Here is a look at daily life for a Black expat in Luxor, Egypt. With more curiosity about what it means to be a Black expat in Africa, we reached out to Matrell to share the daily realities of life in Luxor, a region formerly known as the Ancient City of Thebes in Upper Egypt which flanks both banks of the Nile.

Matrell is a long-time lover of Africa and is adjusting to life in Egypt as a semi-retired traveler, tour-guide and vlogger/blogger. As a foodie and long-time wanderer, Matrell has created a life in Egypt that has allowed her to embrace, discover and affirm a way of life that offers stillness and an abundance of history.

While documenting her lifestyle online, it is easy to see why Luxor is the place she now calls home.

Courtesy: Matrell

Committed to ‘living her best life on the west bank’, Matrell shares what a day in her life looks like as a Black expat in Egypt, in the incomparable grandness that is the city of Luxor:

I live on the west bank side in the small village of Ramla. Here I have the best of both worlds because my village is nestled between the Theban Mountain range and the Nile River. I enjoy the view of both from my rooftop, where I dine daily just to take in the sights. 

I have been living here nearly 2 years and every day is a new experience filled with beautiful sunshine and peace. I absolutely love living within a stone’s throw of the river and having easy access to the east bank side by ferry boat whenever I need to go into the city.  I love it here! There are 365 days filled with sunshine here in Egypt, this is how I spend one of them.

8:00 am – On the weekends I do most of my exploring so on Saturday morning I get up early, enjoy a lemon tea then do 30 minutes of exercise.  I alternate between yoga and weight training.

9:00 am – I am off walking to the market for fresh produce and hot baked bread.  I will also visit the local mom & pop grocery shop to get staples such as oils and grains, then it’s on to the spice and nut shop before getting fresh cut flowers from the local florist.  They last the whole week, it’s wonderful. I enjoy patronizing the small shops over mega stores any day.  Knowing that the money I spend is supporting a family directly brings me joy.

Courtesy: Matrell

11:00 am – After returning home and putting everything away, I change into athletic wear then head to the mountain by car, after stopping to get fresh sugar cane juice, to visit one of the 411 noble tombs.  I enjoy learning how the families lived in ancient times so visiting the tombs is always a great education. The visits also serves as research for awesome places to take my clients when they visit Egypt.

Courtesy: Matrell

12:30pm – I break my fast at a local restaurant with my Egyptian husband. Breakfast in the village on the weekends is a day date for us.  We get to relax and enjoy Turkish coffee and Karkadih (Hibiscus tea) in front of the Colossi of Memnon.  We get the traditional Egyptian breakfast of beans, falafel, cheese, homemade fig jam, assorted vegetables, brown bread, and omelet.  It’s a big breakfast but you need it after trekking through the mountain.  

Courtesy: Matrell

2:00 pm – We take the car home and walk to the riverbank to catch a felucca for a romantic and relaxing sailboat cruise on the Nile. This is my favorite activity because it allows us to just lay back, soak in the sun and enjoy the caress of the gentle waves of the Nile River.  I look forward to doing NOTHING for a few hours.

Courtesy: Matrell

5:00 pm – We visit the local seafood market to get the fresh catch of the day.  We take some to his mother’s home for the family and take the rest for ourselves. We prepare the BBQ, as he likes to call it, on the rooftop, where we have a light dinner of grilled fish, grilled peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini and of course tahini and brown bread.  We enjoy the sunset meal and just marvel at the views around us.

Courtesy: Matrell

8:00 pm – We take a walk to the Cornish to people watch, have tea and enjoy the sounds of the Nile River. There are no clubs, no movie theaters, no bowling alleys in Luxor, so the walk about the Cornish is the social thing to do and I enjoy it. 

To follow up on Matrell’s expat journey as she continues to document living in Africa, check out the YouTube channel and her blog.