Written by Raghda Ashraf 


clockwise from upper left:
clockwise from upper left: journal, Bdaya, FRIENDS, duolingo, biking, Osmanly restaurant, spa, Qaitbay

The fact of being in August already and knowing that in less than a month I will be starting my next semester, brings butterflies to my stomach. Not to mention that every year I do my own version of “A vacation bucket list” which usually ends up less than 3% done! Since it is really coming to an end we must think out of the box to see how could we possibly seize this month. Below you will find some ideas that I think you really shouldn’t miss this vacation.

1.  Keep a journal with you:

Keep a Journal

This one I personally have been doing for more than 10 years now. Whether you love writing or not but documenting the details of a special day, event, trip or whatever that could make a memory dance inside your head and your mouth stretch from ear to ear is literally indescribable! With the social media taking over, memories became limited to photos, or emails and messages since even letters which someone -like me- used to write years ago and meant something as a kid are almost nothing now. We fool ourselves with spending more than half the day, if not all, being online. So why not have a journal to which we could look back years later to bring us right back to the day’s details?

On a side Note, don’t wait for the day to come to start your journal. If you already remember anything from a certain day that you really enjoyed or even a comment/compliment from someone that made your day, grab the pen and write it down NOW before you forget. Believe me I have done it before and was never able to remember all the details as I thought. THE SOONER THE BETTER!

2.  Volunteer:

Bdaya Organisation
Bdaya Organisation

You are in the peak of your happiest age, you are blessed with health, education, knowledge, and a lot of other things, why not give back to your community and those really in need? Volunteering makes you discover the best things in yourself, things you thought didn’t exist. It shows you how your existence can really mean something for others out there, and how God placed you in the life of others for a reason.

Use your time and energy for a good cause, and you will find yourself falling in love with it before you already know it. So gather friends and give it a try!

P.S: if you already know an NGO that you volunteer in or want to share with us your experience in volunteering feel free to tell us all about it in the comments section below!

My own suggestion, try applying in one of those charitable NGOs in your university there are many now in all universities (BDAYA, AYB, Nebny) and a lot more outside too.

3.  Get in shape with a friend:

Photo source
Photo source

Despite my EPIC FAIL to do this, but I swear I still have the intention at least. Of course we all know the plans to get the fit body we have always wished for, but ditching a movie night or a friends’ outing to hit the GYM sometimes can really be a hard choice. Encourage each-other and hit the gym!

Here is a very useful website for gyms in Cairo where you can find the nearest gym –No excuses- all you have to do now is just call a friend: Cairo Gyms

4.  Go for a “train” TRIP:

Qaitbay Fortress in Alexandria
Qaitbay Fortress in Alexandria

When a train is mentioned the first thing that pops into my mind is Alexandria. The train line almost works 24/7, so why not break the road-trip tradition and go via train with some friends for only one day and explore the hidden beauty of the mermaid of the Mediterranean?

Here are some activities you can do there:

  • Go visit citadel of Qaitbay;
  • Discover the royal library of Alex Bibliotheca Alexandrina. “It is really fascinating when you enter it; I was amazed by the amount of knowledge in this place!”;
  • Take a tour in Al Montazah palace;
  • Walk on Stanely Bridge and eat grilled corn;
  • Rent a bike in Ma’amoura;
  • Indulge in their refreshing ice-cream (Recommendations for places you can go for: Elsheikh Wafeek, located at 34, Kasr Elteen St, Baharey, Alexandria).

5.  Learn Something New

When it comes to cooking or playing a new instrument or speaking a foreign language or practicing another skill, all of these need learning and training. But most importantly TIME which we all lack in our academic year. Seize the vacation to develop yourself and add experience for your next years.

Left: Duolingo app – Right: Joy of Baking app

Check these online apps/ websites for recommendations:

6.  Who said the SPA can’t be at your home?

spa at home

Who doesn’t want to feel rejuvenated and relaxed every now and then –if not daily- without paying a lot? You will find some of the DIY spa tricks in the links below to do right at your place!

7.  Sometimes it is not only about food:

Left: Osmanly Restaurant – Right: Enab Beirut

With all the so many “let’s hang out guys” we will get bored by time with going to the same restaurants over & over, and sometimes it is not always about food. Here you will find some unique restaurants with exceptional ambience and features which I think you would rather spend the whole day at; like this place called Oldish over here! 

Also check out Tripadvisor: 10 best Restaurants near InterContinental Cairo Semiramis

8.  Do crazy things

from right to left: ride a bike, fly a kite, have a picnic
from right to left: ride a bike, fly a kite, have a picnic

With our boring repeated days, we don’t think much of the crazy things that we can do to crush this feeling.

If you are still wondering how “Crazy” could you possibly go, here are some ideas:

  • Have an epic karaoke night at your house;
  • Rent a bike for a week and see how it works out for you;
  • Have an incredibly elaborate picnic on your university’s green space one lunch time;
  • Have an 80s costume party with appropriate outfits and music blaring; 
  • Make a kite and fly it

What do you think?

Which activity are you likely to try out? Do you have other activity ideas you’d like to share with us? Leave a comment and let us know!