Currently on my way home from Cairo to Houston via Istanbul on Turkish Airlines. I know shocking and before y’all freak out yes everything is fine in Cairo and Him & I.
In the last 24hrs I think I may have slept like 4hrs total. I still have over 4hrs to go on this flight. I’m exhausted and even though I’ve been trying I can’t sleep and am going a bit stir crazy. I’ve already watched Steve Jobs, Suffragette, Ivory Tower, Our Brand is Crisis and The Good Dinosaur. Yeah, I have this problem when I am on a flight that has free movies, I feel like I must catch up on movies I haven’t seen and watch as many as I can. For now though I’m taking a break and to keep my mind busy I figured I’d write a blog post because I know everyone has been wanting to know about well…
I’ll start with my return to Cairo.
I arrived out of the blue to Cairo on February 29, exactly 3 years and a day (thanks leap year) from the date I left. He knew I was coming back soon, but I never told him the exact date. After the last goodbye my plan was always to just show up at his door one day. I arrived on a direct 10 hour flight from Bangkok to Cairo on Egypt Air. I was beyond nervous and scared to arrive in Cairo because thought I wouldn’t get the VISA on arrival and was also terrified of seeing him.
—My fourth visit to Egypt.—
I arrived to Cairo and the moment I stepped out of the plane felt that Egyptian heat and the unique Cairo scent. I took a deep breath and a million feelings and memories rushed through my body and mind and it was like a high. I bought my VISA (now $25 not $15) and went through passport control without any problems. I picked up my bags and it was like every time I have arrived in Cairo a million taxi drivers shouting TAXI TAXI TAXI. It was 7am and no traffic at all, but because it’s Cairo my cab driver still drove in the middle of two lanes. Ahh Cairo…
As we made our way through the city I was recognizing so many things and in my head playing what would be coming up next. We then made it to my old neighborhood and was scared I would have forgotten our apartment, but didn’t. Even after 3 years I still remembered every detail of Cairo and my old neighborhood. I arrived and stood outside of the apartment complex and was terrified. I literally felt like throwing up. His apartment is on the 4th floor so I made my way up with all my luggage. I still remembered the large body size mirror near the entrance, the marble steps, the dark green hand rails, the cats one of the neighbors takes care of & our brown door. I made it to the door out of breath and told myself to wait and catch my breath before knocking, but couldn’t. I knocked on the door.
I knocked on the door and nothing. I knocked again and still nothing. I thought maybe I did have the wrong apartment, but then rang the doorbell and heard the birds chirping and knew it was the right apartment. I didn’t have WiFi or cell service so couldn’t get ahold of him. Hell I realized then I didn’t even have his cell number to try calling him from a strangers phone. I knocked and knocked. Thought what if he’s at his parents and our roommate is working? After a while the downstairs neighbor heard me and we hand singled to communicate and she could call our roommate because she had his number. So she did and over 45 minutes later the door finally opened.
It wasn’t Him, but our roommate. He didn’t say a word. He looked at me shocked with an expression of confusion and utter disbelief. I said, “Hi” and he said nothing. I then asked if He was here and he said yes that he’d get Him. I said no I’ll knock on the door. I did and heard his voice. My body trembled. He said, “come in” (in Arabic) thinking it was his roommate.
I walked in and He was in bed. He sat up and was in shock too. I asked our roommate to let us be alone. I shut the door as he walked out and He stood up out of bed. We hugged for what felt like eternity and both got tears. He asked if it was a dream and I said, “no I’m back, I’m here”. We kissed and then laid in bed. We just laid there holding each other. It was nice to hold him again. To feel him, his body, his lips, his arms around me. He was still as beautiful as he was the last time I saw him. Even though we laid there not knowing what to say to each other everything felt so right, so safe and so perfect.
We couldn’t believe that after 3 years we were finally together again. It was a day I had been dreaming of since the day I left him.
During my first week back though we had a tough decision to make.
Before going back to Cairo I received an email from my ex-bosses asking if I could come back to help them out for a few months. They offered to pay for round trip airfare and same pay. I was torn and the moment I received it let Him know and knew that it would be a decision we made together. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it or take anyone’s advice but ours together.
They wanted me back for March, but I let them know the earliest I could go back would be April if I end up saying yes. I didn’t let them know that I already had my ticket to Cairo and wasn’t going to change that for the world, but a month together would allow me to use the full 30day VISA and could save an extension for the next time I come back. Also during that time we could see what we really wanted with us and if the love was still there.
We talked and both agreed that this was a very good opportunity. An opportunity I couldn’t pass up. This would be a chance for me to see my family and friends and also make some much needed money becase after 15 months of nonstop travel I’m running low on cash. We both know that in a few months working at home I’ll make more than I would make working a year in Cairo. Plus they were willing to pay for a round trip ticket and that alone saved me a lot of money.
The last 30 days back in Egypt with him have been amazing. Of course we have had our ups and downs and know that’s expected, especially after 3 years apart. The hours turned into days and days into weeks and before I knew it I was leaving.
—Our footprints in the sand.—
We did so much together during our time there and even took a week mini-vacation to Luxor and Aswan. Ahhh it was all great. During our time together we realized we still want to be together and love each other, but know it’s a forbidden love and will have many hurdles to overcome. Hurdles we have known about since the day we met and that we have been avoiding since then. We agreed to continue avoiding them for now and enjoy the month I was gonna be back. We figured let’s just let things be and when I come back in 5 months really try and figure things out. The best part is that we know we do wanna be together so we will try even if we have a mountain ahead of us to climb.
I know it’s not gonna be easy and even though I’ve never lost hope know things may not work out. I mean honestly we don’t know and both don’t want to get our hopes up. So for now just going to keep enjoying it and when I get back we will try and see where we can take this next. If anywhere.
My 30 days in Cairo came and went and if you’re following me on Instagram know it’s been pretty awesome. Now I’m a few hours away from being home. My 15 months of nonstop travel are coming to an end. Just thinking of that makes me want to vomit because this wasn’t part of the plan at all, but when life hands you a crazy opportunity you take it.
As I write this I am laying in my bedroom floor and can’t believe exactly a week ago today at this hour I arrived in Houston. I was home, but not yet clear. As usual I was detained at USA Immigration and Border Control for the second time. It happened after my first trip around the world and now my second. Both times for coming home from Egypt (an Arab country… scary) and traveling too much. Was quite the ordeal, but will write about it later.
So I have been home a week now and honestly can’t believe it. Feels like just yesterday I was backpacking the world with no clue what I would do each day or living my life in Cairo and going to sleep with him by my side. Now I am home back in a routine and going to sleep in an empty bed.
Surprisingly even though I had stomach issues the first 4 days back, this week hasn’t been so bad. I know the reality of returning home after traveling the world and know post travel depression will hit me and hard in a few weeks, but for now enjoying the high. This actually means that my second trip around the world is officially over.
I started working a day after I arrived and now I have worked 4 full days and what scares me the most is how easily I have fallen into the routine of having an office job. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s just a bit scary. The best part though is that I do love my job and everyone I work with so that makes it great and I know it’s only going to be for 4 months. So I wake up every morning with a smile and say this is only temporary and that I am doing this for us.
While I am home I plan on doing a few things. I plan on working for 4 months and then spending a month in Mexico helping my mom with things she needs help down there. I also plan on going through everything I own again and getting rid of more things I don’t need. I would also like to read a small pile of books I have that I have never read and write some of the many blog post I never wrote. Above all though I just want to spend time with my family and friends while I can because next time I leave I may only be coming back for a friends wedding and who knows after that.
The story from the start: