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| by The Fustany Team

Step Inside the World of Rana Kandil, an Egyptian Explorer Who Loves to Travel!

Rana Kandil is a 20-something adventurous Egyptian woman. She recently started her journey as a travel writer, where her intricate mind and inquisitive heart drive her endless visions. Rana's Instagram account is where she documents her snaps and thoughts, and it's called @ThatWanderWoman. We had a little chat with the wanderer herself, so read on to know everything from her favorite destinations to her top travel tips.

How did you become a travel writer?
I like to think of it more as something I do, rather than something I’ve become. I’ve always had a knack for writing which I inherited from my mother, and I’ve always been a curious child. This curiosity later brewed into more of a spiritual pursuit; the endless quest to find purpose and to know more. But only recently did I consider uniting the two together which I’ve been finding to be quite liberating.

What kind of traveler are you?
When I consider the act and meaning of ‘travel,’ I don’t interpret it with the typical sense of the word. I don’t believe that I have to physically move to travel. I travel in my imagination all the time; travel to me is the travel of the mind and the heart.

Taken by Rana Kandil @ThatWanderWoman / Qena - Dendera 'Hathour' Temple Complex 

Out of all the countries you have visited, which one has captivated you the most, and why?
It’s a difficult one to answer. Every place has the power to captivate you in one way or another, depending on what state of mind you’re in. A turning point for me, however, was my trip to Luxor last winter. I stood where the greatest of people lived and the most glorious of kings ruled. Something about experiencing the past amuses me, and Luxor has the power to make you feel like you’ve been teleported into a far-away place, caught in a linear stretch of time. I was truly charmed by its mystical beauty and I still am; it delightfully shaped my perspective on life.

Have you ever dealt with travel disappointment? Tell us about it.
Nothing more uncommon than what every traveler experiences on average, but I always try to find a lesson in those hiccups. Challenges are part of the package, and they’re what make any journey in life all the more interesting. Disappointments are also a healthy reminder to stay grounded, giving you a chance to re-assess your expectations and whether they’ve been truly earned.

Taken by Rana Kandil @ThatWanderWoman / Luxor - Valley of the Kings

If you could point your finger at a country and be there right now, where would that be?
Definitely, Morocco. I have the whole trip imagined in my mind already!

Can you share some of the best ways to research a travel destination before the trip?
I always find it the best to consult like-minded travelers or friends, especially ones who have either already lived in the destination or got to experience it long-term. Experiencing destinations like a local, not a visitor, always makes for a more enriching trip. So, my advice is to find a local and make them your buddy! Also, it’s always good to leave room for days in your trip to be completely unplanned, to allow for beautiful discoveries to sneak their way to you.

Taken by Rana Kandil @ThatWanderWoman / Madrid - Calle Serrano

Photos keep the travel memories alive! Do you have any tips to take great snapshots?
I always like to observe my surroundings first, finding interesting subjects and creating a story in my mind before taking my captures. This could stretch anywhere from 3 seconds to 3 hours. I find that a great shot is one with meaning and possibly an added value to the viewer; it’s one that gets you thinking. If you have a good eye for detail and a basic understanding of light and shadow, you can manage to capture a decent photo, whether you’re using your smartphone camera or a specialized lens. And of course, practice makes perfect.

Are you pro solo female travel? Share with us your experience if you’ve tried it.
I see gender having nothing to do with it. I definitely encourage that everybody, at some point in their lives, drops their routine and dedicates a good amount of time for traveling and discovering other parts of the world, whether solo or with like-minded groups. Of course, traveling solo gets you one step closer to cope outside your comfort level, which is where the magic begins. There is a reason why we’re so small and the world is so big. The effect it can have on your identity, character-building, and understanding of the world as we know it is priceless, and surely a treasure to keep.

Taken by Rana Kandil @ThatWanderWoman / Barcelona - Hotel Gran Via

Agree or Disagree: Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer!
Your memories will always remain your richest. They will be all you have when you’ve gone grey and have nothing but time and reflection to do. So, give yourself something interesting to think about!

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