Traveling the Headlines

Traveling the Headlines

You can’t turn on your TV without seeing protests in Egypt, but you walk out the door in Cairo to calm, quiet streets.  You watch the five o’clock news and hear about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, but in Israel you can visit the Palestinian territories without so much as a security check.  As we announced our travel plans for both Israel and Egypt on facebook we were met with concerned comments and words of caution.

When you read the headlines it’s hard not to fear what might be the reality on the ground. People’s concern for our safety was understandable as it seems from the news that Cairo is in a state of unrest, the city might be in flames and the whole country is unstable.  Much the same is the case of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, it would appear from the news that the country is in a constant state of war and unsafe for visitors. However, we didn’t find the headlines to be true in either country.

Peaceful protests in the street of downtown Cairo

Upon our arrival in Egypt we found the people to be warm and welcoming.We were offered tea at every turn and we were constantly approached by curious locals inquiring where we were from, not to sell us something but because they were genuinely interested.  In Israel we had no problem taking a public bus into the Palestinian territory and had no qualms about sharing the fact that we were Americans, nor did any of the Palestinians we encountered find that to be a problem.

I don’t want to downplay the problems in either of these two places, however I would like to offer an alternative story to the doom and gloom based on our experiences during our visits to each of these countries.  The protests we did see in Cairo were peaceful and we were approached by locals telling us not to worry we were safe, just avoid Tahrir Square.  In the rest of the country there was no sign of the political turmoil making international headlines.  People constantly asked if I felt safe or if I needed any help.

In Israel once I got over the fact that the military carry M-16s around I found the people were very helpful and excited to have us in the country.  In addition every Israeli I met was very candid about the current situation.  We were able to visit the Palestinian territory and make our own judgements, where again the people were kind and welcoming.

I offer these alternative stories about our positive experiences in both of these countries not to refute anything that has happened, but to offer another perspective.  To remind you that when you read those headlines they are about real people trying to live their life and fight for what is important to them, probably the same things that are important to you.  The world is a much safer place than the headlines would have you believe, don’t be afraid to find out for yourself.

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About the Author

LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.

About the Author
LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.
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