Rise 🚀

Rise 🚀

Baron and I scurried in the 4 AM darkness outside our Luxor hotel. It was a chilly November morning, as we piled into our shuttle that took us to the Nile. Though blurry-eyed, our excitement was as clear as that starlit, cloudless night sky.

We hopped onto a boat that took us to the West Bank. Onboard, warm hibiscus tea and biscuits welcomed us. It was a perfect way to start our sunrise adventure!

The skies were still dark when another shuttle whisked us to our next stop. As we approached our destination, I couldn't help but look back... even as a little girl, hot air balloons were a favorite subject in my drawings and art projects. There was something magical about those giant lanterns floating upwards to the sky. 🚀

Today, I was going to ride one.

Our ascent was smooth and the ground slowly disappeared beneath us. As we gently rose into the dawn sky, I couldn't hold back my tonsil-reverberating Calica shriek. It's a signature happy shriek, my sisters and I do this every time we express joy!

The marmalade sunrise peeked over the horizon and greeted us "Sabah el kheir" or good morning in Egyptian. My drawings have come to life! 🎨

We sailed over the snaking River Nile, arid deserts, the Valley of Kings, and Queen Hatshepsut's Temple. Witnessing history from hundreds of feet into the clouds was jaw-dropping. Just the other day we walked into these same tombs and temples, came face-to-face with their majesty, felt the verve of conquests and rebellion of a bygone era on their walls.

Now, looking at these monuments from a different vantage point, all were peaceful and serene.

With the desert wind on my face and the Egyptian sunrise on my cheeks, that one-hour balloon flight was just sublime.

Finally, it was time to land.

As we made our descent, the ground crew chased our gondola, like fans at the heels of their favorite rockstars after a spectacular show. This was ours.

Truly unforgettable.

The Luxor balloon flight, more than just an epic adventure, was a precious reminder for me. When we come across situations that seem monumental and daunting, all we need is a change in perspective. Simply take a mental hot air balloon ride and rise high above it.

When we can look at life's valleys of challenges from a different angle, we realize they are not as insurmountable as we think they are. 🙏

Enjoy the ride! 🚀

I drew this moment into life. It was exhilarating!

Wakey, wakey with pre-flight refreshments of hibiscus tea and biscuits.

On the launch site, ready to board!

A glorious marmalade sunrise peeking over the horizon!

Can you spot Queen Hatshepsut Temple at 11 o'clock? Hundreds of feet above the ground, this majestic temple looks like slices of cream wafers.

Behold, fertile land of sugarcane and other crops.

 Together with our flight buddies, our smiles and thrill lit up the skies.

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