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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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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.

10 things i love about you - marrakech - morocco - annika ziehen - midnight blue elephant - 02

I have decided that after my somewhat sad travel love story and now being back in Marrakech I really needed to focus on reclaiming this wonderful city and my work. After all this is what I’m here for, namely the Pure Life Experiences conference and so I have actually no time for idle chat with silly boys. I’m also here to use my few spare hours for some serious shopping, which I will tell you in detail in a later, but I promise you, you will become a souk pro and you have been warned!

Halong Bay is easily one of the spectacular UNESCO heritage sites there are and whether you like boats in general, don't miss out on a junk cruise here.

My sole motivation to go to Vietnam was to eat as many fresh spring rolls as possible. I was reminded of that reason yesterday at a fancy cocktail party where they served some, but introduced them as summer rolls. Which is what they are only called elsewhere but not in Vietnam. I dare to say you will get blank looks when you order summer rolls there. Nevertheless they were actually pretty good, at least as far as Vietnamese food outside of Vietnam goes that you get at a cocktail party. Good enough to make me miss it, so I spent the evening eating more rolls than appropriate while trying to inauspiciously google cheap flights to Vietnam.

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