Declaring your own nation? Here are my travel tips.

Tripoto

Kingdom of Dixit

Photo of Declaring your own nation? Here are my travel tips. by Suyash Dixit

Not bragging but if you are always active on social media then there is a strong chance that you might have heard my name a couple of days back. I am Suyash Dixit and I have recently declared my own nation, Kingdom of Dixit (KoD). Hereby, I am going to tell you how my past experiences helped me in my recent adventurous visit to Egypt.

I am co-founder and CEO of my company and also a part of Google Developer Group. I feel lucky as I get to travel a lot to multiple places for work and also for a vacation. Even when I travel for work, I try to spare 2-3 extra days just to explore the city. I am only 24 and I have traveled to US, Thailand, Sri Lanka, UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Egypt and also KoD (I would like to recognize it as a country) in just last three years after my graduation. 

Recently, I went to Egypt as a speaker for Google's tech conference but just after that I explored Egypt, "my way". So here it goes:

Not bragging but if you are always active on social media then there's a good chance you might have heard my name a couple of days ago. I am Suyash Dixit and recently I declared my own nation Kingdom of Dixit (KoD). I am going to tell you what how my past experiences helped me in my last adventure in Egypt.

I am a co-founder and CEO of my company and also a part of Google Developers Group. I am very lucky that I get to travel multiple places sometimes or work and sometimes for vacation. Even when I travel for work I try to find 2-3 extra days to explore that city. I am 24 and I have traveled to US, Thailand, Sri Lanka, UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Egypt and recently KoD (I want to recognize it as a country) in just past three years after my graduation. I recently went to Egypt as a speaker in Google's tech conference but after that went to explore Egypt, "my way". Here it goes:

1. Find more than just "10 Places to Visit". Get local.

When I plan my trip I always look for some extraordinary places I can visit when I am on my vacations. Always look for more than just “things to visit” locations and you might end up making your own country just as I did. Avoiding touristy cliche and talking more with locals and always eating local food always help me to know a culture more. A simple hack is to find locals through social media and that’s what I always do. I love reading stories on Tripoto and it helps in finding unique places I can visit that others just can never get to.

I remember how it all started with my Bir Tawil trip. I was looking at Google Maps for the places I can visit after my conference and I saw Bir Tawil. I learned about Bir Tawil 6-7 years ago and it sounded fascinating. I talked to 3-4 local friends I met online and from work to gather more information. When I was in Egypt, my friend Esraa became my local guide and took me pyramids and nearby. I love to explore local cultures, finding differences and similarities with my community.

2. Find your photographic spots before visiting.

We love clicking pictures. I travel with my drone, GoPro, DSLR and 3 different lenses because I love to click pictures when I travel. You can find some of my photos here: https://www.instagram.com/suyashdixitphotography/

I always look for photographs on Unsplash, Flicker, Pinterest, and 500px before I visit any place. This helps me in making my mind for the kind of pictures I can click and get inspired from other photographers. I always look for spots on street maps. I remember before going to Nigeria Falls I checked almost every picture on Flicker to find few sweet photogenic spots.

My trip to Bir Tawil required some great preparation with my brother Suyog. Our plan sounded crazy and dangerous but if your travel bucket-list doesn't give you goosebumps then it is not worth doing.

3. Timing is the key

Most of the great tourist places these days are crowded during the day or peak time and it sucks. I never like to take tourist tours instead if it’s a historic place I go for the private tour. Picking a time to visit is most important. Maya Bay is the best example here. I went for camping at Maya Bay (did you watch a movie, "The Beach" of DiCaprio?). During the day, you can see thousands of tourist on a small beach of the beautiful island. You just cannot enjoy that and so I did some research and booked Sleep-aboard tour that takes you there during the evening and you spend a night there. Same goes for my trip to Abu Simbel (a small village but hot tourist spot). Generally, tourists visit it during the day with tours and could never enjoy it. Instead, I stayed there for the night and enjoyed it when I was the only one in the entire complex. In a nutshell, timing is important.

I planned my Bir Tawil trip accordingly; picked a long clear-sky day with a full-moon night. The area surrounding Bir Tawil is miliary guarded and have terrorist activities and so we have to return before it is too dark. We could not turn on head lights of our car as it can be seen from miles so picking full-moon night is the best option.

4. Veggie? Well... good luck with that!

Being a veggie is a big issue in a meat-loving country like Egypt but if you talk to locals they’ll help you everything. My local friend Esraa prepared a note for me in Arabic roughly translates to, “I cannot speak Arabic and I am on the fast. I am a veggie so no meat, beef, chicken or fish”

انا مبعرفش اتكلم عربي

شورلي علي الاكل الصيامي لو فيه

مش عايز اى حاجه فيها لحمه او فراخ او بيض او سمك

خضار و بس اكل صيامى من الاخر

My other friend Rifai took me to a local restaurant and made me eat almost all the veggie dishes he could find on the menu. I clicked pictures of all of them and jotted down the names. I used that Arabic note above and these pictures for my rest of the trip in Egypt.

5. Insurance

ALWAYS travel with insurance. Trust me, I know what I am saying! When you are in the middle of the desert with no living things in miles, you start recalling your insurance policies. There are always some risks when you travel and I have a friend who does my insurance on the phone. I like to think it as just some money I wasted in a shopping mall. I look back and think I shouldn't have taken that much risk with my trip but I am glad it ended well. Get your gears insured too. I left all my valuables behind when I got in the car to Bir Tawil.

6. Always share your location details with someone (even if it is a secret trip)

My family is always concerned with my travel plans. I never told about my Bir Tawil trip to my parents. They knew that I am going on desert safari for a day. I came back and told my dad, "Hey! How about you become a President of a country?" and told him everything. As you can imagine, he was happy but then my mom took over the phone for next 1 hour... and... you know...! Only my brother knew about the trip and my itinerary and every detail about it. I told my local friend to start calling listed people one by one if you do not receive my words by midnight.

7. Keep sharing

I love sharing my experiences on social media. You never know it might make you the most trending person on the entire internet for a week! Write about your experiences on websites like Tripoto and it might make someone's trip memorable.

8. Bonus: Get lucky!

Want to be the only passenger in flight? Get lucky. When I went to South of Egypt to Abu Simbel from Cairo(capital of Egypt) I took an Egypt Air flight and luckily I was the only passenger on the flight. It was epic fun. I got treated like a VIP by both pilots and cabin crew. I remember we all were laughing when air hostess was giving me safety instructions.

Photo of Bir Tawil by Suyash Dixit
Photo of Bir Tawil by Suyash Dixit
Photo of Bir Tawil by Suyash Dixit
Photo of Bir Tawil by Suyash Dixit
Photo of Bir Tawil by Suyash Dixit
Photo of Bir Tawil by Suyash Dixit
Photo of Bir Tawil by Suyash Dixit
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