I am very sad to say that this will be my last post on my study abroad blog. Over the past 4 months I have learned so much, about the world and myself. I’ve been so blessed to have this experience and live my dreams. I am happy that I decided to blog about my journey, and have followers like you supporting me throughout all my adventures…so thank you!
There are many people that I could not have done all of this without, and I just want to give them all a quick shout-out.
- Thanks to my Nana and Papa for always supporting me…even though I know you worried every single day about me! Thanks for being my #1 blog followers too!!
- Thanks to my brother, who always managed to tease me on Skype and make me feel like I was back home.
- Thanks to my best friends, who kept me laughing 3,000 miles away and always cheered me up when I was homesick.
- Thanks to Mark, who bravely watched me venture across the world, to live in Spain for 4 months, with a smile on his face. That’s not an easy task for a boyfriend to do, and I am so grateful for his non-stop support in every new adventure I take on!
- Thanks to my past teachers and professors (some of whom follow my blog), for helping to shape me into the person I am today. I would have never been interested in international relations, Spanish or traveling if it weren’t for some of my favorite teachers/professors who inspired me! (You know who you are.)
Finally…there are two very important people I owe it all to.
Mom & Dad. You guys never cease to amaze me. I am inspired and motivated by you every single day of my life. I could have never accomplished all that I managed over the years without your love and support. I wasn’t afraid to adventure out into this world because of you both, so thank you.
This ones for you...
THANK YOU MOM & DAD FOR GIVING ME THE WORLD. XOXO
Now that I’ve had time to readjust and organize my pictures, I’ve decided to share with you some silly ones I’ve taken in some really cool places! For those of you who are not familiar with the term “selfie”, it’s basically a picture you take of yourself! Now that we have things clarified, I hope you enjoy my edition of “Selfies All Over the World”!
Trevi Fountain Selfie
Vatican Museum Selfie
Top of St. Peter’s Basilica Selfie
Tower Bridge Selfie
Big Ben Selfie.
London Eye Selfie
Eiffel Tower Selfie #1
The Louvre Selfie
Venus de Milo Selfie
Mona Lisa Selfie
Arc de Triomphe Selfie
Eiffel Tower Selfie #2
Sunset at the “End of the World” Selfie
Torre de Oro Selfie
Plaza de España Selfie
Sadly, this will be my final post on Morocco! After an adventurous morning of riding camels, we traveled along the coast to “Hercules’s Cave”, a very famous place in Morocco. Legend has it, Hercules’s once lived in this cave!
When we entered the cave, it seemed just like any other cave…
When we turned the corner of the cave, we saw a lot of sun coming from a large whole in the cave wall!
When we got closer…this is what we saw!!
It was so beautiful!! The waves were crashing into the bottom part of the cave! (If you look out into the water, you can see the different shades of blue/green, which is where the Mediterranean is mixing with the Atlantic!)
Just hanging out in Hercules’s “love shack” (what our tour guides referred to the cave as)
After visiting the cave, we went to a Moroccan restaurant near the beach!
After a yummy (and spicy) meal, we headed off to the small beach town of Asilah! This town is very famous for an art competition they have every year, where artists from all over the world paint the walls of the city with murals! It’s beautiful!
Check out some of the pictures I took while walking around the city!
I took this picture for my best friend back home who loves sunflowers! (Hi Liza!! Miss you!)
The above picture was one of my favorite of the paintings!
Soaking up the gorgeous Moroccan sun!
After walking for some time, we came across this patterned wall! It is called the relationship tree and you are supposed to sign your name on it!!
Can you spot my name?
Left my mark in Morocco! Hopefully one day I will make it back to see my name again!
Love the color of this door!!
Cats are EVERYWHERE in Morocco.
Asilah is a beautiful town, along a breathtaking coastline. I had a great time walking around the streets and soaking up the fresh salt air & sun! Finally, we boarded the bus to head back to the ferry & home! While on the bus to Tangier, we noticed two kids holding on to the back of our other bus (traveling in front of us)! Our guide said that it was very common for kids to do that! Why? They are trying to cross the boarder into Spain! When the bus stopped, the kids hopped off and popped open the back and climbed inside the engine area!! (This is when I took the picture that’s below) They rode like that for a while, until some police noticed and yelled at them to get off! Apparently, illegal immigration to Spain from Morocco is similar to the problem we have in the US with Mexico. These boys were probably only 12-14 years old!!
