Egyptian globe-trotter Islam Kamel embarked on many adventures. He climbed the world’s most famous mountains, swam with white sharks in the Atlantic, walked alongside lions in the jungles of Zambia, befriended the gorillas of the Congo mountains, and crossed the world’s most turbulent rivers in a rubber boat. He is also the first Arab to dive under the Antarctic ice sheet, among many other adventures. But when we asked him about the most difficult adventure he has had, his answer is unexpected: “The most dangerous and difficult journey I embarked on was the journey of discovering myself, my inner journey.”
Islam finds that travel gives him the chance to rediscover himself. He says, “I find that during travel, no matter how strange the destination is, it’s another journey to the inside, to discover the self, challenge it, test the limits of its skill; it is a chance to develop and grow into a better human being on several levels. I used to fear, water, dogs, and even cats! Then, in one moment, I decided to face all these fears, to push past their limits. For example, if I feared sharks, then I would have to swim with them and so in constantly pushing the limits of what I thought were my maximum abilities. I started testing myself in different situations when I found that only when we give ourselves the chance to try are we really surprised with what we can do. That is the basis of my philosophy in life now.”
Read the full Arabic article by Mustafa Fathi.