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Morocco Travel Tips: What to Know Before You Go

Morocco travel tips - What to Know Before You Go | The Atlas Heart

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Morocco Travel Tips – from booking buses and tipping, to Moroccan time and aggressive men. This is what you should know before arriving in Morocco. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first touched down in Morocco. 

Even though it has become a popular place for millennial travelers in recent years, I knew there were probably still a lot of misconceptions about the country that I had unwillingly internalized through the media and one-off negative travel stories. 

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Wrap Up: September 2018

Wrap Up: September 2018 | San Francisco, California

September was an exciting month of returning back to California and setting up a base in San Francisco. It was a bit surreal to be back stateside after only a few months abroad, but I couldn’t deny how happy it made me to be back in California and in a culture that I knew like the back of my hand.

I had to keep pinching myself to remind myself that I was actually home and that I didn’t have plans to leave again anytime soon. It was a weird but refreshing feeling.

After running around trying to see as much as possible in Portugal and Morocco in August, it was nice to simply slow down and focus on my work, my writing, and spending quality time with family.

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Travel Tips for Portugal: 20 Things That Surprised Me

Travel Tips for Portugal: 20 Things that Surprised Me | The Atlas Heart

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Travel tips for Portugal so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Here are 20 things that surprised me about Portugal!

It’s baffling to me how much of an underrated destination Portugal still is. I only heard countless good things from other travelers before I finally saw it myself, but it still has far less visitors per year than nearby countries, such as Spain, France, and Italy. 

Perhaps that’s where its charm lies, however – it’s not overrun by tourism. Although, it’s now starting to get there, with tourists taking over in the summer and swarming to spots like the Algarve, Lisbon, and Porto in recent years. 

Because Portugal isn’t at the top of everyone’s list when they visit Europe, I had a narrow view of what to expect from a few select perspectives, all of which said pretty much the same thing: Portugal is the best country in Europe, you’ll never want to leave, etc. 

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Traveling Iceland in May: One Week Itinerary

Traveling Iceland in May - One Week Itinerary | The Atlas Heart

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Thinking of traveling Iceland in May? Read through this detailed one week itinerary for Iceland to figure out where to go and what to see during your upcoming trip!

So, you’re planning a trip to Iceland? And in my favorite month?! Congrats! I’m already jealous of you because Iceland is a crazy beautiful country and the first (or second, or third) time you see it is magical.

After noticing Iceland pop onto the radar circa 2012, with the creation of WOW Air and their layover deal, it has been a country that has peaked my interest.

Northern Lights, puffins, and raw shark meat? What’s not to love! Okay, maybe not the potent raw shark meat, but everything else sounded great.

Except for the fact that it’s one of the most expensive countries in the world. Womp womp.

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Wrap Up: August 2018

Wrap Up: August 2018 | Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal | The Atlas Heart

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I arrived back to California a few nights ago and I already feel like a weight has been lifted, as if my shoulders can finally relax from carrying around the backpack that I’ve been living out of for the past 5 and a half years.

Without a doubt, it feels good to be home because I know this is exactly where I want to be right now.

It’s the first time in a long time where I’ve been content to not have any future trips planned at the moment. Mostly, I’m excited that I moved into my new place in San Francisco yesterday and that I’m already starting to set up a more fixed life in the Bay Area.

When I was walking around the city on my first full day back, waves of excitement kept washing over me with the dawning realization that this is my city now. It’s a place that I can start calling home and get to know in a more detailed and nuanced way.

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I’m Moving (Back) to California!

I'm Moving (Back) to California!

After 5 and a half years of slow travel around the world, I’m ready to have a more stable life in California. This is why. 

When the wheels lifted off the tarmac for Iceland in May, I felt my heart sink and float back down to San Francisco. 

A realization set in. I was leaving for yet another indefinite amount of time abroad, and all I could think about was how much I was going to miss California. 

I rarely get homesick, and the fact that I was already feeling a homesickness creep in during takeoff was proof enough that, at least for now, California is where my heart and mind are at.  

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6 Local Experiences to Have in Calgary in the Summer

6 Local Experiences to Have in Calgary in the Summer | Alberta, Canada

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A few local experiences to have in Calgary in the summer to show you why it’s still one of the most underrated cities in Canada.

The Atlas Heart is a place to find the best local experiences in cool cities around the world, and to throw out misconceptions we might have about other cultures. With this in mind, I sometimes seek out other perspectives on this blog to help with a more layered view of the world. 

Today, Cat Lin, a Calgary-based food and travel writer from For Two, Please, is sharing her love for “Cowtown” through her favorite local experiences to enjoy around the city. 

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Wrap Up: July 2018

Wrap Up: July 2018 | The Atlas Heart

I moved into my sublet on July 1st, signifying the start of my summer and new life in Lisbon. It’s hard to wrap my mind around that only being 4 weeks ago because so much has happened this month. 

I’ve settled nicely into my life in Portugal, although I would by lying if I didn’t say that there are quite a few things that have surprised me about this country – both good and bad.

I knew within about 2 weeks of living here that it’s not a place that I’d want to live longterm, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here as a temporary expat. 

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Wrap Up: June 2018

Wrap Up: June 2018 | Porto, Portugal | Europe | Travel Blogger

Just as soon as I started getting used to life in the UK, I found myself on a plane to Portugal mid-month to immerse myself in a new language and culture completely.

You would think after all my years of travel I would have little to no culture shock by now when arriving in new places, but I always forget how challenging the first couple weeks can be in a new country, especially non-English speaking ones, and especially when you plan to live there for awhile (i.e. you’re not just a tourist).

On a whim, I decided to base myself in Porto for a week and a half before my friend Adi from San Francisco arrived at the end of June, and before my sublet started in Lisbon at the beginning of July.

Porto was a good start to my summer in Portugal (partly because it included a lot of wine tasting!), and I’m glad I was able to enjoy a northern city before settling down for awhile in Lisbon.

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7 of the Most Peaceful Places around London

Kew Gardens, London | 7 of the Most Peaceful Places around London

My picks for the most peaceful places around London, to find a slice of solitude without ever having to leave the city.

London is a city of many talents. Its draw is its mind-boggling variety – the endless options for restaurants, attractions, bars, and events at any time of the day, week, or year. It’s the epicenter of the UK, and a consistent contender for the most popular city in Europe (a regular battle with Paris for that title most years).

However, the constant hustle and bustle can be as exhausting as it is invigorating. The beeping horns, loud sirens, the pollution, mad drivers that are always in a rush to be somewhere.

It’s hard to find stillness in a city of 8.1 million. And stillness is simply not the vibe of London. Its intoxicating atmosphere is one of constant movement, everyone seems to have a part to play as the Londoner who has places to be and no time to waste.

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