“Why Morocco?” was a question I seemed to get a lot during the weeks leading up to my trek across the Atlantic – and to be perfectly honest, I never really had a great answer.
I tried “Why not?!” which seemed unsatisfying, “I’ve always wanted to!” (apparently just as insufficient), and “Rug shopping?” which at least got a laugh. I didn’t have a perfect answer. I wanted to go somewhere slightly outside my comfort zone, I’d been stalking photos of Morocco for years, and I loved a good bacon-wrapped-date (turns out, wrapping a date in bacon and stuffing it with cream cheese is a very American thing to have done. Who knew?!).
Intrepid’s 9-day North Morocco Adventure was my first experience with group travel, and I honestly enjoyed the group aspect way more than I anticipated. I came with a friend and we fully expected to be the youngest on our trip by a long shot. We were wrong. We found ourselves in a group of about half 20-somethings and 30-somethings, which was a total blast… for us. Maybe less so for our tour guide Abdu, who had to remind us to pipe down once or twice when our group games became a little too fun and (admittedly) a little too loud.
The trip itself was just as magical as I had imagined it to be; we explored Chefchaouen (The Blue City), ate camel burgers in the Fes medina, experienced a true Moroccan Hammam, saw the Mediterranean meet the Atlantic in Tangier, took an overnight train to Marrakesh, and ate lots of dates – no bacon needed. I expected to leave with incredible photos and memories; I didn’t expect to leave with genuine friendships or to be scanning flight prices back to Morocco as soon as I got home.
I now love looking back at all the tiny details that I would have already forgotten – the goofy photos, the limited Arabic we learned, the hilarious miscommunications, and the (borderline inappropriate) Australian slang that we learned along the way.
Illustrating these trips, for me, is a thrill in the moment and a treasure after I get back home; I love the idea that they can offer a peek into our group’s experience in Morocco. Enjoy!