October was our 3rd month of being full-time travelers and digital nomads and we have to admit, we are really loving it! It’s finally hitting us that this lifestyle is not just a long vacation, it’s our new life!

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Here is what October had in store for us.

Countries Visited

England (short stop), Morocco, Spain (short stop), Romania, Denmark (short stop), USA

Cities/Towns Visited

England: London; Morocco: Tangier, Chefchaouen, Fes, Merzouga, Ourzazate, Essaouira, Imlil, Marrakech; Spain: Madrid; Romania: Bucharest, Brasov, Sighisoara, Sapanta, Baia Mare, Cluj Napoca, Balea Lake; Denmark: Copenhagen; USA: Fort Lauderdale

Max & Oksana in Chefchaouen, Morocco
In our favourite town of Chefchaouen in Morocco
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We kicked off the month with a quick layover and a lovely evening with some friends in London before hopping on a plane to Morocco. Once there, we rented a car and traveled down and across the country, all the way from Tangier to Marrakech. In the 2 weeks that we spent in Morocco, we got a chance to experience the country’s great cities with their culture rich medinas, beautiful Kasbahs, and swarming markets, along with the quieter High Atlas Mountains, and the magnificent Sahara Desert.

Rolling hills of the High Atlas mountains, Morocco
Rolling hills of the High Atlas mountains in Morocco
Erg Chebbi, Sahara Desert. Morocco
The great dunes of Erg Chebbi

Distance Traveled

19,040 kms

Modes of Transportation

8 planes, 2 cars (well technically 3 since one of them had to be replaced after our Sahara Desert fiasco), 3 trains, 2 busses, 2 camels, 1 bike, 1 tow truck. October was definitely an easy month of transportation since we opted to road trip across Morocco and Romania instead of hopping around local busses, trains, and donkeys.

Max and Oksana in Erg Chebbi, Sahara Desert. Morocco
The best method of transportation in October… although our butts did hurt after!

Photos Taken

Only 5,800 snaps this month! But sometimes less is more…

Balea Lake, Transylvania, Romania
One of our best shots from Balea Lake, Transylvania, Romania

Money Spent

This month we took our daily budgeting to a new level by investing in a paid version of our favourite spending app – Trail Wallet. Did we mention it is freaking awesome? We were able to track our spending in October down to a dollar, making it easy for us to analyse where we are spending our precious $$.

Unfortunately, the app didn’t help us stay on budget this month. We spent AUD $3,636 (USD $2,555) between 2 of us, which is $536 over our budget and is an equivalent of roughly AUD $117 (USD $82)/day. Not too shabby, considering how low our budget goal is, but it is a bit more than we were expecting. Turns out, those tangines in Morocco can be pricey and my little shopping addiction meant that we walked away with a few more Aladdin pants and scarfs than we probably should have. Oh and that $250 lost key fee didn’t help us either.  

Traditional Moroccan shoes on sale in Fes, Morocco
Traditional Moroccan shoes on sale in Fes

Travel Highlights

There were plenty of amazing experiences in October, but at the top of our list was definitely our visit to Balea Lake, the highest point along the Transfăgărășan road in Romanian Transylvania. The lake was situated at 2,034 m in the Făgăraș Mountains, making it a popular spot for trekking to the peaks.

Balea Lake, Făgăraș Mountains, Romania
Balea Lake, Făgăraș Mountains, Romania

We were incredibly lucky to arrive in Balea Lake on the most perfect blue-skied day, just in time for a 2-hour ascent to the famous peak overlooking the lake. It was cold,  windy and the path was steep and slippery, but the views from the top and the magical sunset on the way down made it an unbelievable experience.

Făgăraș Mountains, Romania
View from a peak in Făgăraș Mountains
Oksana & Max in Făgăraș Mountains, Romania
Enjoying the views from the top of Făgăraș Mountains

…and low lights

Sahara Desert. Keys. Tow Truck. Enough said…although as time passes this incident seems more like an epic travel tale and less like the worst memory of October.

Max and Oksana in Erg Chebbi, Sahara Desert. Morocco
Traversing the desert

Favourite Eats

We were a bit disappointed to discover that cuisine is Morocco was seriously lacking in diversity. I mean, don’t they get tired of eating tagine and couscous every day? And the truth is, they probably don’t, because both tagine and couscous can come in great varieties and flavour combinations. Our favourite was Beef Tagine with Prunes and Almonds – a perfect combination of sweet and savoury, crunchy and tender, full of Moroccan spices and exquisite flavours.

Prune and almond tagine in Fes, Morocco
Beef and prune tagine

In Romania, we (well mostly just Oksana) fell in love with the Bean and Ham Soup Served inside a loaf of bread, a dish with Hungarian origin that was common in the northern parts of the country, particularly in areas of Maramures and Transylvania. The best part of this hearty dish was the last few spoonfuls that always contained the gooey bread soaked with the delicious flavour of the soup. It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it!

Bean an ham soup in bread, Romania
Bean and ham soup in bread

Tea of the Month

It is no wonder they call it Berber Whiskey, the Moroccan mint tea is addicting and intoxicating and it is hands down our FAVOURITE TEA IN THE WORLD!  (Yes, we said it. It’s a big statement and we are sticking to it!)

Moroccan mint tea
Moroccan mint tea

Favourite Accommodation

Our favourite accommodation in October was Maison Hotel (find it here), a 4 storey beautiful riad tucked away in a winding medina in Chefchaouen in Morocco. We came across it as a complete fluke (the hotel doesn’t even have a website) and fell in love with its design, traditional Moroccan decor, great service and their delicious breakfast. All for just $25 a night!

Our fancy suite in Maison Hotel. Chefchaouen, Morocco
Our fancy suite in Maison Hotel
Traditional Moroccan design inside the Maison Hotel, Chefchaouen, Morocco
Traditional Moroccan design inside the Maison Hotel
Ensuite bathroom in Maison Hotel, Chefchaouen, Morocco
Ensuite bathroom in Maison Hotel

Next Month

The truth is, we have no idea what we are doing in November. As the year is coming to an end, we need to slow down our travels and shift our focus to preparing for our New Year’s Eve Wedding in Costa Rica. Max has already made his way to Costa Rica to start preparations and I’ll be following him shortly. But first, I’m joining my future sister in law on my very first cruise to the Bahamas! I’m excited and nervous at the same time.

Cruising has never been an activity I was interested in, but when Norwegian Cruise Lines invited us to preview their brand new ship – the Norwegian Escape, we just couldn’t say no. So wish me luck!

Have you ever been on a cruise before? Can you share any of your first timer tips with me?

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5 thoughts on “Monthly Recap: October 2015”

  1. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding 🙂 I was hoping to meet you guys at TBEX, but I don’t think we ever ran into each other!

  2. Looks like you had a really fun October! I love the pictures on the camels in the desert. This is on our travel list to do someday and seeing your pictures makes me want to get it done sooner rather than later.

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