To travelers and nomads, home is typically a state of mind. However, for FriFotos this week, I wanted to take you on a photographic journey to some of the places I’ve called HOME around the world. From sailboats to hammocks; concrete blocks to tiki huts: ¡Bienvenidos a mi hogar!
Home around the world: FriFotos photo essay
The beginning and the end: my parents house and neighborhood in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. Closer to the city of Caguas, though!
Due to hurricanes, most houses in Puerto Rico are made of solid concrete throughout: including walls inside the home. Only the wealthy can afford intricate homes, as it is more expensive and difficult to build and mold concrete houses. However, if you just want one big concrete box, that won’t be too expensive!
The million-dollar home in Tampa, Florida
In the summer of 2010, I was lucky enough to score a housesitting and pet sitting gig in an affluent neighborhood in Tampa, Florida. For 2 full months, I lived like a rock star! A yacht, a boat, fun neighbors, great food! I also got to hang out with the amazing family when they were around every couple of weeks. I bonded with my hosts so much that I now call them my American family. I even call the married couple mom and dad!
Whenever I can’t go back home for Christmas, I spend the holidays with them 🙂
Don’t worry though, my first familia will always be in Puerto Rico. I simply call them mami and papi to differentiate my 2 sets of parents 😉 lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful people—much love indeed.
A hammock, overwater hostel, and a sailboat in Panama
While this hammock and overwater hostel in Bocas del Toro were my home for less than a week, I had an amazing time! Great drinking specials, quirky characters, and fun parties.
More about this trip: Panama, my last college spring break! (photo essay)
This trip got even better with 4 days sailing down the San Blas Islands—in great company as well. Just imagine this bubbly Puerto Rican, a loopy captain, 2 diplomats from the US foreign service, 2 retired lawyers, and a Kuna Indian fisherman…!
College campus in Morocco
In the fall of 2009, I studied abroad in Ifrane, a small town by the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, for 4 months. The American-style college is called Al-Akhawayn University and I had a blast! Gorgeous grounds, architecture, and people. The dorms were even better than in most colleges I’ve seen in the USA, which was crazy!
I felt most at home in the classroom of my World Religions class with Portuguese professor Jacques, though. Handsome, wise. He taught me so much about unknown cultures, religious traditions, rites, etc. I haven’t been that happy in many other places! Unfortunately, no photo of handsome Jacques available.
Cluttered roofs and sleeping on an ancient felucca in Egypt
I must have moved about 4 times during my year of Arabic studies in Egypt. Issues ranged from roommate conflicts to sketchy bowaabs (building doorman)—you name it! And even though my digital camera died within the first week in Cairo, my first flatmate—Natalia—took a good picture of one of the apartments (photo above).
Umm yeah…with my student budget (relying exclusively on a scholarship), I couldn’t afford a maid to keep the apartment dust-free nor a better view than that one. All in all, a very humbling experience. Seriously, cleanliness…one of the many things we take for granted everyday.
It goes without saying that where I felt the most at home during my year in Egypt was while drifting down the Nile on a felucca for 3 days and 2 nights. Absolutely magical.
This photo essay is almost 800 words now, so enough of home for today! 😉
Hope you enjoyed it.
I see that you studied at Al-Akhawayn University, which is awesome because I am about to study there in the spring. Do you have any advice–cool places to visit, things to bring, etc? I am so excited and I don’t want to miss anything really cool!
definitely bring your drivers license and make some friends: my fondest memories involve road trips almost every weekend! We explored SO much of Morocco, amazing! My favorite towns are Tangier, Chefchaouen, Essaouira, Ouarzazate, Fes… I could go on! Marrakesh is crazy and good to visit once or twice, just for the experience. But not too much because of the hassle haha 😛 unless you know a local family!
you’ll find that Ifrane, the tiny town where the universities located, is way too quiet for most. So, while this is very conducive for studying, not so much when you’re trying to have a little bit of crazy fun! Plus, there is SO much to see around Morocco, I highly recommend you get out every weekend 🙂
Best of luck and have FUN!
PS: Another favorite thing of mine was to buy ULTRA CHEAP airline tickets through Ryanair from Fez (which is really a two-hour drive from the University) to big cities in Europe. I remember once I could fly to Madrid round-trip for only $20! Insane! I even got to visit Rome and Madrid, all in one week, for only $100-ish for the whole jaunt (Fez-Madrid via Ryanair; Madrid-Rome via EasyJet). Crazy awesome 😀
Just found your blog through the BBB competition. Love this photos from the places you have lived. Amazing!
Thank you so much Diana! Welcome to my blog. Hopefully I get to experience more amazing places by winning the BBB competition — my life dream! 😀
I have to say, the felucca looks like the best place to wake up EVER!
It really is! One of the most peaceful nights I’ve ever had
Nicely done! This #Frifotos was a tough one, but you pulled it off well 🙂
Thanks Kenin! 🙂