Travelling and the DIY’er

So my Shengen visa expired, causing me to leave Europe for 90 days before I can return. And trust me, I want to return. Every day that I spent in Madrid nourished a growing desire for me to be there. When I was in Texas taking care of the family issues, I couldn’t wait to get back. There’s something special about Spain. The people are relaxed, the food is good. People aren’t too concerned with working as much as they can to buy things; yeah, it just feels good there. Plus I met someone who brings a lot of positivity out of me, and that’s inspiring as well.

I left Spain and went to Morocco. The flight was about 60 euro, and everything is fairly inexpensive there. I figured it would be a nice place to visit, and kind of unwind from the regular travel routine. I have to say that Morocco was something that I couldn’t have prepared myself for, unless I studied Arabic. The culture was unlike anything I had experienced before. Sometimes the vendors were incredibly pushy, and more often than anywhere else, I was confronted by very pushy beggars. With that being said, it is what it is, and I can’t not recommend going there. Although my experience has mixed feelings, I do not regret it one bit.

After my first week in Rabat, the capital, I had visited various markets that only the locals would know about. It honestly felt like I was walking through a junkyard. And I only say this, because I’ve been to many junk yards. I think they’re cool. When I was at a market near Casablanca, I bought 5 meters of seat-belt webbing. I know, right? Why do I need 5 meters of seatbelt webbing. It’s probably something my dad would’ve bought too. “Hey, that’s a good deal eh? about two dollars and fifty cents, you can’t beat that. ‘Might need to tie something.”

I rolled up the webbing, stashed it in my bag, and waited for an idea to come. A couple days after that I left to Fez, a well known tourist town. I found an inexpensive hotel for about 7 Euro a night. The people were nice, and the food was great. I even met a Danish couple who I travelled with to another city later.

During my stay there, I kind of just wanted to do my own thing. And after being confronted by a lot of pushy beggars, I decided one morning that I was going to do a project with that seatbelt webbing. A kind and middle-aged man was also staying at the hotel, and I noticed that he had a bag on his belt, so that’s where I got the inspiration on what to make out of the seatbelt webbing. I woke up the next morning, started to make it, and didn’t stop until I was done. I measured out the stitching using graph paper, and I used my 40kg test spider wire for thread. The bag took me about 8 hours. IMG_20150703_124437_029I do consider myself an artist, but I wouldn’t consider this art. I would say that this is more or less my means of finding some sort of creative outlet when I can’t be sitting next to a piano. Simply put, I often find myself needing to do something with my hands.

The next day I was off on another mission, and my travelling companions were also keen on the idea. “Making Hammocks.”  That’s what I was going to do. I needed to find some nylon fabric and rope, and here I was kicking myself for forgetting my beloved paracord. Eventually I found what I was looking for, and my creative needs were satisfied.  The fabric was about 12 euro to make two hammocks. They turned out pretty comfortable as well. I slept in one on a rooftop in Chefchaouen.

IMG_20150703_180222_194Travelling for a while can sometimes give you a sense of not accomplishing much. It’s an irrational feeling in my case, but none-the-less, a real feeling. I wrote a book, so it’s not exactly like I wasn’t doing anything. I also found some job offers in Asia, and that was comforting as well. But as usual, I continue down a path where I don’t really know what’s going to happen. All I can do is trust in my intentions as I continue to mold and shape them into a world where I wish there was more beauty and compassion. And sometimes, I just need to make something.


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