A New Perspective at the Pyramids

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:  

President, Giana Consulting

Chery Gegelman is an adventurer that loves to learn. ...Deep conversations, books, travel, and daily living are all food for growth.

As a speaker, facilitator and workshop leader she creates energizing environments that reflect God's grace, tear down walls, help people to consider new perspectives, and inspire change.

Chery is the Founder of Giana Consulting and Conversation Safari's, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two leadership books.

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12 thoughts on “A New Perspective at the Pyramids

  1. I can only imagine how magnificent your trip was Chery! I loved seeing your pictures on Facebook to travel vicariously with you.

    What you are saying about wearing blinders with our own perspective is fascinating as well as so true. I experienced this after 911 when my relatives from the west coast of the US had a very different perspective from me. Living through and with an experience can be totally different from want the media portrays it to be.

    Thanks Chery!

  2. What an amazing adventure!! AND important learning as well. It’s amazing how we forget that we see the world based on where we’re sitting.

    In the early 90’s I traveled to Australia for the first time and when people asked me where I was from, I said Philadelphia. They knew my city because of the movie with Tom Hanks depicting the AIDS epidemic. That was their view of the USA.

    Love how you’ve invited us to bring your experience into other parts of our life and leadership and discover our own blinders.

    Appreciate you, Chery!

    • I can’t wait to hear more about your next amazing adventure!

      And WOW! What a powerful point! It illustrates well how much of the world still perceives America… Through the filter of Hollywood!

  3. Wow. Such a powerful story, Cheryl. Thanks for waking me up to a larger perspective this morning. In addition, vacations are such powerful experiences for couples and the picture of you two on the camels shows such a strong bond!

  4. Chery I love you.
    Keep sharing your travels and experiences with the rest of us and the beautiful way you have open our eyes to so much that we take for granted living in a free country. Yes we do face some of the same things here, but we have a voice in most (if we speak up) of our issues. We must all pray that it gets better and we move on to be better.

  5. Such an interesting perspective Chery. It is true that Americans rarely think of our country being dangerous but times have changed and we see so much security here too. As we await the NYE’s celebration in Times Square, all that anyone talks about are the big trucks lining the area so no vehicle can crash through. The world is different and we need to stay as open as possible to cultures unfamiliar to ours. I can’t wait to hear more stories from you once you fly back home.

    Happy New Year Chery! I feel so lucky to have you part of my life!

  6. Excellent read and thanks for sharing. Doing business overseas has opened my eyes too as we are in Asia and Europe but not the Middle East as you have described here. I’m not so sure I’d be open to visiting there right now. I admire your ability to go through something like this. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

    Bob~

    • Thank you Bob! We were open to moving anywhere in the world BUT the Middle East prior to being asked to come here. That was four years ago. We asked a ton of questions and spent quite a bit of time in prayer and finally said yes. (There are so many unexpected positives and some really big reasons to be cautious that aren’t in the news – that we would encourage people who are considering this kind of move to really dig deep before saying yes. So much of the experience will depend on the company you come with and your own ability to adapt.

      One of the unexpected blessings here is that this location recruits people from all over the world. So we got to meet people, enjoy food, and learn about the cultures of people from more than 50 nations.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!