Monday, 28 December 2015

A Pursuit of Happiness

I can pinpoint the exact moment when wanderlust hit me.  It was 2 days after returning from honeymoon – we had driven to a DIY store to buy paint for our bedroom wall.  I was not happy, I was all kinds of erratic – I snapped at my (new) husband in the car on the way there and burst into tears when he asked me my opinion on what colour to choose.  It was bad, real bad.
I told myself it was completely OKAY to feel like this, after a wedding, a honeymoon… the natural life crash after such a big event.  But, then I realised that the lust …. Because that essentially what it was, was eager and pulling at my heart strings like never before.  When a work colleague poked fun at my life a few weeks later, I finally snapped - I knew exactly what it was I needed to do.  
And that was to listen to my heart: wander.

-6°C & The only girl in Iceland with macaroons on her pants!

 My desire most definitely was to travel, whether it will stay the priority in the years to follow, I don’t know.  I know my heart aches for adventure and freedom.  But, I also know work is dominant in both of our lives, as is time.
I would whole-heartedly describe travel as one of the best things that ever happened to me.  If I had never dared travel, I wouldn’t have found the answers to a lot of the questions in my life.  I still feel the love of Thailand in the bottom of my stomach every day, I still feel the warmth of Fiji in my heart and I know, there is SO much more possibility out there.
If I could teach anyone one thing, it would be this: Follow your heart, listen to the lust and wander like never before.
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Saturday, 26 December 2015

Dream Catcher

2015 has been all kinds of crazy in a somewhat maddening, unrealistic vs realistic and soul searching way.  I started the year not knowing what was ahead, I was at a loss as to what I was meant to be doing (with my life, hello?), and I had a feeling of absolute gut-wrenching pain deep inside of me.  I wanted more.  So much more. 
But dare catch it?

The Blue Lagoon, Iceland - Boxing Day.
When I began listening to my dreams, my aches, and my hunger – I noticed that the determination grew and the anguish deepened.  My job was dead end, and made my imagination often run away with itself (I almost dared to drive to the beach one day).  I imagined up scenario after scenario of escaping the clutches of an unfulfilled 9-5.  Then I threw the dice and catapulted myself head first into a brand new world – which was one of the most life-changing moments, but I ended up feeling completely alien in a very grown-up life.
I realise now that dreams determine the future.  I tell people to have many dreams, because relying on just one to make you happy, doesn’t equal happiness.  My 16-year old self proclaimed a boy would make her happy, my 21-year old self proclaimed a car would make her happy – but hey guess what none of those things did.  Not wholesomely.  
Is it just me that is greedy? Or is it in fact, we all are.
I never imagined a life where I would work in a field which naturally breeds competiveness.  But, then I remember I searched long and hard for that job, and the fact it came at a time in my life where my heart was aching, and my desire was overriding my happiness.  I realise this is my time – to toughen up.
Travel eclipsed me this year.  I travelled far further than I could have ever pinned.  15 flights, 3 countries, 3 Islands and 4 cities.  Yes, I did it mostly with my incredible husband hand in hand, something we dreamed up on Honeymoon last year.  And, I wouldn’t change a single thing.  Something inside of me – the dreams (they are definitely real), take a hold of me and suddenly I find myself bathing an elephant in the middle of the rainforest.
In all honesty this blog, sometimes serves as an open letter to myself, a reminder of who I am and why I love with all of my heart, and express my every emotion in written form.  I taught myself to never look back in life, and always search for happiness.
If I told you I was as uncertain as I was at the start of the year – then that would be a lie. I am certain of my dreams.  Foremost I have the desire for adventure, and the love and passion for my job – I never did have.  
But, have I got it sussed? Absolutely fucking not.
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Sunday, 20 December 2015

A Rose Between Two Thorns

When Blossoming Gifts got back in touch with me recently I was delighted to work with them again on their stunning Christmas range of flowers.
I love flowers, but with working away from home a lot recently I can’t remember the last time I bought or received any.  (Yes, sometimes giving up the little things is far harder than the big ones).


