Alexandria, a dream that came true.

"After the trip, I felt that I had taken a step forward in my spiritual growth...


My first solo trip to Egypt was for a spiritual purpose, determined to find my roots. I awaited my DNA results, so I decided to go to North Africa this time, Egypt. My job did not give me more than two weeks of vacation and for my own reasons, I needed at least one month (which became three in the end), so I quit my job, organized my payments for my apartment - in short I did everything I had to do for my return back to look for a new job. While on the other hand, I had to organize where I would stay to be safe and who would pick me up at the airport. I contacted a travel agency, I made the necessary arrangements and at the same time, some contacts in Syria helped me find a small apartment on the Internet in the suburbs of Alexandria.

My trip began in Miami and I did it without any setbacks. If you ask me if I felt fear, my answer is no, but I felt a little emotional knowing that I would step on the land of the Pharaohs and the cradle of humanity. I had a very wrong idea of Egypt, maybe because it was in Africa. Leaving the airport in Cairo, heading to Alexandria, I was in shock. It was night and I couldn't believe the traffic of trucks going both ways with different types of cargo. That gave me the impression that their economy was not as poor as I thought. Already set up in Alexandria in a small and simple apartment but with enough of what I would need for my short stay. Alexandria enjoys a Mediterranean atmosphere due to its location. My memories of Alexandria go back to my history class in high school, especially the famous Lighthouse and the most important library that was burned down. It was my dream as a child to visit the Alexandria Lighthouse one day and now I had the opportunity to see it.

I want to clarify that my arrival in Alexandria was on the 21st of January and I received my DNA results on the 22nd. As it was winter, there was a lot of rain and the days were sometimes cloudy and of course it was cold, but it was not an impediment for me to visit several of the Roman monuments, enjoy the city's gastronomy that is characterized by the variety of fresh seafood and of course my visit to the Alexandria bio-library was quite an intellectual experience. I enjoyed the Mediterranean Sea every day and would walk 10 minutes to sit and listen to the waves breaking on the beach and so, I spent the days between the sea and visits to the city. It was on one of those visits while I was being transported, that I felt something inside of me that said "mmm...I would like to live here!"

Confronted with my DNA results transformed my thinking. I had answers to questions and many dreams were clarified, that I do in fact have a bit of North Africa in my DNA. Time flew, it was time to pack up and go back to my routine, not before promising myself that Egypt would be my destination for my retirement, but before doing that, I would visit it many many other times. I made some connections, not many because the language is a barrier, but I could feel the Egyptian hospitality and although my experience was one year after the revolution in 2011, l always felt safe with only one defect - garbage collection is a failure :)

After the trip, I felt that I had taken a step forward in my spiritual growth and decided to simplify my life. I sold most of my furniture, I had to keep only the minimum. Detachment from the material, we do not enjoy for fear of losing material belongings or anchoring ourselves in them.

A walk along the corniche of Alexandria and the breeze caressing your skin will transport you to distant times.

Luz Buitrago

Luz is a 66 year-old Colombian currently retired and living in Egypt. She loves her family and is deeply passionate about Art, History and Tango. She is a free-spirited and curious mind who enjoys the adventures of traveling alone. 

... more insights