As soon as I could get away with taking an adventure as a kid, I did. When I was 16, I flew solo to Mexico city to visit a childhood friend. Toward the end of that summer I also rode my bike across 3 states with another adventure seeking fellow teenager. I was hooked. By 20 I had been to 5 continents (including Antarctica!), but I had not gotten to Africa yet.
I’ve always dreamed of Africa being the ultimate mother land to explore and have an adventure in. I really want to go to deeper into Africa someday but when the chance to go to Morocco came up, I knew I had to take it. I booked my ticket the week before I left so I didn’t’ have much time to plan or prepare for the trip (and well, that isn’t my style anyways). I personally hate researching anything so ‘seat of the pants’ style travel plans suit me well. I bought the lonely planet guide and asked people for advice through facebook. There were 2 main suggestions, the desert, and Marrakesh. I got to both and more.
Market in Marrakesh
I don’t get to travel often but when I go I am soooooooooooo freaking happy. I love the unknown, I love foreign lands, and I even love being on my own. So I really just went for it in the town square. I held snakes, monkeys, birds, danced with strangers, took photos, ate and drank the food.
After a couple days in the city, I joined a tour group to head to the desert. I booked it through my hostel in Marrakesh. The Sahara desert is a long 12 hour ride by car but along the way, we stopped at really interesting places. First a view of the Atlas Mountains.
Next, the town of Aït Benhaddou which was the city of Yunki in the game of thrones, Season 3!!
I wanted to see how easy it was to climb the palm tree, easy peasy.
We got to the desert a couple of hours before sunset. Each person got to (had to?) ride a camel which was soooooooooo amusing! If you’ve never tried it, take it from me, the process of getting on or off a camel it is really hard. They are laying down when you get on and at first, you get launched forward and then a quick backwards jarring motion. It feels like a roller coaster. A furry, spitting, totally lovable roller coaster. Riding is a camel is so uncomfortable. Even more so for the men and I freaking loved it. The guys were moaning and screaming, some were begging just to walk but the guides didn’t care. When else are the table turned when it comes to our jun?. Everyone felt bruised on their butts after the hour ride but still, everyone loved it. The desert is just so beautiful and mesmerizing. We rode to a desert camp for an overnight.
I was ecstatic to be in a foreign land, immersed in such a peaceful beauty. It has all the things I love about nature – expansiveness, beauty, peacefulness and it was so completely foreign so I was so happy! I don’t hold back and I soon realized I could leave the group and go gallivanting on my own, so I did. I ran down dunes, danced, mediated, took photos and I walked for hours barefoot. I wish I could have stayed for days in the desert. If anyone wants to do this trip I recommend booking your trip from Marrakesh and heading to Merzouga(the desert) vs booking online. It’s much cheaper and you can stay as many days in the desert as you want. There seems to always be room in the vans to head back to Marrakesh or head to a new destination, Fez. The desert camp provided a mattress and blankets and you could choose to sleep in a tent or outside which almost everyone in our group did. I didn’t want to even try to head to sleep til 4am then I slept til 6am and then headed up the dune for sunrise. After that was a 12 hour ride back to Marrakech. I took a sleeping aid and slept most of the way. -Travel tip-bring a sleep aid!
photo of our desert camp.
This camel could drink out of a water bottle!
After the desert, I flew to Tangier
I met my friend there and then we went to the blue city called Chefchaoun. Which is the city everyone in Morocco talks about and it’s absolutely a must-see.
It was so picturesque and easy to navigate + I love blue, it’s my favorite color.
A photo of my friends that I got to hang out with in Northern Morocco and whmo were the reason I went to Morocco.
How I felt most of the trip!