Roses often tell of great romance and always make me laugh (because I recall the moment so vividly when we checked into our Honeymoon suite and the rose petals I had imagined my entire adult life were nowhere to be seen, much to my shocked and panicked husband). 
A rose is a remarkable flower, and by far my favourite. I think my inner Disney princess will always relate to Beauty and the Beast.  


Christmas is magical, and flowers really bring around a festive feeling.  There’s no denying that cinnamon is one of my all-time favourite spices and I love the sprigs of woodland and berry’s that appear in this ‘Cinnamon Spice’ bunch.
As always blossoming gifts deliver the best in fresh flowers and the range available is simply stunning.  It’s not too late to order in time for Christmas, everyone loves an unexpected delivery of flowers – an admirer, a friend, a mother, a daughter.

Blossoming Gifts have offered a discount code for all readers, which entitles 33% off a bouquet. (the only bouquets exempt from discount is the 'Flowers By Post' range)
 BGIFTS33

  I know, I’m incredibly lucky when I receive flowers , as rare as it sometimes is.  I always instantly feel a little bit perkier,whimsical and loved.  



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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Reflections.

How did it transpire towards the end of the year already?  I should probably get into the Christmas spirit right about now, and save these thoughts for New Year’s Eve.  But, I figured by that point I will probably be fluttering around in some sort of daze. 
What did 2015 teach me?  It taught me to fight.  Fight for what is right, face your fears, but most of all - fight for your DREAMS.


  • I worked a job I despised for 9 whole months, the equivalent of a pregnancy.  My stomach churned at some point every day, I awoke in the middle of the night wondering where my life went wrong.  I ached for something, something so much more. I struggled.

  • In April, I ran the furthest and toughest race of my life, completing a half marathon entirely by myself in less than 2 hours – my personal best.   It was tough and emotional, but completely necessary; I plan on doing it again sometime.

  • I lost a friend.  At the start of the year I lost a nine-year friendship overnight.  Which, I know happened for a reason.  Sometimes, two personalities clash and this post, was an open letter to her.  The gift of friendship is as rare as is life, 2015 cemented the fact that I am very much my own best friend.  



Most significantly I got the job of my dreams *big statement*.
One extraordinary blogger and established writer Jen, who I have admired since blogging began, Tweeted an opportunity that was too incredible to ignore.  I pursued, and 3 days later got offered the job on the spot, which changed my entire outlook on EVERYTHING.
It wasn’t easy entering a brand new world - I’ve taken big leaps, and given it my absolute all AND more.  My life has completely turned upside down – but feeling a sense of belonging and acceptance in a field and industry I absolutely live, love and breathe is what keeps the drive fuelled and spark alive, so alive, it hurts.

Anyone will tell you that life is difficult.  Believe me, I can tell you a million reasons as to why.  But, from being the girl who could barely speak, too frightened to even socialise, knocked down by a dozen job rejections, crippled by shyness, riddled in insecurity, and in search of a dream that I didn’t think or know was even possible – well let me tell you this, anything IS possible. 

I wrote this blog post in February 2011, yes.

The underlying truth is, you can be whoever you want to be in life.  If you have the passion, the love, the desire and the genie inside - one day it will surface and entirely blow you away.
Mine's WILD.  So wild. 
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Sunday, 29 November 2015

Get Nākd

Natural Balance Foods, love you. Their core brand is based around healthy living, nutrition and fitness.  They house Nākd – the mastermind behind snacking like never before.
 

 
I first tasted Nākd bars a few years ago; there was a definite promise of something raw, unique and delicious.  I never looked back.
Rhubarb and Custard flavoured bars– all the goodness, without the guilt.
The bars are innovative in the way they combine the best natural ingredients from dates and nuts, to berries and cocoa, to create delicious bars which provide energy and satisfaction.  What I find most admirable about the brand is that they are so open about sharing the bars have no added sugar or hidden extra ingredients!  Nākd taking its namesake to the next level.
 

