Eat. Pray. LIVE!

Travel Blog


Life has been amazing in these last 3 months (Already, I know can you believe it?) to say the very least. I’ve been getting lost — less, speaking Spanish — more, and traveling tons! On the weekends that I stay local, I managed to find other things that I love to do like reading, exploring the city, and one weekend I even found a Spanish cooking class to attend where I discovered the sweet savory taste of Tarte de Santiago for the first time, a common dessert distinct to Spain, and you guys know how I love my sweets.

Actually, I’m quite surprised by how much I LOVE to cook (and eat too for that matter) these days when just a few months ago neither were my idea of a good time. In fact it’s been that way all my life. I remember growing up, both my parents would call my sister and I into the kitchen to have us prepare various parts of the meal. I hated it! But now I am more than thankful for their instruction in spite of my resistance. I mean while living in Portland, although I got pretty elaborate with my meals at times, I was still mainly just cooking for survival purposes, out of necessity more so than desire, but it was never a task I enjoyed… until now. So in addition to the cake, we also made a Spanish Tortilla (a dish I had already learned to make from the family) Paella and Sangria. The class was tons of fun and food was delicious and in less than 24 hours later, I was making these same dishes for the family (talk about high pressure) just to see if I had the recipes down which they confirmed for me that I did.


The last time I made a Spanish Omelet (Tortilla) Sergio sang his praises by saying, “Mejor, creo que es imposible!” which translates into “[To be able to make this better] I think is impossible. The dad added his approval by proclaiming me to be the best Tortilla maker of the year. *Sigh* They sure know how to make a girl feel good :-p Lol. Any who after a few weeks of learning more Spanish dishes, I began to crave a taste of home so I decided to make tacos which was a not an easy task since many of the ingredients aren’t common here. Nonetheless, after visiting a few of the stores specialty aisles, I found everything I needed and the kids loved it as they deemed me to be the best cook ever and continually insist that I should apply to be a contestant on Master Chef. The parents as well have repeatedly expressed how lucky they feel not only to have someone who enjoys cooking, but someone who is open minded to cooking various dishes as well. Every time I cook, no matter how large the portion I serve, the dad and the son always look at their plate, then back at the stove and in some form or fashion ask “You think there will be enough for seconds?” before even having a taste of the portion they were served. It’s has been such a joy to watch them taste American meals for the first time as they question every ingredient in both Spanish and English and have me detail the prep process. I had quite the conversation with the host mom the other day when I told her I had been craving loaded mashed potatoes (just mashed potatoes infused with cheese, bacon bits, green onion and topped with a dollop of sour cream) and wanted to prepare them in the days to come. She agreed and wrote it down on the calendar to ensure my meal didn’t conflict with the kid’s school menu. When I gave to her the list of ingredients that I would need, adding broccoli for a side and chicken fillets as the entree she was a bit confused as she later told me she thought mashed potatoes was served àl la carte. The final menu ended up being baked BBQ chicken, broccoli salad and the taters. ‘Twas delish. Oh and the conversation we had surrounding the possible uses of BBQ was equally as entertaining.



Any who, other areas are also beginning to fall into place here. I found a church that I’ve been attending regularly for a little over a month now. One Sunday morning I was lying in bed shooting the breeze with my mom via text. After catching her up on the latest happenings, she began inquiring about my day’s plan to which I told her I didn’t have any thing to do. She questioned why I wasn’t going to church and I told her it was because I had yet to find one, but as soon as those words escaped my fingertips I felt convicted as I thought to myself “Lo, you haven’t found a church yet because you haven’t even looked.” I mean hadn’t asked not one person, conducted a single Google search or made any attempt to try and find one…like at all. I was prepared to continue to live stream my church back in Cali for the duration of my time here but not because I didn’t want to go to church, rather, I remembered how difficult and time consuming it was for me to find a church I really enjoyed while residing in Portland. I’d travelled near and far and tried soooo many, it took just about a year and a half before I finally stumbled on the perfect one and I just didn’t have the energy to conduct such and extensive search all over again and adding the factor of needing an English speaking church in a Spanish speaking country I was sure I’d come up short yet again.

But then I thought, “Well, I guess God wouldn’t guide you to a place where He wasn’t planning to also provide and meet all of your needs.” So with that mindset I began my search that same morning and found an international church that provided messages in both Spanish and English and had a late start time (which is always a bonus in my book). I visited the church that same day and found out they served coffee and tea before the services and had an open snack bar afterwards, and well, that just about sealed the deal for me! #WontHeDoIT ! It’s more of a teaching church than the preaching that I am accustomed too but it will definitely meet my needs while I am here and I enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and fellowship.



So as previously noted, I’ve been traveling a lot these days and my most recent adventure was a trip to Morocco. We went everywhere! I don’t know if I can even begin to capture the experience in words. I set off for the adventure at about 6 or 7 in the morning to meet with the exchange group that had arranged this trip. I was a bit apprehensive not knowing what to expect but the feeling was short lived. While waiting for the other members to arrive, less than 5 minutes into the trip I noticed another guy who was also on his own so I tapped him on his shoulder and made my first friend. We traveled by coach (that’s a new word I picked up from my English friend.) We stopped every two hours or so along our 8 hour trip to Tarifa (the most southern part of Spain) where we boarded our boat for a short 45 minute ferry ride into Tangier, Africa. Once there we continued our journey to Asilah a city known for its pristine beaches, where we sat and watched the sunset. Afterwards, we exchanged money to the local currency, toured the city for a bit before going to check in at the hotel. After getting situated, a few others went back out for dinner, but after the long day of traveling coupled with the time change, I decided to eat dinner at the hotel and turn in early to prepare for all that was ahead.


