6 Things I’m Looking Forward to in Spain and Morocco

Resfeber is starting to settle in. In three weeks I will be departing for a 2.5 week adventure through Spain and Morocco. I haven’t been to either country before, so naturally I have visions and expectations of what my trip may be like. So here are 6 things I am particularly looking forward to:

Seeing the Sagrada Família, and the architecture in Barcelona

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image: wikipedia

The first stop on my trip will be Barcelona. One thing this city is known for is its architecture, which is described as Catalan Modernism. Made most famous by Antoni Gaudí, this style of architecture features highly unique shapes and designs. And the most famous example of this style is the Sagrada Família. This massive church began construction in 1882, and has yet to be completed. I recently read that the church is expected to be completed in 2026, which is the 100 year anniversary of Gaudí’s death.

Eating Tapas in Madrid

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image: source

I love food. And I am really craving authentic Spanish cuisine. Madrid is known for having an excellent selection of Tapas bars where I can sample small plates of cured ham, cheeses, and a variety of seafood. I have discovered that at some bars if you order a beer or glass of wine, a tapa can be enjoyed for free. Check and mate.

Exploring the Alhambra in Granada

800px-Vista_de_la_Alhambra
image: wikipedia

Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in southern Spain. The most famous attraction in this city is the Alhambra. Built in 889, the Alhambra was originally constructed as a fortress and turned into a royal palace in the 14th century. Having been held by both Muslim and Moorish rule, the Alhambra maintains a significant historical significance in both cultures and is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Walking through the streets of Chefchaouen

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image: cntraveler.com

We cross into Morocco through the port city of Tangier. Just south of Tangier in the Rif Mountains, sits Chefchaouen. What makes this small city so unique is that all of its buildings are painted in a bright shade of blue. Blue buildings with mountains in the backdrop sounds quite epic.

Seeing the western Sahara in Merzouga

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image: Merzouga

From Fes, our hope is to make our way to Merzouga. Merzouga is a small town that lies on the western edge of the Sahara desert, which is the largest hot desert in the world. This town is said to have breathtakingly beautiful sand dunes to explore. And thats exactly what I’m gonna do.

The Djemma el Fna in Marrakech

Djemaa_el_Fna
image: wikipedia

The Djemma el Fna is a large market place in the middle of the old city of Marrakech. Here is where I will be dining on traditional Moroccan dishes while being entertained by snake charmers. Anywhere I have ever traveled, I always seek out a market or night market. That is where you get the best dose of a city’s culture. The Djemma el Fna is exactly where I want to be while in Marrakech.

 

 

 

4 Reasons Why I Travel

Traveling isn’t for everyone. I wish it was, but it isn’t. Some people are very comfortable near their own homes and find security in their daily routines. Travel can be risky too. Outside of a financial risk, travel can be logistically stressful. Booking accommodations, long layovers, language barriers, and personal safety can all be factors that hinder someone from planning an adventure. 

Travel, for me, has nothing to do with the buildup or decision to plan a trip. I travel for the reward. I travel for the way I feel after my trip is over, and how much I have changed as a person. If you just let yourself, you can have experiences that will change the way you look at the world, and make you question what you truly desire. Here are 4 more reasons why I travel:

I am not a fan of routine 

If I could do something different everyday, a different job even, then I would be happy. There is too much to see and experience in our world, and I wanna try it all. Now, I do have a bit if a routine everyday, but it’s rather minimal. I wake up at some point, I have my cup of coffee, I cook a nice dinner at night, and have a good beer to end the evening. But a more structured and strict routine isn’t for me. I don’t want a full time job with normal work hours. I don’t want a commute. I don’t wanna eat the same turkey sandwich every day. I want life to surprise me, and open my eyes. That’s something travel provides me. It never gets old, as there is always something new to experience each day when exploring a new land. 

The best food of my life is waiting for me

Something I get particularly excited about when I travel is trying new cuisines and eating something I haven’t tried before.  A lot of places back home advertise as the real deal or “authentic”. But you can only be so authentic thousands of miles away from the source. You can’t replicate the sights, smells, and sounds. Eating is an experience, and sitting street side slurping noodles in Asia can’t be found back home. Walk through a local market on your travels, and you can see and try things that you never knew existed. It takes curiousity, an adventurous appetite, and one bite, to eat the best food you’ve ever had in your life. 

I want to be a global citizen, a cosmopolitan 

For me, travel has been the greatest source of learning I have come across. It trumps school and the workplace. When you put yourself into a strange land, a different culture, you begin to absorb a new way of living. Traveling and exploring, is learning by doing, seeing, and feeling. Being a cosmopolitan means you feel comfortable in various countries and cultures throughout the world. That overarching, broad perspective of our world’s intricacies is what I desire. Broadening your horizons is not just a saying. You do it best by traveling. 

I’m not getting any younger

Plain and simple. I’m thankful to be here today and tomorrow is not guaranteed. So as long as I’m feeling good, I’m gonna take those risks and be adventurous. There is no better time to explore the world than right now.