Natural Balance Foods provide a whole stream of exercise inspiration and gym motivation – I’m forever struggling to find brands I can rely on, but also stand up to their claims.  Sometimes, a brand comes along and completely knocks you off your feet, and Natural Balance Foods have most certainly got the perfect mix of flavour, genius and knowledge – I’m quite simply blown away by their innovation, dedication and goodness.  I’m a fan, that is for sure!
 
* I was sent a selection of Nākd bars to sample.
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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Fear and Loathing

I’m going to admit it – I’m scared.  I’ve hit a stage in my life where I’m out of my comfort zone.  No longer are the days of simple answers, or solutions.  I have taken big leaps, and in turn set a whole new level of expectation.
 

 In hindsight, I knew this was coming.  Oh hell, I wanted this.  I begged for this.  But, it still doesn’t distract from the fact that it’s pretty terrifying.
These past couple of weeks have been the scariest time of my life – starting a brand new job, in a field I have never worked in professionally before, adapting to a new company, meeting new people, taking on a horrendous commute to and from work, travelling around the country and navigating around a place I know very little of, has been the toughest challenge of my life.  So why the hell am I doing it?
Because: This is it.
Life is tough, and I’m the girl who doesn’t do things by half – I hate the ordinary, I pursue every mountain, I dream big, I dig deep, I run in the pouring rain, I push myself to the absolute extreme, I love with all of my heart and after a fall I always come back fighting.
We established a little while ago, just how fierce I was.  And, I think ultimately this is what makes me the person that I am.  
I always, always wanted a career, not just a job.
And, as time caught up with me, the hunger, the drive and the determination got the better of me.  Taking on unsatisfying jobs and low profile roles meant my aspirations weakened, I almost if you will, felt defeated.  But, then Thailand opened my heart to possibility, and everything changed…

This is only the beginning, and when attending The Golden Apron Awards last Monday on behalf of my company in conversation with a well-established writer and editor, she politely told me ‘you need to toughen up girl’ – and that struck a chord with me, because you know what, that is precisely what I intend to do.
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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Paradise in a Nutshell – Day 3 in Koh Lanta

A lot of people deemed us crazy to be travelling to Thailand for just 3 days. But, I’m a dreamer and I know that dreams are worth chasing – even if that requires a lot of dedication, disruption and desire. Trust me – it’s worth it.
 

On our final evening we decided to make use of the spa, which included a massage – something I have never experienced before in my life. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always wondered what spa days may encounter, but never have I had the opportunity or occasion to try one out. Well, this may just have changed everything and opened my eyes to a whole new world of relaxation.
 

On our arrival at the spa, we were met with green tea, and given white slippers. We then were escorted to our treatment room, where I found myself doubled over in laughter when we were presented with the tiniest 'panties' – my husband’s face was a picture!

We chose the aromatherapy package, which was an hour long massage, with oils and lotion. I am no expert in spa treatments, but wow did I feel good afterwards. I felt an overwhelming sense of relief, I was awakened.

The treasured part for me was unveiling my elephant tattoo, and the kind masseuse carefully patting Pang, almost feeling a sense of realism – my tattoo had spoken to her.

The next day we had the morning to gather our belongings and thoughts. I felt a deep desire to spend a little time alone – I needed some escapism. So, I found myself solely heading towards the beach, where I sat and admired the setting (once more) and quietly pondered my thoughts. In that moment I realised just how grateful I was to Thailand – if I had never travelled here in May, I certainly wouldn’t be sat here now and more so – I don’t think I would have ever unlocked my dreams.

I then ecstatically joined my husband for a final treat around the pool – a dragon fruit I’d bought the day before at a fruit stall. I carefully sliced it down the middle with a pen knife and devoured one half, then the other. I felt absolutely gluttonous, but in the most tropical way. I’d just eaten an entire dragon fruit in one sitting!

 

We then left for the airport. Of course, our journey home took almost 24 hours – taking 5 days away from reality (2 travelling and 3 staying in Koh Lanta), was a trip worth taking. I wouldn’t ever decline an opportunity to travel, seek and wander (because sometimes in life, you have to take chances).

I’m not sad that we are home, or that we couldn’t stay longer – I am more enthused, excited and passionate about the next trip, wherever that may be.

 
Never, ever give up on what you love most.



Day 1 in Koh Lanta

Day 2 in Koh Lanta
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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Scream If You Wanna Go Faster - Day 2 in Koh Lanta

 
We woke to calm – the storm had left and we were certain of another glorious day in Koh Lanta.  I ran a warm bath, flung open the shutters in our bathroom (totally bliss) and once more absorbed the setting – we were situated right in the middle of a spring of palm trees.
Sunday’s have become the day we look forward to most, at home we usually use them to catch up on chores and anything else that hasn’t happened during the week.  I’ve kind of lost touch with the idea that Sunday is a day to be enjoyed.  When we were preparing to get married in 2014, we visited church most Sunday’s – which was an absolute joy for me, I found myself looking forward to our visit each week.  I also became fond of dressing in my Sunday best – I felt a sense of pride in getting dressed smart for church and have kept this little mantra in mind. 
 
Dress: Primark
So, Sunday called for something lovely – I put on my satin floral dress and headed straight towards breakfast.  I indulged in more fruit and gently savoured my coffee admiring the glorious views.  It was then, my husband posed the question whether to hire a scooter for the day. Of course, it was an almighty: Yes! 

My husband is a great navigator, he also patiently taught me to drive (which was quite the challenge to say the very least), he also had a scooter long before I met him.  He often reminisces about this time in his life, and I always smile and imagine him on his mint green Vespa. The scooters available for hire where a little more modern in age, but of course I knew I was in safe company – he selected us two helmets (flowers for me, naturally), and off we went…
 
 
We didn’t have a map; instead we used our instinct to navigate around town.  We headed straight towards the busy streets, stopping off for an iced cold drink and some gasoline.  I adored the old school petrol pumps and couldn’t help but pose next to one...
 

 
Next, we hopped back on and headed towards the other side of the island – where we were met with miles of pure open road, we increased our speed and I clasped my arms as tight around Simon as possible, I may have even screamed a little!   
 
We passed an army of fruit stalls (I stopped to take photographs of the amazing tropical varieties), bars, beach shacks, and …. Monkeys!  I had read that monkeys were often present in Koh Lanta, but I didn’t realise we would suddenly find ourselves surrounded by a small fleet of them.  Of course, I was absolutely mesmerised by these tiny creatures on the road, but felt a deep sense of sadness that they were so close to danger.  We carefully passed them, and made a pit stop for some lunch (Pad Thai obviously). 
 

 
Our final stop was a small bit of beach – again unpopulated, a small family run shack was on the edge of the beach – we both ordered banana smoothies.  I then realised that, the most unfortunate incident had occurred.  I had only got my period, unexpected and unannounced – I couldn’t help but laugh, laugh at the ironic scenario I was now in.
 

Without a graphic detailed account (we’re all women here), the scooter had truly pushed me over the edge!  And my dress, yes that beautiful dress was now all I had to wear until we returned back to our hotel.

Arriving back, we returned our scooter and said goodbye to a brilliantly short-lived fairy tale.  Later that evening, I looked at my husband over dinner and quietly told him that ‘it had been one of the best days of my life, spent with him.'
 
 ♥ 
 
To be continued...
Day 1 in Koh Lanta.

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Friday, 23 October 2015

Thunder Only Happens When It Rains - Day 1 in Koh Lanta

Arriving in the Koh Lanta district was something to be treasured; being met by a warming heat and tropical palms at every corner was like stepping into A Bug's Life.
I loved the overwhelming greenery – so natural, and home to so many lizards, bugs and an abundance of nature.
Of course, jet lag set in almost simultaneously as we checked into our room – we did very little but unpack the essentials and then get some much needed sleep overnight.



Waking up on Saturday morning was glorious – I felt a wave of energy and a solid sense of happiness about myself.  Stepping out onto our balcony surrounded by palm trees at arm’s length and a crisp blue sea in the distance was breath-taking; we were in our very own oil painting.

Breakfast Dreams: Watermelon, mango, pineapple, papaya and dragon fruit

I am no stranger to creating mammoth creations on my plate, and getting giddy over breakfast is by far one of my favourite things to do whilst on my travels!  My husband actually laughed when I returned with this ginormous plate of fruit, he believed I wouldn’t eat it all – but as usual I proved him entirely wrong and devoured the fruit mountain in one sitting.



Next up, we familiarised ourselves with the surroundings – hello beach!  I genuinely feel as if life has a funny way of reoccurring and words becoming real, when I visited Phi Phi Islands in the summer, I wrote how I felt the desire to find a less remote and quieter beach ... this was simply everything I had wished upon.

It was extremely surreal being able to see Phi Phi in the distance, knowing we were on the tip of exactly where we had visited five months prior (and not knowing we would be returning).



I actually couldn’t contain my excitement, I ran across the stretch of beach (barefoot) with so much adrenaline in my blood.  I was absolutely in my element, this was something that I remember so clearly from my honeymoon – setting off running, without even a moment to ponder, or inform my husband (he’s used to my spontaneity now).  It’s true, when you are truly happy – you strive to do the things you love most, thus running.

We then had a blissful afternoon enjoying our hotel facilities – the pool, jacuzzi and simple relaxation.  On our return to our room, we were met with a plate of pineapple!  Later, that evening we decided to have a wander into town to pick up a few bits from the local 7-Eleven (amazingly good convenience store, we first discovered back in May).

That evening was quite a quiet one for us – we sat on our balcony, ate more tropical fruit and absorbed our surroundings.  When we climbed into bed, we heard a roar of thunder, which then spiralled into a spectacular storm.  It felt all too real, and as if almost the ceiling was about to cave in – we actually jumped out of bed at one point and I grabbed my phone ready to call for help!

Thunder and lightning like never before – Thailand is known for its unpredictable climate, and we had just witnessed the storm of all storms.
To be continued... 
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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Back to the Future

Exactly a week ago myself and my husband set off on a journey back to where it all began – Thailand.  When I say ‘back’ – I am referring to our time in Thailand earlier this year.  A trip that warmed our hearts and most definitely changed my entire outlook on everything.  It sparked a passion, deep inside of me and I discovered that my desire to write about travel, food and culture was very much a part of who I was.

Sports Bra: Ellesse Bikini: Roxy

I went onto write a travel log entry for Travel3Sixty, which then got published in the August 2015 issue.  This gave me the desire to fuel my passion further.  Search, write and endlessly follow my dreams.


Getting my article published was everything I could have wished for.  Additionally in return for the article I was given a complimentary voucher.  In all truth (because I’m not going to compromise on truth), I got given a free stay at a resort in Koh Lanta, a spa voucher and designated travel to the resort via mini bus and ferry.  Flights from London were not included – meaning we had to decide, whether to go or not and make the opportunity happen.

It was almost certainly going to be a no, because with work commitments it seemed impossible to fit in to an already busy schedule.  But, call it fate, destiny or a sea of overwhelming desire – I received a text one day, from my husband, saying 'let’s just do it'.  And, that we did.

I’m incredibly lucky to have been able to travel to another part of the world, and I’m feeling truly grateful.
I love Thailand SO much.

 ♥

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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

You Got The Love

I'm Alice Taylor and I'm a dreamer
I always follow my heart above anything else.  But, without sounding like a broken record, of course you already know all of this (especially long time readers and friends: Jazz, Ellie, darling Sophie, Maria, Gem, Vix, Char, Alex, Hazel, Laura, Dani, Rebecca, Nicola, Lucy...). 

San Francisco 2014 - Living my new married name.
My writing always determines my destiny.  If I'm happy I write, if I am sad I write.  There's no escaping my desire to write and document my life.  Harriet the Spy was my childhood role model, then there was Carrie Bradshaw who came along in my teens, who taught me that it's okay to express personality in what you love.

Not just fictional characters inspire me.  Real people inspire me.  The ones who write for a living, freelance (I'm looking at you J for Jen and WishWishWish), published and unpublished authors, magazine editors, youtubers, vloggers.  I've always fiercely admired Zoella's genuine likeability and ultimate deserved success.

I guess, my biggest inspirations are the people who are too - dreamers.  People, who put their passions before practicality, make their love into something so real it hurts.  And, of course never give up on what they believe in.

Last week, my life changed forever. 

I applied for a job so different to any other that had ever come before.  Three days later, I was offered the job there and then on the spot, and absolutely speechless.  I have never in my life, found myself in that position.  I cannot even begin to express the gratitude I felt deep inside, somebody had told me they wanted me for a job that not only is my dream, the ultimate... writing for a living, but had wanted me, specifically me.

My Dad is my greatest hero, my number one fan and quite simply in every way a part of me.  When I told him of the news, he replied by saying 'Nobody can ever doubt your passion Alice, in what you love, you certainly have passion'
My Daddy, my Father, the only man to know me better than my husband, had told me what I had never, ever considered a desired quality, but now I know it's the key to opening up the entire world.

Having a passion for something that you love, however wild and so far out of reach is the key to finding the happiness, fulfilment and in this very instance - the dream job.

I definitely have got the love.  
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Sunday, 11 October 2015

Why you should Never Compromise Passion

Anyone who has ever met me will know one thing: I am a dreamer
I have a heart full of passion, and a mind set to fulfil my every aching desire.  I don’t know where it comes from, if I inherited it in my genes, whether the influences in my life determined it or whether I created it.  Because, what I have found is once you find it, you can’t get rid of it.

I’ve spoken of my dreams a lot this year, and how they have a way of returning, and becoming the forefront of my every day.  Imagine an alarm clock drawn up in your mind, everyday set to an even earlier time, and a louder ringing.  That – in essence is what I have been feeling for a long time.
I’ve always written from my heart, and you will never find me compromising on truth, or honesty.  Brutal honesty. 

Thailand May 2015
A little while ago I began to realise that real success in life is about graft, hard work, and determination.  I taught myself that when I trained and completed a half marathon in April completely by myself – no company, just me.
Yes, it was tough and challenging but after I’d done that, I realised that doing things through your own agenda, was far more rewarding that any other experience or something that could be bought, given or received.  

I wanted to spread a little message, an anecdote if you will...

If you have the passion, the love, the will to see it through – in turn good will come.  Life is about searching, searching for deepest fulfilment and happiness.
If you try and compromise what you love, then ultimately you will lose. 

Follow your heart, and never let go of your dreams.  Not, never.

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Sunday, 4 October 2015

Saying Goodbye to Zero and Body Dysmorphia

When I first began losing weight, dropping dress sizes was magical – it felt like a dream.
 I couldn’t believe it, I remember struggling to fit into my old clothes, skirts began dropping to my knees (even in public) and tops became so baggy it was like they had never belonged to me. 


The first time I went shopping was an out of this world experience.  I can’t explain the feeling – I only ventured to George at Asda, but I was shell shocked that the garments I’d taken into the fitting room and tried on were FAR too big.  I had picked up sizes I was so used to wearing – 12s, 14s, 16s – they looked like all my other clothes previous, why didn’t they fit?
It took a long time for me to get my head around my decreasing size.  Because, even though I was aware I had lost weight, the image in my mind was still set around a size 14/16 (not a smaller digit, if anything a bigger one).

