Sunday, 6 July 2014

Things I Couldn’t Quite Understand After Being On The Road For Seven Months [with Photos]

When I left Toronto in December 2013 I went back to Egypt for a visit. I had not seen my family and friends for more than three years and it was amazing reconnecting with them. Afterwards, I decided to roam around the U.S for some while as I work on finalising my first book. 

Throughout this short journey, I shared homes with cousins, friends, friends of friends, people I met through Facebook, and total strangers. Not knowing what to expect, it sure was a whole new endeavour. The reason I’m doing so is to look for the novelty and inspiration needed to get the story le raconteur in me has to say off my balls, which, as some of you may know, would be what I have been religiously doing those last 14 months of my life. Because, as always, Onwards Forwards we must go.

The thing with 
writing about dreams, the sub‘freakin’conscious mind, and the paradoxical theo-philosophical, metaphysical trivialities about the nature of humanity, along with our basic understanding of life and death could, sometimes, seems too overwhelming. So, I believe it’s a good idea to occasionally lighten up and indulge in a tad bit of a distraction; it’s an even better idea if we can have some chuckles while we’re at it. 

Another reason for embarking on this trip is to discover the America I never knew. Not the summer courses of UCLA or the winter trips to N.Y. You know, the other FOURTY EIGHT states with the many distinct cities, counties, towns, and people that are waiting to be explored, documented, and photographed. From the snowy charming towns of Illinois to the ‘420’ Denver, Colorado, to the famous Venice Beach in California and many places in between.

Being constantly on the go meant sleeping in trains, on couches, and in people’s bedrooms. Hotels were not really an option. After all, I was gratefully destined to grow up living in five-star hotels for 21 years of my life and worked in them for seven. I do love to occasionally visit for short stays and I sure do love to reminisce. But for now, homes and kitchens and new people to meet and the act of being on the road are the essential thrill in the experience. It is also cheaper, which is obviously a key element for a wanderer. With that being said, I did eventually reside in a small hotel as a long-stayer — because it was cheaper — and you can read about it on Hotel Living: Then and Now

Traveling and meeting new people teaches a lot about human nature, let alone living with them for some time. It teaches us what sharing is. It teaches us about genuine kindness, about humility as well as about virtues like tolerance and patience. Mostly, it shows us that we are One of many billions of other Earthlings — that we are all in this together. In reality, the whole experience naturally and healthily forces you to become less prejudiced and less limited-minded. Hands down, I see that traveling opens up the mind like nothing else. Well, perhaps along with psychedelics. 

So apart from all the obvious lessons this adventure has enriched me with, there are other things that have baffled me, which, out of courtesy, I had kept to myself… until now. The following are some of those not-so-punctilious ‘things’.

1- Using milk or cheese or butter or juice then leaving it outside the fridge until maybe a few hours later.

2- Leaving used tea bags or egg shells in the sink like they will disappear by themselves.

3- Leaving some lights on for the whole day. EVERYDAY.

4- Finishing the toilet paper and not replacing it even though the new roll is right there.

5- Using a dishwasher when you live by yourself.

6- Leaving the clothes you take off on the floor. It’s really the same idea with all the kitchen stuff and pretty much everything else. And I now feel compelled to ask: Isn’t it easier to put the clothes or anything else where they belong on the spot, or is there an advantage in procrastinating such little efforts? Understandably, that’s not in case you have one or more femme(s) de chambre.

7- Not knowing when it’s time to throw out — or wash — the kitchen sponge.

8- Closing the toilet’s lid after every usage. I have heard all sorts of theories and perceptions about this one. But the belief that the negatives energies, or the microscopic bacteria, or the smell, won’t go through that tiny area between the toilet and the actual lid isn’t too deep, nor is it convincing, for me. And that is why it made the list. 

9- Coming into a house and not saying hello to someone sitting there, not even a single acknowledging eye-contact.

10- This one is notoriously common. Short. Like. Attention. Span. Like. People who in the middle of a conversation would simply stop listening or happen to get distracted or even CUT YOU OFF when you’re fully immersed into a story or an explanation or some response. Yeah, like what the fuck, Pumpkin.

Again, I mainly thought about sharing this for humorous purposes. In a way to lighten up on myself, and hopefully on you too. At the same time, it’s a practical and fun way to chronicle my journey throughout the majestic lands of America and possibly the rest of the world soon.

That said, I will remain forever grateful to all those lovely people who have welcomed me into their homes. It truly was, and still is, one extraordinary adventure that I’m happy to share with you. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed putting it all up. Stay tuned for more photos  :}

The Never-ending Art Institute of Chicago
The Getty Museum in L.A
Charming Downtown Denver
Some wise words to live by on a wall in Venice

After 3 years in my self-induced exile in Canada my body has decided not to get cold again
Waiting for the wife of a Facebook friend to pick me up from literally THE middle of
nowhere. I had never met Jenna before that ride
Elburn, IL
Belle Isle Casino in Detroit City, Michigan

Part of the juices oozing out during the trip

Some wonderful vibe from a Sunday Venice Beach Drum Circle

Trying to master myself and ride my dragons is one of the main objectives of the journey
towards peace of mind
Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the American Midwest  near Kishwaukee
Venice Beach Mirage

The Colorado Mountains


Jogging in the middle of nowhere, Sycamore

The Denver Public Library

 The Arrowhead Effect

The Amazing Denver Art Museum

It feels GREAT to be lost in the right direction — The stunning mountains of Colorado

BreatheSomewhere around The Town of Sycamore, Illinois

This cabin actually exists in real. Ah...Droolin' in Colorado.

Training Izzy: The Rescued Egyptian Street Dog — Troy, Michigan

L.A Reflet 
“Breathe Deeper” — View From Santa Monica

Transcendental Beats: Ronald Mc Kinley (left) and Timothy 'Tim' on their djembés

The Bewitching Lake Arrowhead

I. “Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me
And do I take you by the hand
And lead you through the land
And help me understand the best I can”
— Echoes, Pink Floyd


III. “Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress
yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe
even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more
you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic
existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s
awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that
makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl
in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your
cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking
a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody
comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…”
― Timothy Leary

Relaxing up above @ 5,358.2 ft. by Lake Arrowhead after 5 hours of shooting

 “Travelingit leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.
Ibn Battuta” 


World Art Through My Lens 

Some People I Shot

More People I Shot

More Tripping Through Venice Beach Art

The Phenomenal Getty Villa in Photos

Photos I Shot That Brought Tears To My Eyes

Echoes From The Past — Alexandria in Photos
Hotel Living: Then and Now

Some Soulful Travel Quotes

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