My husband and I just returned from his biggest bucket list vacation, EGYPT! ..And the last remaining wonder of the ancient world!
In spite of wonders like the Pyramids, the Temples, and the Nile ~ Egypt has experienced significant declines in tourism because of the continued reports about the conflicts in their country…
- Our first day of the vacation we visited places that were surrounded by armored vehicles, armed guard stations, and lots of men with rifles.
- On our second day, an armed guard accompanied us as we drove and walked. (It was quite an adventure to have a guard follow 5 of us through the city!)
- On the fourth day we met an fully armed group at 3:30 in the morning and caravanned to our destination.
Although we experienced no threats, it was hard to miss that safety was not something to take for granted!
Later that day we began to see things from another perspective…
- FIRST – One of the friends we were traveling with commented about all of the travel alerts he was receiving about the safety of traveling in the U.S. ~ because of racial tensions and riots.
- THEN – A young man that served us drinks, asked if the U.S. was safe, because of all that he’d been watching in the news.
In that moment we had an almost “out of body experience” as we mentally floated outside of our bubble and viewed our comfort zone through the eyes of others.
- They were viewing our beloved country through the filters of the media and from the perspective of personal safety. (Just as we’d been viewing the beloved country and comfort zone of others.)
- And they were reacting with as much caution about what was unfamiliar to them, as we were perceiving in a land that was unfamiliar to us.
What a powerful moment as we recognized the blinders we wear in our own comfort zones.
When we returned from our trip I posted several beautiful pictures on Facebook.
- In an effort to keep it real, I also shared one photo that highlighted the poverty, rubble and trash we witnessed in Cairo.
- Within 24 hours a friend from the U.S. added this comment to that photo, “Come to certain sections of Houston and see the same thing.”
…Another reminder of how easy it is to SEE opportunities when we are viewing something for the first time, and to have dimmed eyesight in the places we are familiar with.
- As a leader… How do you keep your blinders off when you walk through your organization and meet with your employees and your customers?
- As family member… What do you do to examine your opportunities before pointing to the opportunities of others?
- As a neighbor… Do you recognize the individual human lives and the needs in your city?
Learning’s from previous vacations here: