Saturday, November 29, 2014

Funky Old Medina

We are pretty open-minded travelers. And the things we’ve seen on the road have made our outlook on life increasingly positive. Knowing how lucky we are, witnessing incomprehensible beauty, meeting the people we do…  It’s difficult to be negative when you’re blessed with the perspective that travel gives you.

Because of this, there really hasn’t been anywhere in the world we’ve been that we don’t like. Even towns that aren’t great will always have a silver lining. That one meal we had. That one person we met. Some redeeming quality will rise to the surface of every place we visit.

Until… We went to Tangier. I’m sorry. But for the first time ever, we just couldn’t find anything to like about this city. And I think that’s saying a lot, considering how many places we’ve been. The vibe is unmistakably shady. We may or may not have been followed once or twice. There was no real charm to speak of. Plenty of hassle to go around. And the only other tourists were confused cruise ship passengers.

We tried not to judge. To embrace our surroundings and dive in with an open mind. But neither of us could ignore how sketched out we felt. And our #1 rule of traveling is: If we aren’t into something, move on. It pained me to leave feeling like I hadn’t given it enough of a chance. But after just two nights, it was time for us to go.

Granted, our experience could very well be circumstantial. Much like that time we encountered nothing but assholes in Wellington, New Zealand. Or had a travel meltdown and never left that café in La Paz, Bolivia. There are times when surely if a few details were altered, our opinion of a place would be very different.

Our first greeting with Tangier was at night, which is never a good thing. It rained, non-stop. And we went in with expectations based on it's nickname - "The Tijuana of Africa". Each time we ventured out, we couldn’t wait to get back to our hostel. Which, as I write this I realize, WAS our silver lining. We seriously loved our hostel. Super comfy bed, incredibly kind staff, absolutely delicious breakfast, and a pleasant rooftop overlooking the medina. So, there you have it. Guess we’ve still never really been anywhere in the world that we just don’t like.


  1. I laughed out loud when I read this. Then I read the first two paragraphs aloud to Mason and had him blindly guess where you might be talking about. He nailed it. Tangier was easily our least favorite city in a year and a half of travel. I'm impressed you lasted two nights...

    Our other Moroccan destinations were MUCH more interesting and inviting. I think you'll be find the true travel experiences that wooed you away from Spain.

    Happy Travels!

    Abby (from the El Calafate airport)

    1. Haha, glad we're not alone! And thanks for reading/commenting :-) Hope you two are doing well (or should I say three!)