Out in The World and Off To Spain with Las Morenas de España

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A few months while in Barcelona I caught wind of a fantastic Instagram account @LasMorenasdeEspaña. Black women traveling and living throughout the beautiful cities of Spain, all sharing exquisite photos of their individual yet collective experience. It took will power to still myself from "liking" every photo on the page.

And soon after I returned back to the States I received an e-mail from the founder and wanderluster behind LMDES: Sienna Brown. Energetic, excitable, passionate, and full of love for Spanish culture and travel in general, I knew I instantly had a kinship with this woman. We exchanged a few e-mails, one of which Sienna shared a new initiative she was soon to launch via the site: an exclusive set of three curated travel packages for those who would be traveling to Spain whether for the first time or just wanting insider tips.


Depending on the package you purchase (they range from $25 - $150), you'll be treated to a different set of perks that range from exclusive discounts with partners, best flight, restaurant, and hotel recommendations, as well as a curated itinerary and tips for where to experience some unique events of the beaten path, all from an experienced expat. Check them out by clicking on any of the photos above.

While experiencing a new country for the first time on your own terms can be wonderful and freeing, it's quite nice to have a little girlfriend in your back pocket or on your phone helping to make sure the experience is one to remember :)


  1. Avalokiteśvara

    Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī

    In Sanskrit:

    Namo ratna-trayāya!

    Namo āryāvalokiteśvarāya,

    Bodhi-sattvāya Mahā-sattvāya Mahā-kārunikāya!

    Om sarva-raviye śudhanadasya namas kritvā imam āryāvalokiteśvara ramdhava

    Namo narakindi hrih Mahā-vat-svāme Sarva-arthato-śubham ajeyam

    Sarva-sat Namo-vasat Namo-vāka mavitāto


    Om avaloki-lokate-krate-e-hrih Mahā-bodhisattva

    Sarva sarva Mala mala Mahi Mahi ridayam

    Kuru kuru karmam Dhuru dhuru vijayate Mahā-vijayati

    Dhara dhara dhriniśvarāya cala cala Mama vimala muktele

    Ehi ehi śina śina ārsam prasari viśva viśvam prasaya

    Hulu hulu mara Hulu hulu hrih Sara sara siri siri suru suru

    Bodhiya Bodhiya Bodhaya Bodhaya

    Maitreya narakindi dhriśnina

    bhayamāna svāhā!

    Siddhāya svāhā!

    Mahā siddhāya svāhā!

    Siddha-yogeśvarāya svāhā!

    Narakindi svāhā!

    Maranāra svāhā!

    śira simha-mukhāya svāhā!

    Sarva mahā-asiddhāya svāhā!

    Cakra-asiddhāya svāhā!

    Padma-kastāya svāhā!

    Narakindi-vagalāya svāhā!

    Mavari-śankharāya svāhā!

    Namo ratna-trayāya!

    Namo āryāvalokiteśvarāya svāhā!

    Om Sidhyantu mantra padāya svāhā!

    Initial Vows of Great Compassion Dharani Recitation[edit]
    "If there are monks (Bhikshus), nuns (Bhikshunis), laymen (Upasakas), laywomen (Upasikas), pure youth and maidens who wish to recite and hold(keep reciting) this mantra, they should first arouse their great merciful and compassionate hearts for all living beings, and follow me [Avalokitesvara] in making these vows:

    (* The pronunciation of "Namo" is [na:mo:] in international phonetic symbols)

    Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I quickly know all Dharmas;
    Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I soon obtain the Wisdom Eye;
    Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I quickly ferry all living beings (to the shore of liberation);
    Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I soon obtain virtuous skillful means (to enlighten various living beings);
    Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I quickly board the Prajna Boat;
    Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I soon transcend the ocean of suffering;
    Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I quickly achieve precepts, Samadhi and the Way;
    Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I soon ascend the mountain of Nirvana;
    Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I quickly dwell in the house of non-action;
    Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I soon unite with the Dharma-Nature Body.

    If I go towards the mountain of knives, the mountain of knives of itself breaks up;
    If I go towards the boiling oil, the boiling oil of itself dries up;
    If I go towards the hells, the hells of themselves disappear;
    If I go towards the hungry ghosts, the hungry ghosts of themselves become full.
    If I go towards the Asuras, their evil thoughts of themselves are tamed.
    If I go towards the animals, they themselves attain great wisdom.

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