deluminators

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April 29, 2018

Wearing and eating

Some shots off my phone from the last two months or so.


April 23, 2018

Meknes and Volubilis

After Rabat, we moved onto Meknes. I'd never heard of it before booking the trip but apparently it's one of the imperial cities of Morocco.


April 17, 2018

Rabat

Time to launch into the Morocco posts! I spent two weeks in Morocco last month, with an Intrepid tour. I decided to go on a tour cause I wasn't sure about being a woman travelling alone there, and I had a really good time. Our first stop (after meeting up the night before in Casablanca) was Rabat, the capital. It's a smallish city, not that touristy, so it was a nice introduction to the country. And as you can see, the weather was a lot gloomier than you would associate with Morocco.


April 5, 2018

On my love/hate relationship with travel


Stuck halfway up a sand dune in the Sahara.

I'm an extremely anxious traveller. I always forget this and get carried away when dreaming up my next trip. Invariably, by the time it comes to executing my sometimes far-fetched ideas, I'm a mess.

Trying to mentally sit myself down and figure out why I get so worked up never helps, because there are usually no good reasons for my anxiety. I'll be worried about things that I know aren't true, like whether I've booked flights for the wrong dates or wrong airports. Things that I can only take so many steps to prevent, like being robbed or losing my passport. Things that I cannot personally control, like flight delays. Or problems that simple money can solve, for example, getting a taxi if I get totally lost. But even then, my thoughts spiral. What if I find myself both lost and pickpocketed and I don't have money and there are no taxis around and no one speaks English? I would have to stay there forever. Next thing I know, I'm planning the rest of my life in the suburbs of Mexico City.

Honestly speaking though, my brain never seems to need a valid reason to run away with itself, even with the tamest of plans. Which is how I ended up close to tears and unable to breathe on the streets of London the day before I was to fly to Morocco. I considered cancelling. I swore to myself that after this trip I would never leave Australia again. There was not a single good reason for why I felt that way. I was going on a tour, and even getting picked up at the airport, after a straightforward direct flight from Gatwick. Hardly an expedition into the unknown, but my overactive imagination had other ideas.

Of course, once I hit the ground, everything turned out fine. I loved the country, the tour, and my fellow trip-mates. I dodged donkeys on the cramped streets of the craziest old town in the world in Fes, camped overnight in the Sahara, and was chased by a man with a snake in Marrakesh. And I remembered why I do this to myself at least once a year. To marvel at grand architecture from centuries ago. To hike to villages balanced precariously in the mountains, snow in the background. To feel the wind in my hair while watching the waves of the Atlantic crashing onto the rocks below the walls of Essaouira's medina, seagulls wheeling against the blue sky.

Reminders that, despite despair and pain and suffering on the news, at work, at home, there is so much beauty in this world. That despite being so intent on destroying each other, humans can somehow still create the most amazing of things. It gives me a reason to live, and to keep doing what I do.

So now I'm back in Sydney. I've used up my annual leave for this year, but I'm already brainstorming where to go next. Patagonia is on the bucketlist, but that requires time - not only to spend there, but to get myself into an acceptable physical condition for hiking. I would love to see Greece, or Turkey. The opportunity to take a whole month off at once might become difficult from here on, but that's what I've been saving Asia (closer to home) for. We'll see!