Hamsa Mansour has a dream, a dream to become the first Egyptian woman to solo-cycle around her country.
Aiming to complete the epic journey in 2019, the 29-year-old has already begun preparing and training for the adventure. In November, she's embarking on a "short haul" 775 km trip around the Red Sea and Sinai, aiming to complete the journey in just 11 days.
We talked to Mansour, who works as an adventure trip leader, about her upcoming November excursion, her ambitious plan to become the first female to solo-cycle around Egypt and what motivated her to take on this challenge.
What is your main motivation for embarking on this adventure?
This adventure is part of my training to solo-cycle around Egypt in 2019. Generally speaking, I do this for two reasons. First, I believe that we grow the most within nature. The most valuable lessons I've learned in my life were while hiking in the desert or climbing a mountain or so on, and this is exactly what I want to do.
I want to use my own body to move from one place to another, challenging myself, mentally and physically and putting myself out of my comfort zone. Everything that happens out of the comfort zone is basically magic.
Second, I hope to inspire others to see that there is an alternative way of living.
What message do you hope to send to Egyptian society? To Egyptian women? To the international community?
I hope people would see that what most would deem impossible is in fact within reach. And I hope others will get inspired to get out there and try new things instead of conforming, to get inspired to see the beauty this country and what its roads have to offer.
I also hope to change society's perspective ... that adventure sports is a man's domain. I hope women wouldn't have their gender dictate what they think they can do, or even think of it as one of the factors.
When did you become interested in cycling? What attracted you to this sport?
I loved cycling just as much as every other kid. Years back, I was traveling to Sokhna and I saw a cyclist on the road, and this was where it started.
At first, I only dreamt of cycling to Sokhna. Then years later, I met Galal Zekri Chatila and Nour El Din Sherif, who both solo-cycled in Egypt and they both became very close friends.
Their stories inspired me to dream bigger. I solo-cycled to Ismailia last March and it didn't feel like enough. I can't wait to embark on this adventure.
What are the main obstacles you need to overcome before you can complete your journey?
At this point, my only focus is to train well. I keep questioning whether I'm strong enough for this and then I keep reminding myself of all the other things I pulled off.
I listen to those around me. None of those who know me have doubts that I can do this, which is both inspiring and scary.
With groups like Daesh and other threats, are you concerned about safety traveling alone?
I'm honestly only concerned about the uphills. [she laughs]
Seriously though, no. I tried cycling on my own to Ismailia and I befriended people on the road. They were all very helpful. I believe in the good in people, and my friends' experiences support my vision too.
This profile is part of StepFeed's Featured Arabs series, featuring Arabs you should know about. Read previous profile's here.