Ahead of the trailblazing Cross Egypt Challenge, kicking off today, our Eihab Boraie sits down with the ultimate emperor of selfies Alex Chacon, to discuss why he left his career in medicine and decided to travel the world on a motorbike...
The nine-day 3,000 kilometre Cross Egypt Challenge officially hits the road today, Saturday, and documenting the awe-inspiring trip is none other than acclaimed selfie taker, videographer, and professional adventurer Alex Chacon.
Returning bigger and better than ever, the Cross Egypt Challenge is officially underway and has attracted many tourists to take the challenge, however none as famous as American Alex Chacon. Chacon reached international fame when he compiled the most epic 360 degree selfie of himself visiting 36 countries in 600 days. “I originally started off as a medical practitioner. I sold everything I had three years ago and I started travelling the world on a motorcycle. It wasn’t until I became a videographer that people really started noticing what I was doing,” explains Chacon.
By documenting a 360 selfie from each location he visited on his travels, Chacon found himself an overnight internet sensation, garnering over ten million views, in what is believed to be the most viewed selfie video ever. After successfully going viral, Chacon found himself being asked to continue capturing the world on his motorcycle adventures, which led him to Egypt. According to Chacon, “It’s definitely up my alley and I would have definitely done it even if this didn’t exist, but when they approached me I figured half the work is already done and thought how cool would it be to do with a bunch of people rather than to do it alone.”
At a press conference held at the Marriott this week, I happened to meet a few fellow Canadians who were returning specifically to participate in their second Cross Egypt Challenge. “We love motorcycling and we always wanted to go to Egypt so we found a way to combine. Last year there was a lot of trepidation! A lot of bad press going around, but the organisers did a very good job of calming everybody’s fears and we took a chance and came and we had the trip of a lifetime! So much so that we came back and brought friends,” explains Barbara about her decision to return for the challenge.
As the group of adventurers prepare to take off, Alex Chacon informs me that even if you can’t come along for the challenge, you can still catch all the excitement. “The project starts in Alexandria and I think we’re going to the Red Sea, all the way down the Nile, almost to Sudan and back up the Nile through Luxor. That’s the whole scope of the trip and everything is going to be documented on videos starting now as we are speaking until the very end.” For each leg of the tour Chacon will be uploading videos and photos so that everyone can vicariously live through his adventures across Egypt on his website The Modern Motorcycle Diaries.
With Alex Chacon leaving medical school to travel foreign lands while keeping a motorcycle diary, you may be thinking that he is secretly Ernesto Che Guevera, but Chacon assures me he is not. What he is, is a man chasing dreams, following his passion, and finding success through determination while showcasing why Egypt is a magical destination that tourist shouldn’t fear visiting.
The Cross Egypt Challenge is the kind of initiative that Egypt needs more of if they hope to encourage tourists to return. All too often the Egyptian tourism industry forgets just how many breathtaking sites exist here, and instead of trying to lure tourists to beach resorts, they should be promoting tours that give tourists the opportunity to explore everything this country has to offer. It is for this reason that we suggest that if you can only visit Egypt once, to consider taking the Cross Egypt Challenge, as it is the only tour that packs in everything you needs to see conveniently in one trip.
To learn more about the Cross Egypt Challenge visit them here.