This story was written for Peregrine Adventures and posted on their website on October 19, 2018. Below is an excerpt, but you can read the full article on their website here: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/blog/19/10/2018/solo-female-traveller-in-the-middle-east/
I didn’t know when I first went to the Middle East in 2003, that I was going to fall head over heels in love with it. At the time, I was looking for a trip that I considered ‘daring’, and so I booked an overland excursion from Istanbul to Cairo.
No one would go with me. I suggested the idea to a few friends, espousing the journey as an adventure of a lifetime, an Indiana Jones dream trip with opportunities to run amok in crusader castles and ride camels through Lawrence of Arabia’s desert. But nope. Not a single person wanted to come with me.
Because the Middle East is a dangerous place to travel. Or, so says the media.
Media is so omnipresent. It constantly reaches into our days on the little devices in our pockets or on the big screens in our living room. News, especially, has a way of skewing stories depending on which network is reporting and what their agenda is. And, we as humans, are expert at filtering information so that just those bits that support our way of thinking are the ones we allow to penetrate.
In so many ways, the Middle East is a victim of this. My beloved, beloved Middle East.
We hear about everything from war and terrorism to religious extremism and denial of woman’s rights. If those are the only stories that reach us, then, of course, we are going to think that the Middle East isn’t a place to explore. But, I have a different story to tell – a love story.