If our accountants complain we’ve gone over budget, again, we remind them that memories made while exploring the world continue to make us richer, long after the trip. In the past year, we have assembled a stockpile of such significant memories, involving everything from ancient Arabic graffiti to panoramic Peruvian breakfasts. In many ways, the stories we tell represent who we are, and we feel fortunate that such stories are a part of us. Here are just a few highlights from last year.
Exploring an Abandoned Monastery in Egypt
Our private motorboat pulled up to a palm-shaded dock on the Nile, on the opposite bank from Aswan. Nearby sat about a dozen camels. Their keepers roused three of the colorfully saddled animals, which grunted their reluctance to stand. Once atop our mounts, our galabeya-clad guide, Maher, led our little caravan into the fringe of the Sahara. Atop an inhospitable hill rose a crumbling mud wall of the seventh-century Monastery of St. Simeon. We had the sprawling complex of ruins to ourselves, which made it feel quite haunting. Maher led us inside to the cells where early Coptic Christian monks once slept. Graffiti covered the walls of one of the rooms, which used to host Muslim pilgrims. It was unexpectedly moving to listen to Maher translate the millennium-old messages, which ranged from “Ahmad was here” to “May Allah bless these kind monks.”