In a BlaBlaCar: en route to Marseilles 

I cannot believe how quickly these past two months have gone by. It’s incredible how content I’ve been; I feel like it’s flown by, as if I’ve just arrived. But now I’m preparing to head back to Morocco, and I’m still a mixture of both super excited and super anxious.

Livable even when you're having a week-long dental emergency, where you once slept on the office desk, just to stay close to the icepacks...

Livable even when you’re having a week-long dental emergency, where you once slept on the office desk, just to stay close to the icepacks…

On one hand, it’s so comfortable here. It’s so liveable and easy, and aside from being a little bit expensive, there are very few challenges. The work is really fun, the people are fantastic, and the area is beautiful. So I’m feeling very sad to be leaving it at this point; it’s becoming fall, which I can imagine being an absolutely stunning time of year here. And I can’t remember the last time in which I felt like this – a desire to stay. I’ve been on the move for years… I think the only move I’ve made in the last 5 years where I felt even the slightest bit sad was when I left the beautiful 1565 – that gorgeous little basement apartment at 14th and Granville in Vancouver. But even then, I was packing up and moving onto a huge and exciting trip across West Africa! So I had plenty to look forward to.

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Never been happier to see those lions!

But right now I’m just feeling on edge, like I truly just don’t want to leave the comfort of this place. Not to mention the stress of my pending pain in the ass passport situation, which has finally arrived this morning! Without it, I was just sitting in limbo – flight booked, but unable to check in without my new passport number; unwilling to book transportation to get to the airport, just in case; and just a general feeling of being stuck.

But honestly, that’s not what this step was all about. It wasn’t about getting cosy and wanting to stay.

I came here to practice my French, and while I wouldn’t say I’m perfectly fluent (not even close, to be honest), I can definitely see some improvement, which is enough to get me started when I move to Rabat. I can at least comfortably start and hold a conversation, even if I do frequently struggle to find the proper words and constructions. So unfortunately, this little detour is just about through. It’s time to get back on track.

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Found some new scissors in the office, so at least I have new hair for the move! 😉

However, I went to Morocco in part for the challenge, and challenges are certainly what I found. So I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little bit nervous about what lies ahead in the next step; there are a lot of unknowns in this new school and new city. I’ve had about all I can take of micromanagers and power trips, so I’m crossing my fingers hard that I can carry this good energy with me and that I’m going to find some more open-hearted and creative people with healthy perspectives.

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Can’t complain about that weather either!

And thankfully, I’m getting back with a couple weeks to spare before I start work, so I’m heading to the beautiful and lovely Asilah, where I’ll hang out with my friends at my favourite MIA Hostel and recalibrate.

Speaking of which, as usual, I’m anticipating another crisis of diet… what am I going to eat now? What’s acceptable, what’s not? Where do I draw the line? My body just feels so much better on a vegan diet, and I would really prefer to keep it up this time, despite how difficult (slash boring) it is in Morocco. Though I have been stockpiling curry, black beans, and red lentils… and with moving to the capital, I’m hoping that maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to find some tofu!

Anyhow, with my passport now in hand, things are coming together for this move, and I’ve got to get my head in the game! I’m preparing to leave Annecy tomorrow, taking a BlaBlaCar (an awesome car-sharing site, which I don’t think I’ve previously mentioned) to Marseille for my flight, which is early Wednesday morning. I think I’ll just spend the night in the airport though, because the airport isn’t exactly in the city, and I can neither afford to pay for the night when I don’t intend on seeing the city, nor can I be bothered to figure out the early-morning transiting that would surely be involved!

So folks, this wraps up the French portion of my adventure! See you in Morocco 🙂

At the hairdressers: an update on cutting my own hair

I did it, guys! I cut it and didn’t mess it up! And it was so easy.

No sectioning, no perfectly straight lines. Just a ponytail and snip!

All thanks to the How-to Hair Girl.

I attempted to take some photos of the process, but realized quickly that not only that is very difficult, but it’s also unnecessary, because I am certain that it will provide no further aid than the ones in the original guide.

But basically, I went with style #2: a ponytail up high, raised it above my head, chopped off an inch or two, and called it a day.

And the only real difference now is that it just feels better. It didn’t take any noticeable length off, and the layers are still there (though maybe slightly choppier now! But honestly, you can’t tell.) I now have a series of photos to prove it, because they all look more or less the same, before and after.

The only thing I wasn’t sure about was whether to cut it wet or dry. I opted for wet because that’s when my hair is straightest (one day, blow drier, we will meet again), but most of her pictures look like it’s cut dry. And it turns out that it was fairly straightforward to brush the wet hair into the pony tail, but slightly more challenging to get the rest of it to stay straight once up. So maybe dry would have been better, or if not, at least the same. And with the layers this gives, who cares if anything is really straight at all?! 😀

Either way, I am so happy to have some new life in my hair. I’ve rid myself of those sad, dry ends, and I now think I can make it the remaining 2.5 months without driving myself insane!

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Before: don’t be fooled by the shine. That’s just the grease; it’s still a nest, in which you could lose a small child. Also I’m not naked, just to be clear.

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After: hello, natural highlights! No change in length or style, just an increase in sanity.

Status

Backpacker turned Hairstylist: Cutting my own hair while travelling

Up until a month or two ago, I was totally rocking a sweet messy/hippy/beachy traveller hair style. But now, the 7 months since my last hair cut have caught up with me, and with all the added sun, sweat, heat, and humidity, I am definitely suffering from the “unruly mop” syndrome described here. The natural volume mentioned is 100% a part of my reality, but it’s in all the wrong ways. So I am starting to seriously consider inflicting my unqualified self upon my locks (read: nest), and am looking for some guidance!

I love this post for the hilarious (and totally resonant), shameless honesty (though I totally resent how good she still looks), but I need more than just a bang trim. I need a serious overhaul, and have no idea where to start. If anybody out there has some experience and suggestions, send them my way!!

much love xo

Hostels and Hot Rollers

After 3.5 months, I came to the point where I could no longer stand the greasy strands, sandy scalp and all around unruly mop I have been sporting on top of my head.

A couple of weeks ago it all came to a head (get it..a head…no pun intended…actually no that is a lie…I thought of that pun way before I even started writing this post)

Anyways, we were back staying in Villas Macondo in Tamarindo, and I knew they had a hair dryer. This meant, for the first time, in a long time, I could check out the status of my bangs and give them a trim.

Now why on earth would I need to trim my bangs when they haven’t seen the light of day for months AND will likely not be seen again for the remainder of the trip?

389585_10151729260228538_2083539611_n See what I’m sayin!

Sanity, pure sanity. As…

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