After a choppy ferry ride and long bus ride, we didn’t arrive back to Seville until almost 11:30pm! Although I was very tired in class on Monday, it was all worth it! I saw some of the most incredible views and met some awesome new friends!
To end my post, I’m going to share some pictures I took on our ferry ride! The sun was setting over Morocco as we traveled along the Strait of Gibraltar! So beautiful!
Morocco will forever hold a place in my heart! I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to go on this trip! Tomorrow I am off to Cordoba and Granada (Spain) for a weekend with my study abroad program! Stay tuned for posts about these travels! xoxo
Uh oh…guess what day it is? GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS.
Happy Hump Day everyone!! I am back once again to share some pictures from my weekend in Morocco! My favorite part of the trip was when we got to ride camels near the beach!! Check out the awesome pictures I got of me & my new friends, and our stunning view!!
We traveled to the West Coast of Morocco to the ocean! This happens to be where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic! The beaches were so beautiful and untouched! It’s hard to tell in my pictures but you could see the different colors of the two waters merging together!!
Hola from the West Coast of Africa!!!!!
Now for the good stuff!!! Meet my friend humpty (I named him myself). He’s a BABY CAMEL. (Not that small though for a baby…) We got to pet him and the other baby camel while we were waiting to ride the adult ones!
Camel selfies!!Smile humpty!
As you can probably see, I was really excited!!
Me and my new boyfriend…Sorry Mark (;
After taking a lot of pictures with my new friends, it was finally my chance to ride one! It was about a 10-15 minute ride around. Half of our friends went and then the other half went so we could take pictures for each other!! (We all went in groups of 5)
I had to be given a boost to get onto my camel!!
Finally made it up!!! The camels are so tall!
Casual camel trot…on the beach…in Africa!
Honestly, riding a camel was not what I expected it to be! (Not really sure what I expected…) Surprisingly, I wasn’t really afraid of the height, I was too excited! When my camel started walking I was a little shocked at first! It felt like I was riding a horse because I was going up and down as if the camel was running! (But he was just walking!!) For the first 2 minutes, I couldn’t stop laughing!!! My friend Kristina was on the camel next to me and I remember she looked over at me and said, “We’re riding camels…in Africa right now!!!” I couldn’t believe it! I probably laughed the whole ride!! It was exhilarating!
Finally, when we were getting closer to the group who were taking pictures of us, the guides who were leading the camels told us to let go and put our hands in the air!! I thought, ‘I can’t let go, I’m so high up I’m going to fall off this camel!!’ But after .3 seconds of fear, I just decided to let go!!! It was amazing!
Happy Hump Day everyone!
“It’s pretty simple. Adventure is what you make of it. And whether it is the travel, the discovery, or just the feeling of letting go…the only way you’ll ever find out is to get out there and do it.”
Salam, from Morocco!
Chefchaouen, Morocco is also known as the “blue & white city” because of the colors of the buildings! It took us almost 2 hours to get to Chefchaouen by bus from our hotel. We spent a great deal of the morning winding through the beautiful mountains of Morocco!
When we arrived in Chefchaouen, we got a tour from a local guide! He explained that the buildings are painted blue to keep the bugs and mosquitos away. We also learned that Chefchaouen means “between the bulls horns”. This is because the city lies between two mountains.
There’s our tour guide!!
Now let me share some pictures from our walking-tour!!
Donkeys instead of cars? Normal.
Inside a bread-bakery in Morocco. We got to try a piece of the fresh bread!
Moroccan “barbed wire”
Traditional clothes for men & women.
What used to be two sheep…
The whole gang!! Kristina, Kayla, me, Jess, Ally & Stef! Love them!
Since we finished our tour earlier than expected, our tour guide had the idea of taking us to the old mosque!! Little did we know, the mosque was halfway up a mountain!!!
See that tiny building up there? That’s where we went…
So we’re hiking…
& climbing… to get tot this mosque! But let me tell you, the view was worth the hike!!
Sitting on top of the world!
The girls and Santi, our Discover Seville guide!!
And what goes up, must come down…so we hiked it back down for lunch!! Here’s a view of the mosque when in the city!
Above is with the zoom… & the picture below is without. Yes, we actually hiked all the way up there.
Our tour guide!!
Time for lunch at “Casa Aladin”
Traditional Moroccan salad!
Rice, fries and chicken!
