Traveling Teachers

Spanish teacher Johanna Hribal ventured to Morocco, Spain for solo for 20 days

Sophie Owens, Profile Editor

1. Why did you go to Spain and Morocco specifically?

I had been to Spain about seven years ago for my study abroad trip with my college. The experience was great but I wanted to go back by myself. I wanted more time to myself and to fully absorb the culture. I have been to 16 countries total, but out of the 16 I have gone to six alone. The countries I visited in Europe were easier to cross and enter because of the countries being close together.

2. What was the funniest moment of your trip?

Whilst in Spain I went to a Residente concert, before the event started I introduced myself to those around me (just trying to meet new people). I met a guy and thought he was from Spain. His Spanish was very good but I found out that he was from Alabama! It was such a funny coincidence, him being there.

I was only in Morocco for four days but during my trip the tour guides were always so shocked to see my eyes. I have blue eyes and most people there have darker or warmer colors rather than light like mine. It was a little funny seeing their reaction because blue eyes are so mundane here in America.

3.What was your favorite meal while overseas?

In Morocco there is a dish called pastella, it was like a pot pie. It contained chicken, egg, onion, and almonds. They used dough for the shell of the pie and on top they put a mixture powdered sugar and cinnamon. It was one of the most unusual combination of ingredients I have ever tasted, it was so good.

4. What was the greatest thing you saw?

Morocco had so many beautiful mosques, each one contained so much detail, and overall wonder. In the city of Valencia the museums (which were mostly science and art) were futuristic and inspiring. Both had such beautiful weather, 80 degrees, and a slight cool breeze.

5. If there is anything you could’ve changed about the trip?

To be away for 20 days or more I know now that I would like to have company. I certainly enjoyed being by myself because I was able to see and experience what I wanted to. Yet, with company I would be able to try new restaurants or activities I normally wouldn’t.

6. What advice would give to someone who is interested in travel?

If they have the chance to travel, do it; traveling alone forces you to grow up. So I would advise to study abroad and you are exposed to the culture in the best way. Studying abroad and traveling opens your mind more – more of an experience as a whole.