“The real story behind every perfect photo, isn’t always a perfect place,” Lauren Bullen said on one of her blog posts that featured a cinematic photo of herself posing in front of the Sphinx, and the Great Pyramid of Giza. The infuriating comment left us with no choice but to swipe upwards.
Bullen, known as Gypsea Lust on Instagram, is an Australian travel blogger who happens to be one of the biggest names in the field. The popular blogger travels the world with her significant other, Jack Morris — known as doyoutravel. A few months ago, the pair posted a series of beautiful photographs of their trip to Egypt that has garnered some much-needed attention to the country, but her latest post was a game changer.
Bullen is considered as a credible source to her two million Instagram followers. In her post, she states that their trip wasn’t sponsored whatsoever and that she had to share her how she truly felt about their experience. It turns out that the couple’s experience didn’t quite meet their expectations one bit. It started the moment they arrived to the airport in Cairo, she stresses.
They found out that carrying a gimbal camera stabilizer in Egypt was not the best idea, which is why they were taken to the customs and had to watch cops jabbing into their camera gear. She explains that they were made to wait for hours with no clear explanation to what the problem is. Eventually, the issue was resolved, but little did they know that more problems will come their way once they get to the Pyramids. Visiting the ancient site is a dream to many, but it can easily turn into a nightmare once you step foot into Nazlet El Seman. The couple, of course, had their share of endless, aggressive attempts from locals who tried to force them to ride a camel or a horse. Bullen, also, added how shocked she was when she saw how animals were treated. “The way they were whipping the horses was horrific, I had to close my eyes, I was so upset. One horse we passed by was bleeding from the mouth”, she said.
The travel duo had better a experience in Luxor and Aswan, which was probably due to the fact that people there are much more aware of the value and importance of tourism. According to Bullen, getting lost for two hours in Cairo’s traffic was the worst way to end their trip. Bullen said that she always feels upset whenever her trips are coming to an end, but this time she had something totally different to add, “Morris and I both agreed that we wouldn’t rush back to Egypt.”
We, as Egyptians, may have gotten used to the current circumstances and have learned to adapt. However, we shouldn’t expect tourists to accept such treatment and attitude — and honestly, why should they? How can we expect this country’s tourism to go back to the way it was when tourists are faced with such horrendous situations upon arriving to touristic sites?
If the street vendors working at the Pyramids are scaring off all the tourists, then how are we allowing them to continue to work there? If animals are being mistreated at Nazlet El Seman (or Giza Zoo), how can we let such atrocious acts continue happening?
There needs to be a solution, an immediate one, for this country, to help restore tourism — or these sponsored Instagram posts and massive campaigns are all for naught. If we’re not going to face the root of the problems, suggest solutions for them, and commit to resolving each and every one of them — then what are we doing?
Proper management is paramount, and we need it now more than ever. Egypt has so much to offer the world, but change needs to come from within.