“Sleeping in my car was all part of the experience!” : Mirvat Ghandour, the Arab Adventurer

“Sleeping in my car was all part of the experience!” : Mirvat Ghandour, the Arab Adventurer

Within a few minutes of meeting this intrepid adventurer it was clear that boundaries and limits just don’t exist. Each new opportunity is met with an optimism and a genuine passion to experience everything that life can offer. Starting off as a fashion designer in Italy, becoming the host of a styling show in Dubai, winning ‘Mission Fashion’, creating and starring in a reality show about Middle Easterners finding their feet in New York, before becoming an actress and a road-tripping queen, Mirvat has already experienced more than most of us in our lifetimes. Her 90 day roadtrip from Turkey to the most Western point of Europe, with just her teddy to keep her company, is the kind of adventure that many of us just dream of. And the secret behind all of the thrills and the excitement is her simple philosophy of “if I wish something, I make it happen!”

Mirvat’s mobile home being cleaned!

“If I wish something, I make it happen!”

It was this ‘why not’ attitude that led her to begin her acting career despite her background in fashion. “A friend of mine said that they were looking for someone to act in a Ramadan series being filmed in Lebanon,and asked if I was interested. I had never acted before, but I was super excited. At first they weren’t interested because of my lack of experience.” But after some persuasion and the help of a spontaneous video clip of her, Mirvat ended up getting the role! “I played a major part in the show and people just couldn’t believe it was my first time acting.”

So taking the risk and going for something that seems improbable paid off for Mirvat. “I believe in positive energy, if you have positive thoughts and believe in yourself then good things come out of it.”

So where does her love for adventure and travel come into all of this? “When I was living in Lebanon, I really wanted to travel, it was summer and I saw everyone in Mikanos. So I asked my friends if they wanted to go, but they all had work or trouble getting visas. So I decided to really push myself and go alone, if I hated it, I could just stay in the hotel. I went and had the most amazing time, because I realized I was free.” Although she had travelled before with friends, Mirvat loved the solo-travel experience because “it allowed me to meet so many new people and learn about their culture.”

The next trip she went on was far more extreme, “I decided to go to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the most dangerous city in the world by myself. My parents were okay with it, because they know I am a bit crazy! And I fell in love with the place, I felt like this was somewhere that I need to live.”

A map of Mirvat’s Euro roadtrip

“Nothing is impossible!”

As gutsy as going to Rio was, the real step of bravery came when in 2015, Mirvat decided to sell many of her possessions and get her car shipped from Lebanon to Turkey to begin a road-trip to the Western-most point in Europe, Cabo Da Roca in Portugal. Because for Mirvat, “nothing is impossible!” Her meandering journey through the cities of Europe was not luxurious, with most nights spent in a tent or in her car and toilet breaks taken on the roadside. “I would just park anywhere, cover the windows and sleep. It was so funny, people would stare at this car with a Lebanese number plate and a Palestinian flag that had been parked there all night, they were so surprised when I would step out in the morning!”

Meteora, Greece

“I loved getting messages from people saying that they were following my journey!”

Seeing the excitement on her face as she showed us the journey map and the stunning photos of her travels makes it clear that Mirvat is the kind of person that deeply appreciates the beauty in the world around her. “I posted pictures along the way, not because I wanted to boast about my travels but because I wanted to inspire people, I loved getting messages from people saying that they were following my journey!”

And whilst there was a point when it started to get a bit colder that Mirvat considered turning back, as she had already made it so far and seen so much, in the end her determination won out and she made it all the way to Cabo Da Roca. “Although people were generally supportive of my journey, I did get many questions about traveling alone. But I wasn’t alone; God was with me the whole way. He sent me angels, sometimes people would turn up at just the right moment to help me with what I needed.”

Victory pose at the Western-most point of Europe

So the lesson to learn from this amazing woman is in all aspects of life, whether it be your career or your dreams of traveling, if you wish something, make it happen!

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