We left Asilah the next morning to travel to Casablanca and Marrakech. We didn’t spend a lot of time in Casablanca, just long enough to visit the Hassan II Mosque, the worlds 2nd largest mosque, spend a some time on the beach and have lunch at a local restaurant where I was surprised to see pigeon on the menu. I opted out of being explorative this time and ordered the Lamb Tagine, a meal typical to Morocco. Before long we were back on the road, headed to Marrakech where we spent 2 days más o menos. This was my second favorite experience of the whole trip. We learned much about the culture and the inhabitants as we went on many guided tours to learn about the history and customs. By night, we went to the outdoor market, which was intense to say the very least, as vendors were constantly trying to literally pull us into their make shift storefronts just to look “no obliga

Taken by the group photographer

The next day we headed to the Sahara and although I had already been in Africa for about 3 days by this point, this is when my trip really started and I had my Oprah “Ah Ha” moment, my “OMG am I’m really in Africa?” moment. And it wasn’t so much the fact that I was back in Africa that had me feeling like this, but more so the fact, that it hadn’t even been a full year that I had concretely decided on moving out of the country, and here I was traveling the world yet again. So, we debarked the coach for the umpteenth time and stuffed ourselves into the 4×4’s that were randomly waiting for us in the desert, which seriously I don’t even know how we found them as it was one of those “Turn after the 5th tree and then you’ll see a big rock, veer right, and when you see your 6th camel pull over and we’ll be there waiting for you” type of situations. So there we were in 4 x 4’s, some riding atop the car others hanging out off the vehicles as we raced at top speed through the desert. We arrived at the campgrounds in less than 5 minutes. We took about a 10 minute break before climbing on top our camels to take our 1 ½ hour moonlight camel ride to the camp site where we would spend the rest of our time into the morning.

Our Campsite

And not trying to over spiritualize the experience by any means but riding through the Sahara resembled to me much of how I’d always envisioned the journey to be that the 3 wise men took as they traveled to bring gifts to their new born savior, as we too were being guided by the north star. And in my Oprah moment that apparently lasted longer than just a moment, I rode the camel in awe of my surroundings in awe of life, simply just in awe—of how peaceful the ride was, how perfect all of he colors, the sky, the sand and the little bit of plants, all flawlessly complimented one another. I stared at the moon, surprised by how radiant it was where no other light was needed. Then I expanded my gaze to the rest of the sky, spotted the big dipper, then next the little dipper just the same then wished I knew more about astronomy just so I could have played connect the dots a little longer with other constellations that were so clearly present that night.

Once at the camp we crowded into a well insulated (a little too well if you ask me, ya’ll know how I be passing out) tent where we congregated and ate dinner seated on cushions that were arranged on the floor. Afterwards, we were assigned tents for the night but spent the majority of our time dancing by the campfire or laying out on the sand dunes talking and taking it all in until the wee hours of the morning. Just before dawn, we were awakened by the sound of a single yet consistent handclap. Those who desired to, got up and began their trek up the largest of the dunes, where we watched the sunrise. Afterwards, a friend and I figuring that the fast way from point A to point B is C, decided to release our inhibition and just role down the bottom instead of taking the customary route back down the way we came. It reminded me of when my sister and I used to roll down grass hills as kids, minus the itchiness that used to follow. However, sand got EVERYWHERE but it was fun nonetheless. Once back down, we ate the breakfast that had been prepared and then set off to head back to the coach. This time, we stopped half through our camel ride to take the idea of “Fun in the Sun” to a whole other level as all those who desired, took to a snowboard and slid down the dunes.

Chefchaouen- The Blue City

As we headed to our next destination, we stopped and visited an Aragon oil factory that had the best almond butter I have ever tasted which made me think of my friend back in Oregon, who introduced me to Almond Butter only a few short years ago. We also stopped through a tiny forest off the side of the rode that had tons and tons of monkeys swinging from tree to tree (Very Planet of the Apes like) We spent time wading in the cool waters of the Tordra River. In Fez we visited what is considered to be one of the largest urban area Medina’s in the world. Because of the very narrow streets, it was free from cars and traffic. However, about every 5 minutes our so we were scurrying out of the way as motorcycles whizzed by or moving out of the way for donkey’s carrying both their owner and needed cargo. Since the city is also known for its leather, we visited a store that showed the beginning stages of how their leather was processed. Chefchaouen was another otherworldly escape nestled in the mountains of Morocco. While Chechaouen’s powder-blue buildings mirror the cloudless Moroccan sky it is for reasons of religion rather than aesthetics that are the driving force behind the choice design. Jewish teaching suggest, that by dying thread and weaving it into prayer shawls, people would be reminded of God’s power. The memory of this tradition lives on in the regularly repainted blue buildings. The buildings gave off a nice calming effect and were a perfect way to end such a great trip.

I am still unsure which country ever held the spot for my favorite place of travel, but Morocco definitely took its spot. Any who, I guess I should wrap this up as it’s getting pretty lengthy and it’s way past my bedtime, but really, in Spain, when is it not. One day I plan on making it to bed before 1:00a but as of now, that day has yet to come. But I guess that’s all I have for you this time on the adventures with Londi but I am sure will have more to come, very, very soon. Until next time….

P.s. Also, click on the “visuals” tab to see all the picture from Morocco…Hope you enjoy.



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