2017 in a nutshell:
- Another continent checked bringing the grand total to 6 continents visited
- Living in Europe
- Learning Spanish
- Improved my comprehension but still working on speech
- Travelled to 18 countries, 43 cities
- Spain- Alicante, Valencia, Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, & Toledo
- Morocco- Tangier, Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakesh, Ait Ben Haddou, Fes, & Chefchaouen
- Switzerland- Zurich & Luzerne
- Guatemala- Antigua, San Pedro, Lanquin, & Flores,
- Panama- Bocas del Toro
- Costa Rica- Quepos, San Jose, & Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
- Netherlands- Amsterdam
- Hungary- Buda & Pest
- Bulgaria- Sofia
- Greece- Athens
- Italy- Rome
- The Vatican City
- Israel- Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Jericho, & Jordan
- Palestine- Bethlehem
- Austria- Vienna
- Portugal- Lisbon & Sintra
- Bahamas- Long Island & Bahamas
- United States- Paterson, Maplewood, Brooklyn, Manhattan
Least favorite country: Morocco
The least favorite country visited was Morocco. According to research and other people who have visited Morocco, how people feel about Morocco is either love or dislike. For me it was dislike for multiple reasons. Let’s start with a top contender- food. The food was horrible. For all the spices they are known for, there was no flavor in the food. For me one of the key reasons to visit a country is to experience the local cuisine. Another major shock was the sanitary conditions. Morocco is surprisingly behind the times in terms of sanitation and I do not mean fancy systems or anything like that. The simplest thing like compost is widely overlooked. Walking in the markets you will see at least 5 people pushing wheel barrels full of human waste and dumping it God knows where. Mind you while in a market I saw a man fall while pushing a barrel (luckily it was empty though). But just imagine the stench and unsanitary conditions Moroccans are face with daily. The experiences I had took me through a host of emotions from sad to excited but I wouldn’t visit the country again and to me that makes it the least in my book. Check out my post about Morocco to find out more.
Top 2 countries: Hungary & Switzerland
I can not decide if Hungary or Switzerland was the best country of 2017. I had a great time in both countries but they were slightly different because Switzerland was a solo trip and Hungary was with the Golden Girls. Here are my thoughts about Switzerland.
Biggest thing I learned this year: how to effectively communicate with others especially with those whose first language isn’t English.
Biggest hurdle I had to jump through: was feeling sad that I wasn’t spending time with my nieces and nephew.
Biggest accomplishment: can’t pick between starting my blog or moving to Spain. For me they hold the title for different reasons.
- Spain: kept talking about wanting to learn Spanish and live on a different continent but never really did anything about it. 2017 I changed that by moving to Spain
- Blog: talked about it but never took the plunge. Decided to give it a try and the process of creating and maintaining I have learned a lot about my communication skills, passions, creativity.