My friend Ally ordered a Coke at lunch…looks American but what does that say?
And here’s my water…
Just thought that was cool!!
Pictures of inside the Moroccan restaurant! Such a different atmosphere!
After lunch, we had free time to bargain and shop!! Our tour guides explained that bartering is like a sport for the Moroccans! We were able to use Durams, their currency, or Euros. (1 Euro = 10 Durams). For the sake of this explanation, I will talk in terms of Euro since it is easier to comprehend the prices.
This is basically how it works… Nothing had a marked price, so you ask the store keeper, “How much?”…then, they say some ridiculous price: “20 Euro”, and you say some ridiculously low price, about 1/4 of what they say, “How about 5 Euro?”…Then they laugh and say “No, No, I have a family to feed, I can’t do that…and they say, “how about 18 euro?”. You shake your head, and say I can’t do that, and start to walk away. Then they say, “Okay Okay, Special price for you, special price…15 Euro”. Then you say “How about 8 euro?”. They say they can’t do that, so you walk away again. “Wait, wait, okay special price: 12 euro…” And it keeps going on until you get to a middle ground, like 10-12 euro. Honestly, it was a lot of fun bartering with the locals!! It really was like a game! You have to be sure to drop the price to 1/4th of what they offer you and walk away at least twice in order to get what you want! It was a great experience! Turns out, it was really fun to bargain and I got some very good deals (I get that from my Dad)!
I would tell you what I got in Morocco, but some are gifts for my family/friends who follow this blog!! I promise I will do a souvenir/present post at the very end of my trip! Here are some pictures from the streets/markets we shopped in!
The above picture is for my brother…it’s a motorcycle with a trailer attached to it!
My friend Jordan got Henna done from one of the women in Morocco and it came out beautiful!!
Even the Taxi’s were blue in Chefchaouen!!
After a long day of exploring, hiking and bargaining, we were all tired and ready to head back to the hotel for the night! We had time to relax, then enjoyed another 3-course meal!
What’s dinner without some entertainment?!! (The pictures are a little blurry because they were dancing and moving around, but it was really fun!)
I want to end this post by saying Chefchaouen was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to! The people were so kind, funny and full of life! They might not have the best conditions, but they certainly make do with what they have! I will never forget my day in Chefchaouen, where I hiked to a mosque and bargained with locals! I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to visit this wonderful city and country!!
Travel: It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.
As many of you know, this past weekend I traveled to Morocco with a travel program called Discover Seville. It was the most incredible trip!!! I had a great time.
Before I go into too much detail about my trip, I want to explain a few things about Morocco. It is in Northern Africa and one of the three countries that touches both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic (the other two being France and Spain). The country is part-mountains and part-desert. The most common language in Morocco is Arabic and their religion is Islam. They have a King in Morocco who is widely well respected.
Now, I must warn you that I took over 300 pictures this weekend…it was just so beautiful! Since we did so many different things, I am going to try to break up some of my posts about Morocco! I will use this post as an introductory post to talk about our overall trip and itinerary.
The ferry was unexpectedly large, and we actually took the two busses with us to Morocco!
The ride across the Strait of Gibraltar was anything but smooth! Even after taking a motion sickness pill, we all were feeling a little sick. But after a 40 minute ride, we had arrived in Tanger, Morocco!! Touchdown Africa!
From there, we drove another hour to our hotel: “La Paloma”. Many things in Northern Africa are Spanish because Spain had a great presence their for a long time. A lot of Moroccans speak Spanish!
It was very late when we arrived at the hotel, but the staff welcomed us outside with music and dance!
Then we immediately sat down for a three course meal! We weren’t finished eating until almost midnight!
A spicier form of chicken soup, very good!
Chicken, onions and kous-kous.
And for desert, a cake that said “Happy Valentine’s Day” on it!!
Some pictures of my beautiful Valentine’s Day dates…Allie and Jess!
& my roomie!!
For some reason, Stef got a balloon that said “Happy Birthday” on it…
And then it popped…
After a very delicious meal and some fun with friends, we were able to head up to our rooms for some sleep!!
The rooms were very nice & the beds were so comfortable!!
That about sums up our first day of traveling! It was certainly a long journey, but worth all the long bus rides! The Discover Seville tour guides played movies for us on the bus. I still can’t believe I spent my Valentine’s Day in Africa!!
