The trip that changed YOUR life

The trip that changed YOUR life

Regardless if we’re avid travelers or just taking occasional trips around our hometowns, all of us travel lovers that live to explore and discover new places, we all have that one story that is stuck in the back of our minds and always pops up either to remind us to be humble, to love and respect others, to care about nature and the surroundings, or simply to motivate us to keep on going, no matter what.  It’s that kind of story that changes our life and the beautiful thing about it is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be something dramatic; it can be so tiny, yet have a tremendous impact on us.

Every story is important for the individual. Little things we might easily overlook can mean the world to someone else and be life-changing and it’s so inspiring to hear other people’s stories and see what motivates them to be better humans.

Because that’s what it’s all about: to be better. To be more loving, caring, helping, peaceful, motivated. It’s about a positive impact on our lives.

And what if you could share your story and not only inspire others, but also give a helpful hand just by telling your story?

Yes, that could be possible via Project Alpha, by Hung Thai. Follow the link to see how you can share YOUR STORY, be PUBLISHED in an inspiring book and HELP others along the way. It’s a win-win situation, I promise!

So, what’s your life-changing story?

Sharing is caring! ♥

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7 Days in Morocco #excerpt (1)

7 Days in Morocco #excerpt (1)

“We are getting nervous as the African soil is appearing below us in our sight, first with its wide deserted lands and then with tiny towns made of mud buildings, blending in perfectly with the color of the land. We’re becoming even more nervous and impatient when the red buildings of Marrakesh are already being distinguishable below us for quite a long time while the plane is flying really low […]”

Writing a book is not a piece of cake (part 2)

I was feeling desperate, I almost wanted to give up. If it weren’t for a couple of friends that knew what I was up to and encouraged me to keep going, I WOULD have given up.

As I said, I tried to read my story from a stranger’s point of view. I tried to be my worst critic: the phrases would not always flow coherently, some were too long, others were boring or simply didn’t add up to the story as a whole. Some were plain useless and uninteresting. Do you know how much it hurts to delete details that you like just because they don’t help the story in any way? I tell you: a lot. It’s a very fine line between writing enticing details that keep you stuck to the page and endless descriptions that annoy the reader.

What also happened was the long time that passed from the actual trip. You know how time tends to alter our memories and, even more so, our feelings regarding a certain memory. I had to do a double effort here: one, to try to remember exactly how strong I felt regarding a certain experience/ happening and describe it accurately, and two, to try to emphasize details that I overlooked while traveling. A good example for the latter would be the exotic architectural details that were surrounding me everywhere. I remember feeling in awe admiring them while passing by, yet I was always snapping captures with my camera and, basically, not stopping enough to take in the view. While writing the book, I realized I just didn’t know how to properly describe what I saw. I would come up with words that referred to my feelings of the place (“beautiful”, “inspiring”, “marvelous”…), but nothing regarding color, exact shape, light, physical appearance in general. What does a reader imagine from “the building was so beautiful”? Yup, that’s what I thought too. I had to help myself with the hundreds of photo snaps I took in order to add some accurate descriptions to the story.

Also, some facts lacked “salt and pepper”, so I had to make details up here and there in order for the story to flow more nicely and be more appealing. It’s funny, ’cause I had a few friends read the main draft and they thought that some of the real stories were the ones made up, which actually made me feel proud!

Guess what comes after correcting your draft? Re-correcting! I’m actually in the 4th (or 5th? I lost track) phase of re-correcting the story, tweaking things here and there, adding more details. I feel this is the biggest weakness of my story at the moment: lack of sufficient details. Can I tell you how exhausted I feel? I look through it with a bit of loath, knowing already every phrase and squeezing my brain to come up with better wordings. I want it to be perfect, I want the readers, no matter if there’s going to be just one or one million, to enjoy it. I want it to be fun & easy to read, but also give some insight into this mesmerizing country, Morocco.

The reason I started this blog is, really, to motivate myself to keep on going. I don’t want to ask an editor or a publishing house to help me out, I’m not doing it for money or fame. It’s an experiment for me to write a book. It might be a lovely success or an utter failure, but I’m curious to see the outcome of it. I want to see if I can make it. So I have to go on, no matter how difficult it has become. 🙂

Have you ever written a book by yourself? Share you experience with me in the comments below! ♥

Writing a book is not a piece of cake (part 1)

When I first started documenting my Morocco trip in written format I found it unbelievably easy. The words were simply flowing continuously, filling page after page. Sometimes, I would go to sleep at night and the second I lied my head on the pillow new phrases would overwhelm me, faster than I could remember them. I would just jump out of bed and write them down, eyes squinting from the disturbingly strong light of the desk lamp.

But that wasn’t a book per se. They were just a sort of memoirs, putting down the main story while it was still fresh. It was the excitement of the moment, the adrenaline rush that was pushing me every moment of the day to write something before I forget it.

I was feeling so pumped up that I decided that all this trouble and effort (it was an effort after all, even if a pleasurable one) should turn into a book. A real one. So after I laid out the main memories (over the course of a few months, almost a year), I started reading them again, from start to finish, to see what’s to fix. Of course I thought it wasn’t much work to do with it, maybe just some typo corrections, but I was so wrong.

I tried to detach myself from the story and read it from a stranger’s point of view. Someone who wasn’t there with me and was reading my story for the first time. Maybe even someone who wasn’t even in Morocco before. How do you make a story interesting? How do you make the reader turn another page? How do you transpose him/ her in the middle of the action?

So many questions hit me all at once…

[to be continued]

I don’t know how it happened..

I don’t know how it happened..

… but I found myself writing a book.

It all started a few years ago while roadtripping around Morocco with some friends. The whole trip started quite randomly from a very cheap plane ticket bought a few months in advance and then one day we just realized we were landing in Marrakech.

For a whole week, we travelled from Marrakech to Sahara to Fez to Tangier, by car, by bus, by train, by feet… Four friends with tiny backpacks (it was an economy flight and we didn’t have enough money for large luggage…), almost no cash money, and a lot of dreams, hopes, eagerness to discover what this amazing country had to offer us. We bumped into so many random unexpected experiences, a culture so different to what we were used to in our “Western” home countries, that the whole time I kept joking that I was going to write a book about the trip.

And back home, I did it. At first I just wrote the facts to remember them later on, as a form of documenting our experience, but then.. one thing led to another. The next thing you know, I was adding more salt and pepper to the facts, embellishing the descriptions, correcting typos and formatting everything to look like a book…

What can I say then? Stay tuned for more! I’ll be sharing excerpts from the book, more info on my travels, maybe even some giveaways! 🙂