Meet Me In Cairo

By: Jim Kerr

In 1964 best friends Jim Kerr and Blair Campbell left their sheltered life in small-town British Columbia to explore the world together. Short on cash but high on youthful hubris, they made their way across North America, through Europe, North Africa and the Middle East — all on just over two dollars a day.

Offering a rare first-hand account of historical moments including post-independence Algeria, pre-1967 War Jerusalem and a divided Berlin, Meet Me in Cairo invites you to join two ragtag hitchhikers on the journey of a lifetime.

. . . 264 days later — having taken 1,459 rides; sold their blood twice for survival money; slept in homes of distant family relations and pen pals, an orphanage, boats, jails, seedy hostels and hotels; and been faced with situations that could have had them arrested (or worse), all on only $2.06 per day — neither [Kerr nor Campbell] are the same person that left home.

Meet Me in Cairo has captured this most popular rite of passage for young people of North America in the ’60s . . . . It is a story of self- discovery and of coming of age at a time when doing so in this way was a rebellion against the status quo . . . . [It] is the story of two young people exploring a world of possibilities they never knew existed . . . and through it all uncovering meaning and potential in their own lives.

— Excerpt from the foreword by Ray Chatelin Award-winning travel writer Author of The Seattle and Vancouver Book: A Complete Guide

Fun Facts From the Book


  • Kelowna departure date: June 26, 1964

  • Kelowna return date: March 17, 1965

  • Days travelled: 264

Free accommodations along the way

  • Homes of lost cousins and uncles: 15

  • Homes of pen pals: 16

  • Jails: 7

  • Moving cars: 6

  • Stationary cars: 2

  • Side of the road: 5

  • Campsites: 5

  • New friends found: 6

  • Orphanages: 1

  • Power stations: 1

  • Border guard huts: 2

  • Schools: 1

  • Bus: 1

  • Spanish ultra-cheap resort: 5

  • Boats and planes: 9

  • Hostels or hotels: 182


  • Started with $380.00

  • Earned in Montreal: $1.00

  • Earned in Oslo: $65.00

  • Payment from accident: $20.00

  • Profit on selling Saab: $50.00

  • Selling blood in Beirut: $18.00

  • Selling blood in Athens: $10.00

  • Total: $544.00

  • Less amount remaining upon returned: $0.45

  • Total spent: $543.55

  • Amount lived on per day: $2.06

Wait Times, RIDES and More

  • Number of rides: 1,459

  • Longest wait: 9 hours (Tunisia)

  • Shortest wait: 1 minute (Algeria)

  • Longest ride: 1,723 kilometres (Tunisia to Alexandria)

  • Shortest ride: 1.5 kilometres (getting out of Paris)

  • Best line of the trip: “It’s the custom in Europe not to put your lights on at dusk.” (Blair)

  • Worst line of the trip: “Who’s first?” (in our hotel room in Tunis)

  • Funds on hand upon arrival back in New York: 5 bucks

  • Estimated library fines owing for three books taken out from Marrakesh library in 1964: $12,483.30 (57 years x 365 days x 2 cents a day per book)

  • Best price for selling two stolen blankets: equivalent of three dollars

  • Number of litres of beer drunk for free on the Heineken Brewery tours: 26 (the total for two people)

  • Height of Cheops pyramid in number of blocks: 220

  • Number of blocks Jim climbed before he froze: 51