When I was at my lowest weight, I found that size 10 was still too big.  With a petite frame, I struggled with proportions tremendously. I found myself wandering into the children’s section a lot – something which was very strange.
But, being the woman that I am I never gave up on my quest to lose weight for my wedding in 2014. When I got married I was a size 8 – and I’m warmly accepting of that.  Because something carried me through the lead up to the wedding, but hell heck, you know I failed to laugh and I can look back now and firmly say that I did it my way – but not necessarily the right way.

If I had been a few pounds heavier would my husband still have married me?  Of course he would have done, lets face it he would have married me if I was the size of an elephant!
 Would I have felt as confident on my wedding day as I did?  Sadly probably not

The fairy tale happened after my wedding (and it didn’t involve dress sizes).  I was firmly set on conquering health and happiness.  From my time spent in Thailand, to embarking on vegetarianism, to my undying love of tropical fruit. Yes, I do rather love good food.
People, who know me, still consider me to be one of the healthiest people they know – but for me, health is about lifestyle. If you are passionate about what you eat and how you eat it, then there is no need to crash diet, beat yourself up about calories or lose faith in yourself.  

I could talk about the perils of weight loss all day long, I can emphasise with girls who struggle with their weight, much younger than me.  But, also every woman who has ever looked in the mirror and disliked the figure staring back at them – I once was that woman, every woman. 

Sorting through some clothing for charity this weekend, I stumbled upon my size zero skirt. The one and only item I ever purchased with the aptly sized 0 tag.  I laughed, because the girl who bought this skirt two years ago was so fixated on the size printed on the tag, but was it really necessary?
At the time, yes it was.  Now – absolutely not.

Be whoever you want to be, and always be true to yourself.

 photo alicesign_zps71940e85.jpg



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Friday, 2 October 2015

Marrakesh, Souks and Culture

When I was in Morocco last month, I was so intrigued by the promise of culture that lay ahead in Marrakesh and visiting some of the world famous souks, but had my reservations – I was a young female traveller with little knowledge of the country and felt partly out of my depth. 

Trousers: NEXT Petite Top and Scarf: Second-hand Sandals: Debenhams

But, sometimes you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Because, I knew I would regret it if I didn’t at least try. Luckily my friend wanted to accompany me. That didn’t mean we didn’t get absolutely swarmed on by locals and traders alike. It was definitely tough – but I felt a huge sense of awareness afterwards.  

Having travelled to Dubai last year, I had already had a taste of souks previously (a market full of many treasures such as gold, food, textiles and souvenirs), so thankfully knew how to deal with bargaining and agreeing or you could say disagreeing on a price.

Marrakesh was hot, very hot. Golden, and noisy. Cars, scooters and buses lined the streets and traders, tourists and local men and women made up the crowds...

Above: Scorching Marrakesh midday

My favourite memory was stepping into a tiny café to grab water, where a group of men casually dressed in beige suits were sharing mint tea (traditional Moroccan tea), and reading newspapers. It goes to show that wherever you may be in the world, there is always time for tea and news.
 
Homewares, textiles and candles all on offer in the souks
As we walked from souk to souk, we became aware of what goods were available, I discovered the most beautiful lamp figurine. The beauty came in the fact the seller didn’t once bother me, or force the sale on me, which I was incredibly gracious of.

On our way back to our hotel later that day, my friend and I chatted about our experience in Marrakesh and how different things were from anywhere we had ever experienced. But, we both said how different selling goods is, the fact that nothing had a price tag or a 'fixed value' – it’s open to suggestion.
   
I only saw a tiny part of an incredibly fascinating place – I imagine if I went back, I would be far braver, and more adventurous.
I truly believe that sometimes doing things you wouldn’t imagine yourself doing is sometimes the most satisfying journey you can take. 

Tasting Morocco - The Olive and Date way

Moroccan Dreams



  photo alicesign_zps71940e85.jpg



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