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The Leaving Journal

Trip: France, Spain, Morocco

There are [14] stories from my trip: France, Spain, Morocco

On Returning

USA | Tuesday, 18 Feb 2014 | Views [191]

There is a lot to be said for returning to a place where you left pieces of yourself. It's as if you arrive to a home that you didn't realize was yours until you sank into it, like the plush softness of a worn sofa. Amy, a dear friend from Sitges, hosted ... Read more >

Tags: ending a trip, home, returning

Moroccan Hospitality

MOROCCO | Saturday, 18 Jan 2014 | Views [367]

"Emma, you come help," says Ezzhora, assertive but smiling. I had asked to help with the cooking before lunch, but she insisted I join her son Mohamed for a walk around their neighborhood. Eager to contribute, I jumped from my seat at the table and ... Read more >

Tags: cultural exchange, food, goodness, hospitality

Coping with the Unpredictable

MOROCCO | Wednesday, 15 Jan 2014 | Views [354]

Gray clouds hovered ominously overhead, fat with potential rain and threatening to split open at any moment. My 40 pound pack was cutting into my shoulders as I trudged down the Marrakech sidewalk, dodging persistent touts and speeding cyclists. "Did ... Read more >

Tags: coping, mishaps, travel

Stand No. 1

MOROCCO | Tuesday, 7 Jan 2014 | Views [351]

At Stand No. 1 in the Jemaa el Fna food market, there is an old chef who is missing most of his front top teeth. I know this because I've been to Stand No. 1 almost every night for the past week, slipping discretely onto one of the black vinyl benches.... Read more >

Tags: food, food markets, hospitality, morocco


SPAIN | Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 | Views [443]

My toes disappear beneath the soft white sand as I wiggle my bare feet into the ground. Amy is sitting on the a stone step in front of me, her legs crossed, chattering away, her choppy British accent dancing over the sound of waves. Jamie chucks a stick ... Read more >

Tags: bittersweet, friends, friendship, goodbyes, leaving, sitges, spain, travel


SPAIN | Saturday, 9 Nov 2013 | Views [456]

I've had several revelations about my traveling experience in the past week. One of my realizations is that I'm falsifying my experience on the internet. I'm lying. I want to remedy that.  The advent and increase of Facebook use, blogging and ... Read more >

Tags: movement, on the road, revelations, stimulation, travel, why we travel


SPAIN | Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 | Views [561]

"Oh, I knew I was making my life into a song-and-dance routine, a production number, a shaggy dog story, a sick joke, a bit. I thought of all the longing, the pain, the letters (sent and unsent), the crying jags, the telephone monologues, the suffering, ... Read more >

Tags: drinking, friends, friendship, language, social, spain, spanish, travel

Cementari Poblenou

SPAIN | Sunday, 27 Oct 2013 | Views [422]

On my return to Barcelona, I tried to escape the crowds by going on a weekday and exploring some less popular sites. I got off at the Estacio Franca stop, which was new for me. There are three main stations in Barcelona: Barna Sants at the west, Passeig ... Read more >

Tags: barcelona, cementari poblenou, cemetaries


SPAIN | Sunday, 20 Oct 2013 | Views [599]

On Saturday, I completed my inaugural pilgrimage to Barcelona as a full-fledged tourist. I spent too much money on a bus tour of the city with <a href="http://www.barcelonabusturistic.cat/ca/home">Barcelona Bus Turístic</a>. A breezy, ... Read more >

Tags: barcelona, bus tours, crowds, gaudi, groups, people, throngs, tour, tourism, travel

Mañana, mañana, mañana

SPAIN | Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 | Views [327]

The siesta mentality rules in southern Spain. Almost everything closes at 1pm for the two-hour siesta, except for banks, which close at 2pm... and just don't reopen. People stay up late, wake up late, eat out often and avoid stress at all costs. Jennifer ... Read more >

Tags: culture, patience, siesta, spain, spanish culture, tomorrow

La Libertad

SPAIN | Friday, 11 Oct 2013 | Views [503]

The sea spreads wide as I walk down the alley way, a small sliver of blue growing before me in all its dark and rumbling majesty. Deep navy clouds loom on the horizon and the threatening wind whips my hair around my face. I am encased with the muted ... Read more >

Tags: beach, freedom, ocean, sea, seaside, solitude, spain, travel, travel alone

Photos: Les Riols, Tarn et Garrone, France

FRANCE | Thursday, 10 Oct 2013 | Photo Gallery

Three weeks remodeling Simon and Linda's river home on the Aveyron in southwestern France
See all 14 photos >>

Tags: country, france, homestay, rural france

La France Profonde

FRANCE | Thursday, 3 Oct 2013 | Views [576]

Soggy clumps of the floral wallpaper fall onto my forearm as I shove the paint scraper upward against the wall. The muted green and pastel pink pattern, once so popular decades ago, now gives way to the soft, white plaster beneath it.  "Shit," ... Read more >

Tags: culture, dinner parties, food, france, french, french food, language, soup, wine

The Opening Number: Les Riols, France

FRANCE | Tuesday, 24 Sep 2013 | Views [473]

Welcome to The Chocolate Box. That is what Simon Curtis calls the new home he just bought with his partner, Linda Walsh, on the banks of the River Aveyron in in Southwest France. This sweet little cottage is nestled on a rural, country road outside ... Read more >

Tags: culture, family, france, homestay, host, les riols, river aveyron, rural france