Another Unauthorized SOM International Experience: Spring Break in EGYPT!

February 23, 2008

Though it feels like I just got back from my winter break in Chile and Argentina, whispers of spring break plans have been heard around the halls of Yale SOM over the past few weeks. Now with spring break about 2.5 weeks away, the whispers have turned to full-blown plans, and just like that plane tickets have been purchased for the next trip - EGYPT! Not exactly the most common spring break destination, I know, but Egypt has definitely been on my targeted list of countries to see ever since I was a kid. Reprising his role as go-to-travel-companion will be Paul Ip, last seen in the Chile and Argentina pics a few entries prior to this one. So far the only details we've established are our departure/return dates - We leave for Cairo on Thursday March 6th and will return to NYC on Friday March 21st, effectively giving us two weeks in the Land of the Pharaohs. Other than that, very few plans are set in stone (understandable since we just bought plane tickets this week), though the general idea is to spend some time in Cairo, Alexandria, and Luxor. Before settling on Egypt several alternative locations were debated. With a rival trip being planned by a few of my classmates to Central America (Nicaragua/Costa Rica), that destination was naturally considered. Russia was also a contender for a while, as was South East Asia (Cambodia/Vietnam/Laos) and Eastern Europe. Ultimately though, I've never been to Northern Africa and I felt most jazzed about Egypt - Pyramids... the Nile River... Valley of the Kings.... The Sphynx.... eating lots of Shawarma.... should be fun times. Spring break is also a little bitter sweet for me since it reminds me of the irrefutable truth that the end of the MBA is around the corner. Upon returning, we have roughly 6 weeks left of class before the whole Yale experience is done, pretty scary when I think about it. Still though, with trips to South Africa/Tanzania (Mandatory International Experience last year as part of the SOM curriculum), Brazil (Pro-bono consulting over spring break for GSE), Chile and Argentina (fun and games over winter break, see a few entries back) and Egypt soon to be under my belt, I'm grateful for the insane amounts of traveling that an MBA program affords. After all, where else can you find a such a large group of people who have overlapping vacations and common interests to go traveling with?

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Patrick Ma