Intrepid traveller Ahmed El Sherif has been on 32 Intrepid trips – yep, 32! – with more planned over the next 12 months. We sat down to find out where he’s been, where he’s going and why he loves the Intrepid experience so much.
Ahmed, tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in Cairo, Egypt, and I am 71 years old. I’ve always loved seeing the world, even when I was a student. I’m retired now and my kids have grown up, so I’ve got more time for discovering other countries.
At first, I travelled on my own but I found it very boring – I like having someone to talk to. That’s why I enjoy Intrepid trips so much; when you’re getting around in a small group, it’s easier to make those connections.
You’ve been on over 30 Intrepid trips. Why do you like travelling with us so much?
I’ve toured around with other travel companies, but it’s not the same; those trips tend to focus on the big cities and you don’t really experience much of the local culture. But Intrepid is different – Intrepid people are my kind of people! In fact, I’ve met most of my friends on Intrepid adventures. I never expected to make so many new friends after retirement. Making friends is actually the main reason I travel.
Tell us about some of your favourite destinations.
There are so many, and I’ve been to lots of places more than once! Visiting a country like China or Thailand one time doesn’t do it justice, because there’s so much to see, learn and experience. (I’ve been to both those countries five times.)
I’ve done Intrepid trips all over the world: the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Costa Rica, Kenya… I’ve even done an Intrepid trip in my home country of Egypt. Believe it or not, there were so many things I hadn’t seen on that trip, and I’ve lived here my whole life!
After the COVID lockdown lifted and borders reopened, my first adventure was to Croatia. It was nice to be travelling again, and I was so happy to get those stamps in my passport. I feel free again! My next adventure will be to the Netherlands in the summer next year – I can’t wait.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to travel, but might feel nervous about doing so?
My life motto is ‘why not?’ Travelling is one of the best things you can do. It’s an opportunity to see new things, learn, eat some incredible food and – of course – meet new people. If you have the desire to get out and explore the world, I say do it!
After almost two years of not being able to travel due to the pandemic, it’s really highlighted to me that we’ll never get that time back, so it’s important to make the most of every minute we have.