our feet, wondering through the space with freshly arrived, undergraduate, and graduate students, was another form of educational wellness, and therapy. Just think about it. Using a particular moment, and timing, in finding comfort and ease within a new journey. For international students at the American University in Cairo (through the office of the International Student Association) to taking field trips, is more than for sheer entertainment. On a deeper level, the experience allows international students to work their way into gaining a foundation, while they are overseas. It’s a perfect way of overcoming homesickness, and loneliness, while studying/earning a degree, abroad.
Of course, the trip would not have reached its conclusion, without securing that final, group photo. You know. That special image, which affirmed you had been within a certain place, at a given time. Not only were you there, but that you had others, there, with you! The journey was a shared one. That’s what made it all the more celebratory.
Heading back to the bus, this component of the trip was complete. Yet, there was another treasure, awaiting our delight. Of course, and as usual, that’s for another piece. And so, another memory had been designed. Everlasting treasures to be foretold for future students, who are to travel to Egyptian soils. Until that time arrives, we at least have the images. Having those sacred visuals, that we can look through, over and over, again. Reflections of one adventure in our sacred travels, when we took that first step, and made our initial decision to, study abroad.