One of the great things about travelling is the people you meet. And we met a lot of people during this trip through the Middle East and Africa. People of all cultures, races and religions – each with their own personal story. People who received us in their homes, showed us around their country, made us breakfast, did our laundry and gave us massages. All the people we met are proud of their country and the job they’re doing. They wanted to share their enthusiasm with us and make sure that their place became ours too.
In Petra, we met a Bedouin guide who said: “Petra is the most beautiful place on earth.” And when we asked him whether he had ever been anywhere else, he replied: “Why should I, I live in the most beautiful place on earth!”
We experienced things that money can’t buy – for us that is the definition of real luxury. In Zanzibar a waiter climbed up a palm tree to make us a really fresh coconut juice; in Djibouti a whale shark swam with us for 15 minutes; in Tanzania, her Highness Kilimanjaro granted us an audience when she peeked out from behind the cloud cover for a few moments. Along the way, many people have asked about our most memorable or exciting experience or our favourite destination. Climbing Big Daddy in Namibia’s Sossusvlei, tracking a lion with the Bushmen in Etosha or looking down from the world’s highest building in Dubai? It is impossible to say: the experiences were too diverse, they are incomparable. But we have come home with endless stories to share, memories to savour and countless new Facebook friends from Abu Dhabi to Zanzibar.
Each person we met along the way contributed to making our trip an unforgettable experience. Without them, it would have been impossible to compile this book.
And so this is where we would like to say to them: thank you, merci, vielen dank, shukran, asante sana, gad degue, mahad cenid, baie dankie.