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Fayoum: A Moment of Silence for Escaping the City

Fayoum: A Moment of Silence for Escaping the City

Landscapes are the new skyscraper. And I have a thing for views.

Don't get me wrong I'm a city girl at heart, I love the chaos. The people. The cars, and motorcycles, even the occasional siren or two. It makes me feel engaged, as though even if my own world isn't buzzing in the moment ... everything else is.

 Images by the awesome  Tamara El Tanani

Images by the awesome Tamara El Tanani

There's a line from a song I used to love that says " ... the world spins madly on." which in every single sense of the phrase is true. It doesn't matter where you are, or what you're doing or with who ... the world spins madly on. Isn't that the point of being very much alive? 

There's a reason that people turn to nature or yoga or solitude, in moments when we're searching for peace of mind. At the end of the day, city life offers the exact opposite of that. It offers distractions and stimulations in abundance, but never peace. 

Fayoum is a smaller governorate on the outskirts of Cairo where we're based, with not much to offer but beautiful scenery and a genuinely wholesome getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

 Image by Tamara El Tanani

Image by Tamara El Tanani

We stayed at Byoum, a Lakeside hotel that allows, in my opinion, for the best of both worlds. A comfortable hotel experience, as well as close proximity and access to daytime ventures such as off roading, sand duning and an authentic Bedouin experience. 

For many this approach to exploring Fayoum, the poorest of all Egyptian governorates, is somewhat of a cheat sheet. Since camping and staying at Eco Lodges are part of the experience - something I'll save for next time - but sometimes balance is good and at the end of the day it depends on what you're really looking to get out of a weekend.

 Image by Tamara El Tanani

Image by Tamara El Tanani

Back to landscapes. Driving at 50mph into absolute nothingness, with no sounds but the crackling of sand in your ears and and the groovy melody of a soundcloud remix buzzing in the background is something akin to meditation. City life is exhilarating, but taking a step back to experience natural habitats, to actively pause and reflect, and maybe even acknowledge that the world is spinning madly on, but you're choosing not to in that moment, makes all the difference. I think this is what people refer to as perspective ...

 Image by Tamara El Tanani

Image by Tamara El Tanani

We spent the day in the desert, had lunch at a Bedouin rest stop, then drove back to the hotel just in time for sunset. It was simple. But very much ideal.

Radical is a platform that encourages growth and searches for inspiration in people, in places and in things. As a writer I've found that comfort zones are dangerous, and even if it's something as insignificant as driving around barren lands for an hour, it makes a difference. 

 Image by Tamara El Tanani

Image by Tamara El Tanani

Would I recommend Fayoum? Absolutely. Because we've all been to parties and danced all night long. For a change, maybe try something new and allow yourself to quite literally, stop and stare. 

Ps. Special thanks to Karima El Hakim for organising this trip. Article cover photo by Nathalie Guindi.

Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.
— Drake
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