Sunday, December 14, 2014

Overnight in the Sahara

By my count I've ridden a camel 3 times in my life. The first two times were in Egypt. Once around the pyramids (and the KFC adjacent to the pyramids), and then for a "night in the desert", which actually turned into a ride in the rain and a night in a nearby village due to said rain. The third was yesterday.

I was excited for #3. This was the real deal. We were headed into the Sahara. In the middle of no where. To sleep in the desert. Scorpions, desert pirates and all.

First thing you notice when you head out of town is that the desert is quiet. I mean really really quiet. The kind of silence that actually hurts your ears. You can hear your heart beating, the blood moving through your veins. Your ears ring a bit. It's quiet.

The second thing you notice is that it's really still. The clouds sweep over head, but the sand below and all around you doesn't move. The landscape is frozen, like your moving through a painting.

The third thing you notice is that camels puke up their stomaches to attract other camels. It's pretty gross and mine did it a lot. The inflated sack hangs out of their mouth while they make a gurgling sound that supposedly drives the ladies crazy. Yeah girl.

The ride took about 2 hours. Eventually we made our way to a collection of Berber tents set up in a tiny row at the base of a large sand dune. Our camp was the furthest to the right. We drank mint tea, ate a pretty good chicken tajine, climbed up the nearby sand dune to watch the sunset and then spent the night under a full moon so bright it seemed as if the sun still remained in the sky. We played the drums with our guide, spent the night experimenting with night photography, and listened to some podcasts by candle light.

In the morning we hurried back up the sand dune and were treated to an amazing sun rise. After that we hopped back on our stomach puking camels and set off for home.

All in all a pretty perfect night out in the desert.








Thursday, December 4, 2014

Today I wasn't having it

…and that's ok. It's also one of the hardest things to come to terms with while traveling. Admitting that you don't like a place you're visiting, or that you would rather stay in bed all day then go see another fucking site.

Today was one of those days. From the moment I woke up in Chefchuan to the time I went to sleep for the 3rd time in 24 hours I was an absolute asshole. A monster. A rain cloud pissing on everyone within my 2 foot radius. Unfortunately for Sabrina, she got pissed on a lot (and not in the sexy R. Kelly way) For that I am sorry.

I've experienced this before on other trips. Days where I could give a fuck about doing anything. Days where if another dude asks me if I want to buy hash or eat at his shit box restaurant I may rip his head off and punt it over the city wall. These are not good days. You would not like me on these days.

I also know from experience when this happens, perhaps the worst part of it all, is what a fucking jerk you feel like for being mad in the first place. Here you are traveling the world, no job, no rent, no responsibilities other than getting yourself to the next amazing new place and instead of going to that next new awesome place you're gonna spend your today pouting in your hostel room, mad at the world because it's rained for 5 days straight. Poor little you.

So what do you do? I'll tell you what you don't do. Make your wife cry because you're being a dick head. Whoops too late for that one.

What you should do is realize … it's alright to have a bad day traveling. When you're doing it for this long, traveling stops being a vacation and just becomes your life. Your day to day. And it's going to come with as many stresses and inconveniences of everyday life at home. When it gets to the point where you want to set fire to your guide book… just allow yourself to have a bad day. Embrace it. Sit in your angry shit pile all day long. Stew in it. Revel in your anger and then... get over it, you are traveling the world after all you unappreciative little bitch.




Monday, December 1, 2014

The golden rule of travel - Bird in hand

When you see a pack of top ramen, an ATM, a pair of pants, a bottle of wine, a baguette, or a place to print out plane tickets …DO IT. Don't convince yourself you'll find the same thing later. Or that you "don't want to have to carry it around all day". A bird in hand is worth not having to spend the next three days dwelling on how dumb it was not buying the wine when you had the chance.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Earth versus Uranus

I've said it before and I'll say it again, my favorite thing about traveling is the perspective you gain. Whether it's perspective on food, freedom, poverty, religion, violence, politics, or the general hygienic state of toilets around the world, perspective is amazing.

At the top of the perspective list for me is how I now view the planet we live on versus how I did before I traveled. I used to never really think about it. I mean, yeah sure Earth is pretty cool. It's got dolphins and cotton candy and wifi. I think very few of us stop to think about how amazing it really is, cotton candy aside.

Pardon me while I step up on my soap box for a second… a one, a two, a three….

The earth is amazing. Think of it in comparison to all the other planets that surround it. Every other planet is total shit. No trees. No rivers. No mountains. No blue skies. No birds. No kittens. No rainbows. Nothing. They all have nothing. We are the ONLY planet in our solar system, that isn't a rocky, cold, empty hell hole. The drastic difference between Earth and everything else blows my mind. It's not like there are planets that are kind of like Earth, where dogs have cat heads and rain comes up from the ground. Nothing is like it, and I think we really take that for granted.

Yes terrible things happen on this planet (99% of which are caused by us, not the planet), but overall if you take a second to walk outside and look at the sky, think about how old trees are, watch the clouds float by, your mind should explode, it's miracle that any of it is even here.

In my opinion being present and appreciating it all is the single most important thing I can do each day. Take it all in. Stop. Look. Feel. Breathe. Because every single thing I see with my eyes is a miracle. I've touched Egyptian pyramids, climbed up mountains that are millions of years old, swam in countless oceans ranging from freezing to pretty darn nice, smelled the cleanest air I've ever smelled in New Zealand, sat under the stars in the middle of the Bolivian desert, the list goes on and on. Each time I'm completely floored that any of it exists. And there's tons of it to see. All you have to do is go outside and look around.

I love picturing this little ball, with all these people, and all these beautiful things floating in the galaxy. Pretty amazing stuff when you stop and experience it.




This hostel makes no sense, and it's amazing!

When skate park surf hostel meets 18th century elegance this is what happens.
Mona Surf Hostel


The hostel where your toilets are plated in gold.


Your floors and bidets are made of marble.


Your in door pool looks like it is from the Shinning.


And your ramps, rails, and other skate stuff are totally tubular.







Friday, November 14, 2014

Don't ever let a bed bug bite your nipple.

Trust me on this one. It will ruin your life for the next 2 weeks.
ITCHY NIPPLE!!!!!!



When wine is cheaper than water you drink ALOT of it.

Wine with breakfast?
Wine with lunch?
Wine with wine?
Sure! Wine not?! Get it??!?!?!?!? HAHAHAHAHA wordplay.

You read that right folks. Spain knows what's up. Buy a glass of wine get a tapa. Buy the menu del dia, you can get a tiny water or an ENTIRE BOTTLE OF WINE. Go to the local grocery store, wine is $2.

At first when I realized that wine was actually cheaper than water I thought I was drunk, then I realized I was drunk, and that it is cheaper!!!

VIA LA ESPA√ĎA! Good luck liver, you don't stand a chance.