WELCOME. I'm Annika and the Midnight Blue Elephant is my blog. I travel between adventure and luxury and some of my favorite things are finding Nemo, noodles & champagne! Keen to come looking with me?

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Morocco - Marrakech - Woman Traveler - Midnight Blue Elephant - Annika Ziehen

Two recent events inspired this post: A friend of mine is going to be in Essaouria for six weeks and while she is super excited to be in a new country, she also has lots of questions and anxieties about it. And while that is obviously normal, it seems that Morocco is still portrayed in a way that as a woman you should be more anxious than excited if you go there on your own. Following suit with this sentiment I just read a post about how to behave which to me seemed to more discouraging than anything. I’m not going to post the link, because I don’t want to seem like I’m bashing someone else’s opinion, but ultimately that’s what it was – one person’s opinion. With that said, I thought I would give you my own as I will tell it to my friend.

giraffe love - midnight blue elephant - south africa - annika ziehen - giraffe manor

When I was born my brother who draws really well made a drawing of my mother and I that showed a mother giraffe and baby giraffe. Probably inspired by the fact that my mother has a somewhat long neck and that I was a tall 59cm when I was born. So I think giraffes were predestined to be my spirit animals.

midnight blue elephant - perfect holiday - cambodia - vietnam - marocco - annika ziehen

What is the perfect holiday? Is it travel, is it vacation? Tomāto, tomăto. My newfound travel heroine Lisa Lindblad said in her interview for Pure that travel shouldn’t be a privilege, it should be a requirement. And that travel in itself is meant to be challenging as it is work already through its etymological meaning. I like that sentiment. And so travel doesn’t contradict with the sentiment of sunloungers and holidays, it’s simply a part of it, or at least should be.

Baan Talay-Koh Tao-Thailand-Midnight Blue Elephant-gecko

Okay, well, not quite, but almost and this is how it happened…

As per usual I had gone all out in my planning for my last week in Thailand. After weeks of reading, searching, and asking around I had settled on Koh Tao and the Baan Talay Resort, mainly because they offered yoga classes and huts with hammocks in an ultra secluded location.

Marrakech - Pure Life Experiences - Midnight Blue Elephant - Annika Ziehen - Marocco - 1

While I haven’t even unpacked my suitcase from my Morocco trip yet (in fact I’m still on a train to Hamburg while I write this), I am already planning my next journey. Which, while I think that is what most avid travelers do, is a bad habit. While it may prevent me from post holiday depression, it also prevents me from post holidays reflections. So while I was officially only in Marrakech to attend a conference, Pure Life Experiences, so much has actually happened and I need to reflect on that: things I liked, things I learned, things I could have done better, people I have met, and how I have changed through it all.

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