The next two days were incredibly busy. I will be writing 3 more posts about my trip to Morocco. Here is a little preview of what is to come…
My next post will be about our adventures in Chefchaouen, the “blue & white city”…bargaining with locals for goods & hiking up to a mosque!
I will also write a post about my experience riding a camel!!
And lastly, I will write a post about the artsy, beach town of Assilah!!
As you can see it was a very busy weekend for us. It was really nice that everything about the trip was planned and included for us, tours, food and transportation! It was well worth it and I recommend going to Morocco through Discover Seville to anyone planning on studying abroad in Spain!
Stay tuned to hear the details about my adventures in Africa and see some really amazing pictures!! xoxo
It’s official, I’ve caught the travel bug! Living in Seville has made me realize how incredibly beautiful and incredibly different our world really is. With that being said, my friends and I were eager to plan some weekend trips!
There is this great travel group called “Discover Seville” that takes study abroad students on weekend excursions! My friend who had studied abroad here before recommended this group to me and almost every study abroad student here seems to know about it also!!
Not only do they take students on excursions, but they also have a really good deal called a “VIP Seville Card” that is 15 Euro and allows you to get into specially hosted parties/clubs/bars without paying a cover charge. Cover charges here can range from 8-10 Euros for one night (not to mention the costs of drinks). If we go out twice, this card basically pays for itself! (We also get a tank top with the card that says “VIP Seville” on it!!) They also have deals on certain nights of the week where you can get a free beer or free sangria at certain places when you show your card! I’m very excited about this investment!
Now that you know a bit about this group, I have some exciting news!! Like I said before, I’ve caught the travel bug…and next weekend is my first trip!!! Guess where I’ll be spending my Valentine’s Day?! (You’ll never guess…) Africa!!! Crazy I know! My friends and I are going on a weekend trip to Morocco (Feb 14th-16th), which is actually very close to Seville! We are traveling with over 100 other study abroad students through Discover Seville! It is about a one hour bus ride to the coast, a short ferry ride and we’re in Africa! There is one price for the whole trip, which includes all transportation costs, a 4-star hotel (with Wifi), excursions to different cities with tour guides…and my favorite part…WE GET TO RIDE CAMELS ON A BEACH!! I just think that is so awesome! Now, I know this trip seems crazy, but it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am traveling with a safe program, so don’t worry too much about me (Nana and Papa).
To see what is included in the trip, as well as a video of what we will be doing…check out the link to the website!!
Not only does Discover Seville offer a great weekend trip to Morocco, they offer an amazing beach getaway trip to Lagos, Portugal!! Although this trip is not as historic as my other travels might be, it’s going to be a blast! We booked Lagos for the first weekend in April (4th-6th) which will probably be the last trip we are able to take! (One last hoorah before we head back to the States!) They take you to some different beaches, give you wristbands to get access to the night clubs, and even take you to “The End of the World”, which is a cliff that you watch the sunset over the water from (a long time ago, they thought this was literally, the end of the world). I’m excited for a weekend of relaxing on beautiful beaches! This is definitely more of a “party/fun” trip, than an “educational” one…but hey, I think I deserve it! And hopefully I will come back with a tan!!
To see information about what I’ll be doing on this trip, and a video of the beautiful beaches I will be escaping to…Check out this link! (No promises you won’t be jealous!!)
Lastly, since Discover Seville is so awesome, we are also going on a day trip with them to Cadiz, Spain for “Carnaval”!! Now, Spain has two really famous festivals…one is Feria (which is in May in Seville…and we will be missing it!) and the other is Carnaval of Cadiz (which we are definitely not going to miss out on!!). Honestly, I’m not truly sure what this whole 2-week celebration in Cadiz is all about, but I’m excited to find out! Seems like one big costume party?! I can’t wait!!
Where is Cadiz you may be wondering? South of Spain, along the beach!! Gorgeous city, one of the oldest in Spain!
Since we are going on both the Morocco and Lagos trip with Discover Seville, the trip to Carnaval is free for us! (So obviously we can’t pass this up!) Apparently we leave for this trip around 6:00pm on Saturday evening, and come back around 4:00am!!! Fiesta!!! For more information about this, check out the link below!
Now, after seeing all these awesome things, I hope you haven’t caught the travel bug too! But if you have, and you’re planning on studying abroad…definitely check out Discover Seville!!
One week until Morocco & camel riding!! Don’t worry, I promise I will post lots of pictures! Mostly of the camels though. Can’t wait! xo