AFRICA! WE DID IT!
Where do I even begin. Talk about a dream trip. Words can’t express how truly amazing this entire experience was. From start to finish, everything was perfect — transportation, weather, accommodations, food, our group and guides — it was complete perfection.
That being said, I’m happy to report WE SUCCESSFULLY SUMMITED MT. KILIMANJARO!!! What an insane accomplishment – A HUGE bucket list check.
I blinked and a year has flown by.
How is this possible?
Did I even go on this trip?
It truly feels like I dreamt the entire thing.
Words can’t even begin to describe the experiences I had, the way I feel or the deep seeded travel bug that continues to grow within my soul. But one thing I know with certainty: This will not be my last Around the World trip. It may not be tomorrow, or next month, or even next year, but before I’m 100 years old, I know I’ll make it happen again.
Because I truly believe sunsets and sunrises are the most special time of day, I tried to make it a point to capture and enjoy as many of them as possible. Here is a collage of all of the incredible colorful skies we were blessed enough to experience throughout our travels:
Once in Innsbruck, we went to the store, bought food for three days and didn’t leave our apartment.
I know this is probably starting to feel like a theme, but we haven’t truly relaxed since Budapest three weeks ago. It was time.
We stayed in a beautiful alpine apartment in Mutters, 15 minutes outside of Innsbruck. Only a 20 minute walk down to town, but the weather was windy and stormy so we decided to hunker down. We cooked, watched movies, updated resumes, applied for jobs and drank mimosas. A much needed break and relaxing two days before heading off to Oktoberfest!
Marrakech is debatably the most popular tourist city in the Northwestern African country. To me, Marrakech felt exactly how you would imagine Morocco to be: Street vendors tucked into every alley, selling exotic merchandise, beautiful leather bags and jewelry, outdoor food vendors and street performers. But the first thing you’ll notice are the motorbikes. All I can say is, “LOOK OUT!”
Where to even begin? I’ve tried to think of something positive to say about Fes, but sadly I’m at a loss. This is quite possibly one of the first cities I’ve been to on this trip that I wanted to leave immediately.
All I can say is WOW! If you go to Morocco, you MUST stop in Chefchaouen. This city is straight out of a movie. Blue everywhere. Walls, stairs, doors, windows, cats. Ok, so not the cats, but there are hundreds of them roaming the streets. Just like stray dogs in South America, it’s stray cats in Morocco. So don’t be alarmed when they’re in the restaurants too 🙂
Before coming to Morocco, I read a number of blogs from female travelers stressing their concerns about safety in the Muslim country. I must admit, I was a little hesitant and nervous after reading their reviews as some had uncomfortable encounters with local men. Thankfully, I was traveling with five guys so I felt pretty safe. Plus, I knew without a doubt that these guys would protect me if something did happen. That being said, I still was very cautious and constantly aware of my surroundings (as every good traveler should be, alone or with a group).
Everyone, and I mean everyone, I talked to raved about Lisbon. Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal. Don’t get me wrong, it was a neat city, but that’s kinda all it is. A city. Perhaps because we’ve been traveling for so long and have seen countless cities that it wasn’t as impressive (?).
After Lagos, and especially after Running with the Bulls, I was in much need of some R&R, and a good detox. From the beginning of our trip, I told Michael I wanted to do some solo travel. I’ve met more solo female travelers on this trip and it’s really inspired me to do the same. I want that independent feeling again. Yes, I did some solo trips in Hong Kong, but I never felt truly alone. So that was one of my personal goals for this trip. Unfortunately, given our timeline, I only had a few days and I wanted to spend them wisely.