It is strange to be discussing winter when summer continues at full heat here in Southern California. Aaron and I spent some time this weekend making a few more arrangements for our winter 2015 plans, and I’d like to share them with you today!

Over the course of 2 weeks this winter, we’re headed to two different countries. Want to give them a guess?

A few hints about our first country…

  • It was once conquered and ruled by the Moors.
  • Flamenco originates from and continues to be celebrated here.
  • It is in Europe, but did not participate in the First or Second World Wars.

A few hints about our second country…

  • It is on a different continent from the first, but close in proximity.
  • It is home to the world’s oldest university that continues to run to this day. This university was founded in AD 859.
  • Both Spain and France have held this country as a protectorate, and many citizens can still speak French even though it’s not the official language.

winter 2015 travel

Country #1: Spain

We’re heading to the south of Spain and Barcelona for about a week. Aaron and I are getting to visit Sevilla and Granada before joining up with the rest of our family in Barcelona!

In both Sevilla and Granada I’m excited to wander through cobblestone alleys and admire the Islamic influence on architecture and culture. I cannot wait to try real Spanish tapas and wander through the Royal Alcazar and the Museo Bellas Artes.

And of course in Granada we’re going to the Alhambra– tickets are already reserved! This enormous palace is famed for its intricate design and absolutely stunning gardens. I can’t wait to photograph it; images I’ve found on Pinterest already have me inspired!

Finally, we’re spending Christmas in Barcelona! It will be my first time spending Christmas in Europe, and I have no idea what to expect. I am beyond thrilled to experience new Christmas traditions, chaotic as the holiday might be.

In my excitement I created a whole Pinterest board to collect images of Spain in my preliminary research.

winter 2015 travel plans

Country #2: Morocco

As a whole family, we’re going to Morocco! I still have so much to learn about this country and I can hardly believe that I get to be there in a matter of a few months. My fabulous in-laws are planning this trip, and we are more than thrilled to follow along!

We’ll be in Casablanca, Marrakech, Fez, Skoura, and the Saharan desert (hello camels!). Our travels will take us through mosques, palaces, villages, medinas and markets– all of which will be so new to me. I can’t wait to capture it all and hopefully do it justice. Here is my Pinterest board for Morocco!

Related: 6 Tips for Better Travel Planning

*Sources of the first photo, and the second photo.

Have you been to Spain or Morocco? I’d love to hear your thoughts!