Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day #9 One Day - Sorta.

Day #9 of 30 Days of indie Travel
Travel helps us better appreciate the present moment instead of always looking to the next thing. Describe one perfect day you had while traveling this year. Where were you? What were you doing? And what made it perfect?

I surprised myself when I read this. I couldn't think of any particular day. I've had amazing days, but none of them would by any means be described as the stars aligning or even by me being lucky. Some of the best days I've had traveling were spent protesting against  a dictator - something that eventually got me evacuated from that country - or being amazed by the kindness of strangers after being robbed - two days I don't think anyone would count as lucky.

In writing this I did think of one day that went surprisingly well. And this day doesn't start at the beginning of a day but the beginning of a country, at the end of a day. I arrived in Morocco from Seville, and I'll leave that part of the story out, but once I got there I had a pleasant conversation in the passport check line with an American expat family. After I exchanged my currency the mother approached me to offer me a ride into town. Seeing as we'd arrived after dark and she had her two youngish children with her, I accepted. They told me a bit about Fez, and I told them a bit about myself, my travels, and the mother even came with me into the hostel i was staying at to make sure the room was acceptable (by my standard - it was a hostel in Africa, the standards weren`t too high), and then left, no expectation of anything in return. I did thank them profusely. The next morning I had a frustrating walk through the souq of Fez - I got lost, big surprise (as the largest motor-vehicle free urban area in the world, it is full of winding alleys and if you don't get lost you're not int he right place). The guide say's that`s half the fun. but only a few days out from being robbed, I wasn't having fun. I returned to my hostel - steps from the famous entryway from the souq - to sit on the small patio and people-watch. Suddenly, I turn around to see a familiar face. Two girls from the school I was studying at in Cairo were looking around the hostel, considering staying there.
This should not have been that big a deal, and at the time it wasn't, but I now realize that these two girls probably saved my vacation. I traveled with them for a few days - including to a city I had never even heard of - Chefchauen - where tourists are much rarer and the walls are washed BLUE. it was beautiful and on the side of a mountain, which we climbed a bit. I bought a rug that I will probably bring with me everywhere I travel, if only as bedspread. Most of all, though, I spent a few days of my solo trip with some english-speaking, friendly faces. It was a treat.

So I guess that`s not really a day, but turn around in what could have been a ruined trip.

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