My name is Omar Samra, I’m from Egypt and I’m 32 years old. I was born in London, and despite living in Cairo (map) for most of my life; I have also lived and worked in Hong Kong, Dubai and several parts of Latin America. These experiences have given me a greater appreciation of the world and fueled my passion for travel from a young age. Two of my most cherished experiences are a 370-day journey across Asia and Latin America in 2003 and becoming the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to summit Everest in 2007.
Funnily enough, I began my career as an investment banker and investments professional, but finally saw the light and decided to follow my heart and intuition to start up my own adventure travel company called Wild Guanabana in May of 2009. Facilitating the means for others to embark on fascinating journeys around the world is a true joy and something I find extremely fulfilling.
As a mountaineering- and nature-lover, I have become all too familiar with the effects of climate change, including seeing century-old glaciers recede at an alarming rate. To this end I try to implement sound environmental and social sustainability practices in the trips we design. This year we became the first carbon neutral travel company in the Middle East and North Africa. My own personal life measures are less than ideal and this needs to change.
Right now I live in Egypt’s large and charming capital, Cairo. We are a city of roughly 18 million inhabitants, which makes us one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Sadly, it is also one of the most polluted and energy conservation is very low on people’s agendas if at all. I hope that participation in this exercise will increase my knowledge of the effect our lifestyle has on the environment and what we can do to reduce it. I also hope that I can stay committed to reducing my own carbon footprint as I believe this may help motivate and inspire others, especially in the Arab world, to do the same and bring this vital topic more into the mainstream and at the forefront of people’s minds.
For the first couple of weeks of this blog I will be in an entirely different place attempting to climb the highest mountain in the Americas, Aconcagua in Argentina (map), on my own. This is part of my quest to climb the highest mountain on every continent, known as the Seven Summits, of which I have completed four so far. It will be interesting to see how I can implement the energy diet from such a remote and inhospitable environment. I hope you will find my stories and images interesting and enjoyable. You can also visit omarsamra.com for more information.